"Make a Joyful Noise Unto the Lord, All Ye Lands. . ."

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Last week, returning from Dallas, I had to attend the evening Mass at my parish. This was something I truly dreaded and looked forward to. I really enjoy evening masses. I find them calming and beautiful, But the evening Mass at my parish is a youth mass, and that can mean anything from dreadful to merely bad depening upon who they get to read, etc.

Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the evening mass was indeed wonderful . Not calming after the difficult weekend, but vibrant and joyous. I thought Samuel would really like to attend a Mass like this.

Now, I suppose what I experienced last night would constitute a nightmare for most of St. Blogs. But for me, it was the vestibule to heaven. The songs were simple, but faith-filled and orthodox. There were not dubious propositions about who was God and who was worshipping. The music ministry was loud and joyous and the congregation joined in forcefully.

The Gloria was done to a calypso beat and tune that had me believing that I was really born in the wrong place. The recessional was a piece modelled on American Gospel music. The readers were wonderful and Father was in rare form with his homily. Best of all, I was awake, alert, and aware. As anyone who knows me well can tell you, I am NOT a morning person. Morning mass intrudes upon my consciousness. I love it, but I'm not really all there for it. In the evening, I'm there. I can hear and see and touch and smell God.

Anyway, this was John Paul the Great's little gift to me. Samuel bebopped and hopped around to the music and really enjoyed the Mass as well. I know that enjoyment is not what the Mass is about; however, when you are a little one, it helps enormously to have some reason for being involved. So, while it isn't high Latin or great chant, it does just fine for me. Just as in San Antonio, I really enjoyed the 2:00 mariachi Mass. See--I was just born in the wrong place for my tastes.

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I always wish that we had a "gospel music" Mass to attend. I absolutely love our "high Mass" and the formal music but also like the more soulful stuff. Problem is that our parish's idea of "soul" is stuck in the early '70s so the "family Mass" is acapella guitar and music that makes me think we all should be wearing flowers and singing Kumbaya ... or that the Godspell disciples are going to pop out any minute. Some love it though ... so it just depends I guess ... I think I'd groove on that Calypso beat too ...

Dear Julie,

I think what most impressed me was the joy I felt in being at Mass. It has been a very long time since I have had true joy and true involvement at Mass. I have been present, and I have directed my attention to God and I have worked with the priest to serve at Mass. But this was duty, obligation, and requirement. I never felt that I was doing my best to praise and thank God. This Mass made me feel that no only was I cooperating, but that I was really entering into the serious work of Heaven. I could, for a moment, see what Heaven was all about. I was caught up in a spiral of real praise and thanksgiving that reignited for me the joy of Mass. Mass is always joyful, but for me it has often been a somber and subdued joy. At this Mass, the joy was exuberant. I left feeling like I could really go out and do the Lord's work! And I know that Mass isn't about feeling, but I don't suppose it hurts when the emotions are engaged. As a family, I think we'll be attending this evening Mass, and offer a true evening sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise.



The whole "David dancing in front of the ark" thing ... for sheer joy of the Lord and in praise of him! Gotta get us some gospel or Calypso or ... something like that in our parish! Otherwise we're definitely going to have to get over to Orlando for that mass ... not to mention Gatorland and that giant orange. :-)



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on April 11, 2005 6:48 AM.

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