Last week I spoke about the importance of taking our part in the Mass as fully as we can. I’m glad to say that many of you who read the Bulletin piece responded to it at Mass. I felt so much more interaction. The Mass is a dialogous liturgy by its very nature; between God and us but also between ourselves before God. It does not make sense if we do not all take our part in it. We are gather as a community and we celebrate as a community, not by ourselves. So this brings me to the next point I have to raise with the parish.
I am very aware of the great effort the parish community puts in to actually coming to Mass, and I thank you all for being there. About 2,800 attend regularly every Sunday which is fantastic. It has been noticeable, however, that we start Mass (all of them) with only 80% of those who are there by the time the Gospel is proclaimed; then at least 20% of the congregation disappears straight after the communion. I’m sorry to point this out but can we not give Christ our Saviour the full hour? I do realize that things can happen en-route which can mean a late arrival, but it has become quite noticeable. Also, I do further understand that leaving the car park can be a bit of a drawn out process and people nip out quickly to beat the exit queues. Again, could we not give Christ our redeemer the full hour? Surely, He deserves it! This sounds a bit like a nag but it has become quite noticeable. It is my duty as pastor to point these issues out occasionally.
For many of the parish the only contact with the Church is for the Mass at the weekend because their lives are so busy, full and hard-working. So, for all our sakes, can we try and be more punctual and also stay the course and make it a fuller and richer experience for all.
As a little teaching point, the announcements are not an add-on but an essential part of the Mass showing how the life of the parish is active through the week…this is missioning…taking the grace we have received in communion out to the world to transform it. How can we do our part if we are not aware, blessed and sent forth in God’s name?
Please pray about these matters.
Thank you, sorry to nag … but … you know…!
May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter