... on Saturday evening, and again early on Sunday morning... I was there to give out leaflets about the Towards Advent Festival after all the Masses. At the earliest Sunday Mass, I met a friend - who had just come off-shift after working all night at a media network and was hurrying to Mass before going home to sleep. She helped me hand out leaflets first. Now that's real five-star friendship.
At the Oratory, they pray for HM the Queen at all the Masses in the Bidding Prayers. We did this in the parish where I grew up, and I think it should be more regularly done everywhere...
Large crowds of course, for the 10 am Mass (lots of young families) and the 11 am Mass (all ages, and lots of visitors esp. from America and Australia) and the 7pm Mass (very large numbers of young people, many of them v. elegant in a just-the-right-of-denim-jeans sort of way, making me feel v. matronly and aunt-like with my skirt and coat).
I ran into lots of friends, and the whole day was fun. In the afternoon, I whizzed off to the suburbs to take Mother out to tea, then back again for the evening Mass...at the end of which I got chatting to a young couple, friends of one of my godsons. Conversation ranged over various topics and I mentioned that I sometimes felt gloomy about Britain, could not feel optimistic about the future. "Do you really think that?" the young man asked in genuine astonishment, despite the fact that he'd been saying the Govt is hopeless, Tories aren't going to be any better, pro-life movement doesn't seem to be going anywhere, etc etc. "But we've just been saying that London is a wonderful place, it's been a fantastic, sunny, beautiful Autumn day, day, and - well - everything feels marvellous!" He - and others - believe that the Church here has lots going for it, and there is no need to be gloomy at all. So Auntie should shake off her middle-aged despondency.