Sunday, December 18, 2005

confession at St. Matts & misery at St. Burbs

On December 15, St. Matthews Cathedral in DC had its annual pennance service. There were 20 priests there and they spoke several languages including sign language. I went to an older priest and found him to be very kind and understanding. While I was confessing a drunk man wandered in and began talking to us. Father shooed him away and continued giving me counsel. That's one thing you don't run into in the burbs but I love Saint Matts. I love the beauty of the mosaics, the biggness of the space, the silence, the large aisles and the privacy of the chapels.

At Saturday Mass at my suburban back up church I had a slight anxiety attack. All of a sudden I began feeling hemmed in. For some reason, all though the church was not packed a lot of people decided to sit close to me and my husband. I need a certain amount of personal space or I become nervous. There was a loud woman behind me with two bratty kids. She never shut up all through Mass. She constantly had to chide the children or hush them. She does this every time she comes. Her children are not small. Discipline is one thing Catholics don't do well. Baptists (my family is either Baptist or AME Zion) don't put up with that mess. When Baptist kids act up in church they get corrected, immediately.

Anyway, Father Gandalf gave a sterling homily and that saved the day. He looks like he's been sick lately but his whole countenance seems to light up when he ascends to the altar. I was so busy concentrating on him that I was almost able to ignore the noise and eating, yes I said eating. At some point in 2005, it became popular for young parents to bring snacks to church to quiet their kids. When Mass was over I couldn't even make a thanksgiving because a gaggle of women decided to come up to the altar to gossip.

One more thing. If the Vatican is going to make any changes in the Mass I suggest doing away with the cantors or getting them off the altar. At least get them to sing in a register most of the people can follow. I sing soprano and even I can't follow the cantor at St. Burbs.