Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Tale of Two Masses

At 9:00 am, in a little parish church in a working class neighborhood, the pews are packed, chairs set up in the back of the church likewise.

At the front of the church, classes of confirmandi; boys to one side, girls to the other. I am surprised at how many- probably 60-70 teenagers in all.

The Latin Mass (Low Mass) is offered reverently, the homily is a reflection on the Gospel reading of the Transfiguration.

The prayers after Low Mass are recited by the whole congregation, and at least half the church remains behind afterward, to pray.

At 5:30 pm, in a parish church built in the form of an hyperbola in one of the richest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, the pews are three quarters empty.

The band, consisting in guitar, electric bass, drums, and piano, rehearses right up to the moment that the priest enters.

The Novus Ordo Mass is offered reverently, the homily is a reflection on the "resignation" of the Pope (he is just too old, and has found out that he wasn't really in charge after all- he is referred to repeatedly as "Ratzinger").

The priest reads a letter "from a friend" describing the kind of Pope he hopes will be elected (one who "wears pants" instead of "ridiculous regalia").

The Church is empty within two minutes of the end of Mass.

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