I have just got a job at a Catholic School. Very exciting!

So to

  1. appreciate  a bit of the culture and faith of  my pupils and their families I thought I would attend Mass
  2. give another aspect to my own faith and experience something different I thought I would attend Mass

It was magnificent. I went to the local Church, not the one attached to my new found school. The church hosts 3 services a sunday and from what I could estimate  a minimum of 350 people were present in this service. It was full to bursting! From their website they say about 1200 people worship with them on an average Sunday. This was of course not the average Sunday as it was the last day that the Priest was with the Parish after having served with them for 12 years, so I think some extra people may have turned up.

In preperation for the great event, (and to not make myself look like a total dunce) I printed off a fantastic guide called why do catholics bounce on one knee. Which was very helpful…. but did not help when we accidently sat in the choir stalls and were very kindly asked to go sit somewhere else…. I also tried to learn the apostles creed over night (as wikipedia told me this was probably the creed we would say – it was wrong – hear that people wikipedia was WRONG!), which I was semi successful at, only to find that we said the Nicene creed and that they had it on Powerpoint – in fact they had a significant amount of stuff on power point! 

Anyway the service was awesome there was a lot of Jesus in it and for all of you who are scared that we said 10 hail mary’s and worshipped a few saints let me reassure you that the Virgin Mary was mentioned a whole once (apart from the creed) and we were not urged to worship any saints.

The intercessory prayer was fantastic we prayed for world peace (see I can cross that off my list! see my eariler post), for those who were sick and for those in the parish and for the priest.

The songs were full of theology that I don’t think any one would have a problem with (words written by the out going priest and music by one of the church members).

Our Scripture readings from the liturgy was something from Isaiah and (you’ll like this) 1 Corinthians  1 (the bit about some liking apollo, some liking cephas , some liking Christ and some liking Paul) on which the Priest did a very fine sermon about us not favouring church leaders (within our congregation) and spliting the church as we all serve one christ.   In fact the priest mentioned Jesus and community so often that I think some post emergent churches would be comfortable with having him over for coffee.

The congregation had a great mix in ages, races and socio economic groups. There were lots of young families, loads of children to older people. Women played a prominent role in the service as readers, communion service helpers, reading intercessory prayers, official welcoming and one woman was blessed by the priest for her ministry of the Mass to the sick at the end of the service.  

It was a very moving service, not in the same sense that a pentecostal service or even a baptist one is ‘moving’… but God was there, the Holy Spirit was there and my goodness the beauty and wonder of God incarnate was present.