We celebrated Midnight Mass at the newly refurbished St Mary’s Cathedral in Perth. Aesthetically it was a wonderful night and the new cathedral was magnificent. A choir and small chamber orchestra provided even more splendour to the service, much of which was sung in Latin 🙂
A while back in comments on another GD blog I mentioned that an Archbishopric is essentially an administrative post. Perth’s Archbishop Hickey is, I feel, definitely more an administrator than a religious inspiration. However, he chose several wonderful co-celebrants and, as always, at the moment of transubstantiation the Mystery was real. Say what you will about Catholics, I still think their practice of Real Presence beats the symbolism of many Protestants.
The only down side was parking. Ironically, most of the spots were taken not by those attending mass but people enjoying Perth’s nightlife (such as it is), yearning for things somewhat different than the ‘faithful’ in the Cathedral.
Sibling weddings and partnerships over the last year has seen my ‘family’ expand considerably. Consequently Christmas saw us visit several homes for various feasts. Christ, God or religion was not mentioned once. Except, perhaps if we view my brother’s “We Believe in Santa Claus” Christmas wreath as a religious statement not a joke. Best not to go there…
Now I know this is impossible and will never happen, but…
wouldn’t it be great if Christmas could be just a religious holiday? Not that I have anything against the tradition of secular family feasting, conviviality, gathering and sharing. This is an important time for most families. But in my ideal world, we could move the secular part of Christmas – which let’s face it is the major aspect these days, to New Year’s Day, which has no religious overtones to spoil the broth or make people feel guilty for not practicing etc. That would leave Christmas just for religion and practice. And free up those parking spots 🙂
Just a thought…one that shows how old I am getting.
Happy (western) secular New Year to all MOTO readers and friends.