After St. Michael’s I drove about 4 blocks over to catch a Brazilian Mass said in Portuguese. This was my 3rd out of 4 masses this weekend said in a language other than English!!
I got into the parking lot as the Spanish mass was getting out. I parked, walked to the front of the church and walked up the stairs. I took a step in and was totally overwhelmed! It was beautiful with a huge red altar wall with gold paintings, the stained glass above the crucifix shone through the morning light, and the wood ceiling was rich and protective. The windows were enormous and told the well loved stories of Christ’s life. I went in and took some pictures. When I turned around to look up at the choir loft, I saw the sign over the entrance/exit at the back of the church. “MOTHER OF GOD, BE WITH US ON OUR WAY.” What a nice thought to have as you leave the church….Mary is with us…what a nice image to hold onto. How nice!
There must have been over 200 parishioners who filed in as the rock band warmed up and the video system was plugged in and set up since there were no hymnal books for anyone. The whole mass was projected to the large screen.
The music was fabulous. As the priest came down the aisle EVERYBODY sang and the clapping began. It was so alive with a great family feeling.
There was such a community feeling. The adults seemed to be swapping children, cuddling them, and kissing them. Grown men openly hugged their friends and slapped each on the shoulders, girlfriends/boyfriends or husbands/wives stood and prayed with arms around each other. It was more like a celebration of a community than a mass. It was absolutely wonderful to witness.
It made me wonder what it would be like to grow up in a homogenous community…everyone the same cultural background, religion, traditions, etc. It was kind of cool. It was the same feeling I had at the Spanish masses I have been to….or the Vietnamese mass. Very interesting!