Thursday, November 01, 2007

All Saints Day...

...and I cycled to Mother's for tea: she produced lovely cakes and I some American maple-syrup cookies. Gave her some pumpkin-scented soap(!) from Alabama. She is so happy about the arrival of her latest great-grandchild and we talked about this, and I also related my American adventures... Cycled home through one of the most glorious sunsets I have ever seen - did other readers notice it? The glow from the pink and golden clouds ripened the Autumn leaves on the suburban trees to an almost luminous orange....

To the Sacred Heart Church at Wimbledon for evening Mass. Well, two Masses actually as Fr Mitchell had given me permission to hand out Towards Advent handbills so I was anxious to reach as many people as possible. LOTS of people at Mass, as yesterday for the vigil Mass. Now: our Bishops must get this message firmly:


Here we are on All Saints, with people filling a big Victorian church on a November evening - because it's the feast of All Saints and we are glad to mark it!

It is one of the few Holy Days left to us, following our Bishops silly and tiresome bureacratic reasoning. If it were Ascension Day, or Corpus Christi, we'd be told we should stay at home and only celebrate on the nearest Sunday instead.

After the final Mass, I was invited to the home of the delightful E. family - oldest son Thomas is my godson - where there was mulled wine, and a candlelit room, and good conversation, and a new baby glowing with health, a perfect way to round off All Saints' Day.


Dorothy B said...

9.30 Mass on All Saints' Day, very well attended, in a lovely Victorian church in an English town. The celebrant greeted the congregation as they emerged into the street. All very cheerful and friendly and bustling. I noticed one or two passers-by looking at the scene with curiosity and interest. They were obviously wondering what the special occasion was. And that impression, which for all we know has led many a person on the first steps to the fullness of the Catholic Church, is just one of the precious opportunities the English and Welsh bishops have thrown away with their decision to move the feasts of Epiphany, Ascension and Corpus Christi to the nearest Sunday.

Anonymous said...

There's hope in Philadelphia! The International Institute for Culture, a group of great Catholics who meet frequently for all sorts of wonderful activities, within a short walk of the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary--

and very near this beautiful church staffed by the Mercedarian Fathers

Here's a place where you'll find Catholic worship at its finest. The IRC sponsors the Schola Nova who often sing at the beautiful Masses at Our Lady of Lourdes--Masses in Latin (both Novus Ordo and "Tridentine") as well as in English.

If ever you're in Philadelphia, please look for the IRC and Our Lady of Lourdes, a beautifully restored church that looks like it was picked up out of France and dropped down in the Overbrook neighbourhood.

It is from parishes like this one that the Faith of Our Fathers is again reaching out, and I predict that before long, we shall see all those precious opportunities shining forth again!


Anonymous said...

We had an acceptable turnout at Leeds chaplaincy for All Saints. But not much sense of celebration.

We allowed a holiday to turn into a Holy Day of obligation to turn into a chore to turn into "can't be bothered" to turn into "neither can the Church".

Even Wetherspoon's pub no longer celebrated Halloween - there was an ale festival starting on All Saints'. All it takes is for the local parish to say "we're going down to pub after Mass to celebrate this" and they'll happily put up balloons and knock ten percent off the price of beer.

Banshee said...

We had the same kind of lovely sunset here in Ohio! I was hurrying toward it, down the big hill from church to my place, and managed to get home just before it really got dark.

It's agreeable to walk home in the dark on All Saint's Day, but I have to say it's easier with a sunset in your face than headlights! :)