Last Fall I was picking up my RXs and I saw a friend of my folks in the pharmacy. She's about 82. She always says if there is anything I can do for you, please just tell me. I found myself asking if she still goes to 5 pm Mass? And she said yes and said she would give me a ride if I wanted to attend. She called a couple of Saturday afternoons, but I was working trying to save my deck from the damage done (I explained it at CBA) and I missed her calls.
She kept calling and the third time, I picked up the phone and said I wanted to go with her. I don't really know why. I attended the funeral masses for my folks, but I haven't gone otherwise for decades. I still do my daily meditations and my basic outlook is very yogic based...and will always be.
I was surprised at the changes in Mass. I almost wrote that I was shocked. Maybe I was a bit shocked. When I was young and attended with my family regularly, it was basically beat into us kids that we were not to ever touch the host and if we ever saw one on the ground or something to not touch it but to get a priest.
Now, they have lay people distribute communion and they place it in your hand. I just can't do that. I only get in the line where the priest distributes communion and I do it 'the old fashion way'... stick out one's tongue and the priest places the host on my tongue. I am the ONLY one who does this.
And there are lay people who offer one a drink of wine. I never take this. Still 'old fashioned' I guess.
Gone is Latin. Many of the people's responses are now sung, which I think is basically cool. There is a lot of singing. And twice there is hand-shaking and wishing each other peace.
The tabernacle is off to the side in a little cage alcove. People bring up the hosts and wine to the altar. There is only one 'altar boy', all the rest are girls, a couple are grown women.
The current priest is Father Jean-Pierre from French Congo. He loves to belt out songs. I like that. He faces the people throughout the whole Mass.
Indeed, changes. A part of me says, if things were right before why are they being changed? The other part of me says this is the way the Church is evolving to include people, make them an actual part of the ritual of Mass.
I got great feelings of peace this holiday season. Most importantly from my traditional 5-6 hour long meditation during December. Also from the way I saw Fr. Jean-Pierre stress the importance of Jesus.
I feel like maybe there is a greater emphasis on Jesus now. Maybe it is because of Jean-Pierre... I don't know... maybe it was always there, hidden in the old way the Mass ritual was carried out, hidden behind the Latin and always seeing the backside of the priest.
I seem to only get out of the house for doc appointments and once a month, my sister takes me to pick up RXs and groceries. (On many weeks, going to Mass is my only contact with other human beings.) If I need something in between, I place a delivery order maybe once every other month or so, which is an expensive way to get groceries. I keep thinking I should replace my freezer, but somewhere inside me I feel a temporariness. Last summer and autumn, I bagged and boxed up everything in my house that I do not absolutely need and gave it all away. I've kept photos and a few things I know my son will want when I pass/or things I would take with me if I left here.
At night, I am aware of myself praying in my sleep, even saying the rosary. My niece gave me a Miraculous Medal years ago and I came across it this summer and started wearing it.
Still, lying deep inside me, deep in my consciousness is the notion of 'temporariness'. Slowly it is getting stronger. I don't know why it is there. I just let it be.