Having just returned from our 10am Sung Mass at St.Michael and All Angels in Christchurch, New Zealand – where we experienced 2 short sharp after-shocks (1 @ 4.9 Richter) – I have become even more philosophical about the Church‘s arguments about gender and sexuality.
The righteousness doom-sayers might have expected that we in the congregation – who are largely inclusive catholics, with an open mind towards the phenomenon of the LGTB constituency in the Church – would have been shaken off the face of the earth. Whereas, after the lights had gone out (we had lots of candles alight, though) and the organ failed us; we were able to continue the Mass from the point of interruption.
We were actually in the middle of reciting the Creed when the noise and shaking started. But after a startled silence from the sanctuary, I decided it might be good for me (in the middle of the congregation) to continue the saying of the Creed – and after only a few seconds, everyone joined in. The prayer of Consecration was continued by our lady Assistant Priest, Lynn (with the Vicar, Fr. Peter, standing by as Deacon of the Mass) and everyone came up eventually to receive the Bread of Life.
During the general Communion and at the end, I felt emboldened to start off the appropriate hymns, a’ cappella, which were sung at first faintly and then lustily by all of us. This helped to put the happenings going on around us into their proper perspective. None of us will forget the strange experience of Emmanuel – God with us – despite the temporary distraction.
Christus Natus Hodie! Alleluia!
Christmas Blessings from Fr. Ron