Sunday, March 1, 2009

There and Back Again

I made very good time on my way back from Hobart: despite a number of delaying factors, I did the 200 km trip in just over 2½ hours, and was home in time for dinner a little after six.

Earlier in the day, after Mass, my mate Justin rather embarrassed himself: he'd had me drive him round Hobart a bit, to see where Cascade Brewery was, and to look in at the Anglican All Saints church in South Hobart (which he'd been advised was worth seeing); we were about to have lunch at the bakery in Battery Point, but I parked nearby next to another architectural site of interest, St George's: as we traipsed up to its door to do as tourists do, he said something along the lines of, "Not another ... Anglican church!" - just as the vicar walked up behind him.  Our visit was therefore curtailed.  I think we were both mortified; luckily, lunch put us back in good spirits (it was then after 2 pm).

Having come down from Launceston, it was good to get to Mass with time to spare that morning.  The numbers in church were a bit less than I'd expected (about 65), but perhaps the very late notice of the change of venue had occasioned this: it was good to see a real spread of ages, from the old through to the young of families.  Mass, I must say, did drag on a bit: the Missa cantata lasted over 80 minutes, despite a homily of only 3.  It's shameful to say, but I got a bit bored at the length of the silences.  However, the choir did very well, singing the full chant for all the Proper - including a fine rendition of the long Tract (with a Byzantinesque ison) that took 12 minutes, but which was worth it - and using Mass XVII and Credo I (as we knew these last items well, Justin and I joined in; I think botched a few bits).  Fr Quinn did a good job, considering that he only says the old Mass once a month at most; understandably, as he doesn't have the practice, he monotoned the lessons and other chants.  It was perhaps a pity that the choir didn't sing something extra at the offertory and communion (the offertory verses from the Offertoriale? more verses from Psalm 90 at communion?), but it is Lent and they had put a great deal of effort into that great Tract (the longest of the year).

After Mass, I felt a bit like the local vicar - all the people seemed to be coming up to me and shaking my hand, saying how they hadn't seen me for a while and all manner of nice things!   (I also learnt a highly amusing and gratifying tale about a certain bishop, and the justifiably low opinion of him - actually expressed to his face - held by various clergy and prelates, but it wouldn't be fit to repeat the details.)   My longtime friends Ben and Jane likewise said hello; I'll be seeing more of them on my next trip down South in April.  What a pity I'll be in Melbourne next week, as I'll miss Simon's birthday bash!  As well, an anonymous person came up, let me know that they, and spouse likewise, are daily readers of my blog, solicitously enquired about how I was finding my relocation here, and invited me to dinner - an invitation I hope to take up soon: thanks, you quite embarrassed me with your kindly words.


Terra said...

Hard to avoid a long mass with that tract, all other things notwithstanding! It either sets you in the right frame of mind to ignore time, or....fortunately this year, the version I heard did the job well, not withstanding a few impatient babies and children!).

Joshua said...

Now don't put words into my mouth, Terra - the Tract was great, and the Mass of the Catechumens took only just over half an hour, including sermon: it was the Mass of the Faithful that went on per omnia sæcula sæculorum.