Sunday, October 4, 2009

18th Sunday after Pentecost

To think that, had I a daily TLM available, I'd have been keeping the September Ember Days this past week...

Discovering this Sunday to be the 18th after Pentecost (I have no idea which Sunday in Ordinary Time, thankfully, nor whether it's A, B, or C - I try and remain nescient of this) - reciting the Little Office does disengage one from the Calendar, unfortunately - I was glad to head down to Hobart this morning.

But first, thank you, Guardian Angel: I had forgotten to put my clock forward one hour for the start of daylight saving, but awaking and seeing my mobile said it was 6:19 am, a sudden inspiration told me, no, it's 7:19, so get up smartly! At least it was already light.

I motored off a bit before half eight, and soon enough was at Campbell Town, one-third of the way down through the Midlands, where I customarily stop for breakfast: french toast, with banana, bacon and maple syrup; and a latte of course. Then, back in the car, with a quick sign of the cross to salute Our Lord in His Sacrament, reserved in the Catholic Church down a side street, and to remember the three priests buried there (see here and here). By this time I'd about fitted in my morning Office...

When heading to Hobart, I always cruise on the speed limit (110 km/h - nearly 70 mph, for American and British readers), and I was glad I did, for I got to church barely in time: it was straight upstairs to the choir loft, and soon enough Mass began.

It was a little disappointing to see the numbers: only about 45 in the congregation, plus choir of seven and five servers. Since Mass is sung, and takes over an hour, and is held very late in the morning, not all come who might - some would gladly hear an early Low Mass, for instance. Also, being but once a month, many who might get into the habit if it were weekly only come irregularly. Several of my friends were away also.

We had a friendly "argument" with Peter afterward: as musicians, we are much happier singing Mass XI (Orbis factor) and Credo I, rather than for the umpteenth time de Angelis and Credo III! (I'm not snobby, and quite like the latter, but appreciate that there is more to the repertoire, and know that Mass XI is properly for Sundays.) In addition to the Ordinary and Proper (which I only slightly mucked up, despite not practising - our choir master is a good leader), we sang Ave verum at Offertory (but could have done with a longer chant: Fr is very slow), and at Communion a soloist sang some psalm verses between repeats of the Communion antiphon. After Mass, it was St Francis' Canticle of the Creatures for a recessional.

As I'd done as I sometimes do, and read the Preparation Psalms (83-85, 115, and 129) during the Canon, then the Thanksgiving (Benedicite and Ps 150) afterward, during the ablutions, it struck me how St Francis but rephrased the Song of the Three Young Men (Dan. iii) and the Laudate Psalms (148-150). "Let all things their Creator bless..."

After Mass, it was good to see another priest who had been in quiet attendance: despite His Grace, there is a desire not just to attend but to celebrate "the Mass that would not die", the Mass that - attend, stuck-in-the-seventies old fogies! - is now publicly declared never to have been abolished. You'd think a true liberal would favour "letting a hundred flowers bloom", rather than restrict the E.F. Mass for fear people might like it.

Also, how good to meet Stefan, a Tasmanian, but one who wisely has taken up the offer of Bishop Jarrett to be a seminarian for Lismore diocese in N.S.W. He even gets to study at Vianney College, the seminary in Wagga Wagga. Isn't it marvellous - there's a bishop who wants vocations and new priests, and gets both, so his diocese can expand, not wither; here, who cares?

By such jokes at the expense of the petty powers that be, we Latin Massers cheered each other up. I expect the humourless establishment wouldn't like that.

Having left Lower Sandy Bay, I was able to meet up with Katy, a friend of mine from school and university days, and lunch with her: it was great to see her again.

Now I've checked into my hotel, I may rest a while, then visit some other friends...

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