Monday, April 04, 2011

A SUNDAY MASS - A VERY AUSTRALIAN CONGREGATION

St.Stephen's Cathedral, Brisbane, Australia
The 10.00 a.m. Mass at St.Stephen's Cathedral Brisbane is always a solemn occasion, supported by the singing of the Cathedral Choir. Yesterday, Laetare Sunday or Rose Sunday was no exception.

The Mass was celebrated by Rev. Father Paul Chandler O.Carm. who is the Spiritual Director of Holy Spirit Seminary.and Lecturer in Church History. His celebration of Holy Mass was exemplary in devotion, love of the Liturgy and comportment. It was his misfortune to supply on Rose Sunday which caused him to wear the vestments acquired last year - they are not a success. The colour is a light salmony pink, and not the proper liturgical Rose and the cut (in the Gothic style)is ludicrously full. When the Dean first wore them last year, people found difficulty in suppressing mirth and sought to avoid eye contact. Small wonder the Dean was not about this time.Father Chandler's homily was excellent dealing with the miracle of the blind man cured by Jesus,  carefully and thoroughly going beyond the required reading to the full account in the Gospels to develop the lesson . He made the point that the continuing blind people were those who would not see God made man before their very eyes, something the cured blind man was well able and willing to do.

Here we had a near ideal celebration of Holy Mass, save for the standard Cathedral offence of consecrating the wine in a silver jug from which the Precious Blood is later poured into mini Chalices ( about the size and shape of a birdbath champagne glass - but these are Silver) - this pouring is FORBIDDEN in "Redemptionis Sacramentum".

But the other interesting aspect of the 10.00 a.m. Mass is always the composition of the congregation .It is a very Australian congregation representing most nations on Earth it seems, at the least every Continent is well -represented. There are a few sprinkled grey haired Anglo-Celts like us, a Mexican, Italians, Slavs, Ukrainians, Indonesians, Malays, Singaporeans, Japanese, South Koreans, Chinese of several regions, North Americans, Chileans, Africans of several regions, Scots, Irish, English,Indians and on and on. It is a pleasure to make one's thanksgiving after Holy Communion at anytime, but it is doubled when one can make it with our brethren and fellow citizens from around the world. We are indeed the lucky country.And Thank God, we know it and cherish the reality.

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