11.30 Mass at St Nameless’s: 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, 2011)

Entrance Here I Am, Lord (Dan Schutte)
Preparation of the Gifts In bread we bring you, Lord (Kevin Nichols)
Memorial Acclamation He is Lord (2 verses)
Communion Bind us together
Recessional As I kneel before you (Maria Parkinson)

At the cathedral today they celebrated First Holy Communion for the children of the parish, and the choir were given the customary weekend off.

I went to the principal Sunday Mass in my home parish, where they were celebrating the Leavers’ Mass for the local primary school. The children acted as readers, and there was a School Assembly-style contribution from all the children before the final blessing, but otherwise it was a normal Sunday Mass.

There’s never any strong sign that liturgy and music here are shaped by familiarity with the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, or Celebrating the Mass, and the parish priest seems content not to do anything about it. My impression is that the only template for the way liturgy is conducted in the parish is local practice over the last few decades. I don’t think there’s any sense among the parishioners that it ought to be done differently.

The parish priest contributed some game-show host antics, in recruiting one of the children to take over from him in leading the penitential rite. (He put a microphone in front of the child, and said “Say I confess, and everyone will follow”, with predictable comedy consequences.) The PP also led the one piece of “ritual” music, namely the hymn that stood in for the Memorial Acclamation, calling out the words for verse two, Gospel-music style, over the last notes of verse one.

I was saddened by the spectacle, and mildly embarrassed that it’s the parish I live in.

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