Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Roving reporter

Yes the roving reporter has returned, after spending time in the USA, Spain and Italy. It is good to see the blog re-activating after a month in hibernation. I hope our readership has not totally disappeared - Please come back!!

In the next few days and weeks I will be informing you with commentary on churches and liturgical practices in the places I visited, and what it means in the context of current day trends in the church.

As for Mass attendance, the US leg was very secular, so I did not get to attend any Masses there. In Spain, Sunday Masses are few and far between which was a bit of a surprise in this "Catholic" country, and no liturgical celebration did not coincide at all with our schedule.

In Rome I had the pleasure of attending Solemn Mass in St Peters Basilica on 30th September (Ordinary Form - Latin), and Low Mass at the FSSP (Extraordinary Form) chapel of San Gregorio in Muratorio (thats St Gregory of the Bricklayers) on 7th October. I had the pleasure of meeting Fr Brendan Gerrard FSSP and Fr Joseph Kramer FSSP after the Mass. This morning it will be strange to attend a Mass in English - I will provide you with my reactions later!

San Gregorio is a tiny church and looks much bigger on the website than it really is. The nave is wider than it is long, and would be about the same size as my lounge / kitchen / dining area at home. The Altarpiece is in serious need of cleaning and a big donation would enable the fathers to restore it to its Baroque splendor (please dig deep!). However, with all the soot and rising damp, it is a part of what the Roman holiday experience is all about, and unlike going to Mass at St Peters there are no crowds no queuing and no electronic screening to attend Mass.
When I left after the 9.00am Low Mass the choir had arrived and were warming up for the 10.30am High Mass. I would have liked to have stayed around, but there was some serious Museum crawling to be done.

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