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A globe-trotting Massgoer in lockdown

It has been an unusual experience travelling the world for Mass from our living room. The choice of Mass in English is, it seems, available in many overseas countries.

a globe showing Europe and Africa

The churches, cathedrals, and private chapels open a window onto Masses in different countries, cultures and world views. From Maundy Thursday with the Pope where Mass was in Italian and Latin to New Zealand which included Maori in the Mass.

Chapels that were ornate or plain to the point of stark were also on view but the central point remained the tabernacle as it should be. There were altars which faced away from the people and churches where the communion rail was still in evidence….

The time travel aspect was also there, in that, for the Latin Mass I grew up with the words came unbidden but remembered. In one memorable Mass the priest came in wearing his biretta (which again I had not seen since I was a child).

However, in all this whether the words be identical or variable, the essence that is the Mass remained throughout – a comfort in this strange world we live in and a reminder that we are the universal church.

Some churches did have a socially distanced congregation and the joy of the return was evident in the singing and rejoicing in the prayers.

Countries visited:

  • Ireland

  • Italy

  • New Zealand

  • Nigeria

  • Canada

  • Australia

  • and obviously many counties of the UK.


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