I have just returned from a somewhat epic journey to Adelaide. Originally planned to take place on my motorcycleHowever, due to recent back problems, the motorcycle idea was abandoned and the car option taken up. An option that was cheaper than flying, however, which ended up being more expensive due to an encounter with the boys in blue (or in this case, a bright yellow patrol car) in the back blocks of rural Victoria. I won’t do that again…
The purpose of the trip was a school reunion (shudder), which nevertheless turned out to be a surprisingly enjoyable event. It also gave me the opportunity to catch up with innumerable family members and to revisit (however briefly) some old haunts.
But this is not a blog about personal reminiscences; rather it is a blog about things churchly. I had two significant liturgical experiences, once on Saturday morning in Horsham, and again the next morning at St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Adelaide.
The first experience afforded me the unexpected pleasure of worshipping together with a regular reader of this blog who goes by the pen name of “Arabella”. I know she struggles at times to come to terms with “things as they are”, but once again here we must take issue with the Frederic J. Einsteins of the world and say that be it ever so awfully conducted at times, the liturgy of the Catholic Church is a true, valid and efficacious celebration of the Holy Mysteries of our Lord’s Body and Blood. I found it so that morning, and it cheered me to go on my way knowing that we had stood together in our Lord’s presence. It being between 1-8 of November, I also stopped at a cemetary along the way and implored a plenery indulgence for a school friend of mine who had died many years ago (and was sorely missed at the reunion).
The next morning (after the reunion, and recovering from the early morning bed time and the affluence of incohol) I went to SFX Cathedral in Adelaide. I hear that dear Archbishop Philip is not at all well, and so the celebrant for the day was Australia’s newest bishop, Greg O’Kelly SJ. I must say that I enjoyed the liturgy thoroughly. One could quibble that the bishop did not chant the liturgy (although the “Through him etc.” was chanted, as was the Lord’s Prayer), and that the congregation seemed quite used to saying “God/God’s” instead of “him/his” in the Gloria and the “Pray Brethren” and omitted altogether the word “men” after “for us” in the Creed, but these are mere quibbles. The hymnody was good, the singing was good, the peoples parts of the mass were well chanted, the Choir sang a nice polyphonic setting of the mass. And (as my little Lutheran heart so often desires) communion was in both kinds. The bishop’s sermon was excellent. I went on my way rejoicing (gaining another plenary indulgence for my deceased Aunt in West Adelaide cemetary).
So I had a good spiritual journey, despite all other set backs.