Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ash Wednesday


Local church absolutely packed for the 10 am Mass with large crowds going up to receive ashes - and this in an ordinary suburb. I hadn't expected this, and only just got a seat. The evening Masses on Ash Wednesday are always overcrowded, but I hadn't known the morning ones were too.

This all goes to show that people don't object to attending Mass on a special day - a point I wish our Bishops had noted when they casually cancelled a whole lot of our Holy days...ooops, sorry, moved them to the nearest Sunday. It was one of the single most damaging things they could have done to a sense of Christian culture and identity.

Afterwards we were asked to continue helping distribute cards about the Parish Mission - once through every letter-box in the parish. They were laid out in neat stacks, each topped with the name of the road to be tackled. Two of these were on my route home so I took was the High Street, and it was really rather interesting diving into the backs of shops find the residential bits behind and above. You get a sense of how the town grew, and what some of the original buildings looked like, as the back bits are of course not masked with modern frontages, neon-lit signs etc. About half of our local shops are now Korean-owned,and many are travel agents, representatives of various Korea-based businesses and enterprises, etc, plus a good many KOrean restaurants and food-shops. Most of the shops that I remember were here when we moved to the town some 20 years ago have gone.

If you live in London or its southern suburbs - come to our parish mission! Information here


Anonymous said...

Just got back from the 5.30pm Mass at Westminster Cathedral which was packed - plenty of people standing at the back and a glance around showed mostly working people in their 20s and 30s.

Anonymous said...

There would have been more at our 7.15am mass but the new Parish Priest has cancelled the 6.30am Mass on Holy Days of Obligation and moved the evening mass forward to 7.30pm. This is in a church serving a commuter suburb. No consultaion. I wonder whether he realises the dissonence between talk of a 'collaborative ministry' from the alter and what he does in the parish?

Anonymous said...

I attended a Mass which the Cardinal celebrated for the workers at Canary Wharf, which HSBC kindly hosted in their tower. Hundreds of people in attendance, almost entirely young "city" workers, and it took a very long time for imposition of ashes and distribution of communion. The Cardinal seemed genuinely moved by the size of the congregation, as was I. It would seem that the Faith is alive and well even among the temples of Mammon!