Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tallarook Mass

On Sunday, being en route to Benalla in north-east Victoria to visit my great-aunt and great-uncle, both having recently celebrated their 90th birthday, it was very pleasant and convenient to stop off at the tiny stone church of St Joseph at Tallarook, a hamlet (population 258) about 100 km north of Melbourne, for a meditative Low Mass celebrated by Fr Terence.  

A rough count gave the congregation at about 35; Father informs me that he often gets more, up to 55, who come from all over the countryside around.  (Many of these used to drive all the way into Melbourne to hear Mass prior to this "chapel of ease" of St Aloysius being established!)

It was fitting it was a Low Mass, since down in Hobart, where I would otherwise have been for the first Sunday of the month, Fr Quinn was to say a Low Mass (incidentally relieving me of my duties as M.C.) since the choir was not able to sing this September.

I liked much the contrast between the sacred silence of Low Mass with its hallowed ritual, the two servers alone answering, and the chatty, informal style of Father's preaching, very much as I would imagine a mediæval Franciscan would employ.  I retain what he told us his father told him: "Always be kind."  God enable me to do so, overcoming my hard heart!  I pray for efficacious grace.

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