Well . . . WHAT a fun day had by so many : and yes, I am talking about The Latin Mass Society’s Annual Requiem at Westminster Cathedral !
The Mass itself was exactly what one would expect; a well-sung, well-celebrated, perfectly normal proper Requiem, with a very decent-sized congregation of several hundred and a sensible and encouraging Sermon from Bishop Arnold.
Indeed, I had only two quibbles, neither of which were to do with the Society : why did the Cathedral think that it was appropriate to provide purple stoles for the Priests who were assisting in administering Holy Communion, rather than black ones to match the vestments; and does it really have only one black cope so that the Assistant Priest had to ‘vanish’ at the end of the Mass so that his cope was available for the Bishop to wear for the Absolutions ?
However . . . we were all there, and we all prayed for the Holy (and possibly the unholy) Departed, and made our Holy Communions . . . and then, after the Absolutions and whatever closing prayers we chose to offer privately, we went off to do whatever we were going to do for the rest of the day . . . which for quite a number of us turned out to mean meeting friends (and new friends) and spending several hours enjoying their company, talking about practically everything under the sun, and generally rejoicing in God’s love for us all in a variety of different ways.
And if for some of us (five or six bloggers, plus numerous other friends) this meant causing the manager of a local Italian Restaurant some concerns when we asked for a table for thirteen when his restaurant was already full, and he was short-staffed, well that was just one of those unexpected moments . . . I should say, for the record, that the meal was good and enjoyable, and that despite the alleged shortage of staff we were well looked-after; and that we ultimately went on our various ways refreshed and revived, and glad of God’s generous grace for the day.
So : the Holy Dead had been prayed for (particularly important for me, yesterday, for various reasons), but God had also granted His servants the grace of experiencing, and enjoying, His generous love for us; for which I thank Him profoundly.
I hope you all had a good day, too; and that you have also offered your prayers to God for the Holy Dead.