We visited St Mary’s in Cowes today for Mass. It’s a fairly normal parish, with the unusual fact that it has an even higher than normal proportion of pensioners (local retirees on the Island), and parish priest of the “good old” sort. Today it was packed with holiday makers for the long weekend (actually its nice to see lots of young families, on holidays, turn up for mass). The music is presented by a fairly enthusiastic guitar and flute group (with a choir of sorts) even though the repertoire is limited (you can always expect “Here I am Lord” or “Come as you are”). It is singable at least.
As I said, the parish priest, who can’t be more than a few years off retirement age, is a traditional kind of guy. Not a “traditionalist”, but the sort of guy who does what is “traditional”. For instance, I have never seen communion offered under both kinds at St Mary’s. They still have two collections (“Hobbit first and second collections”, as I commented to my daughter – that got a giggle).
But is this a “tradition”? Or was it ever? I know that it is usual to shroud the images and statues and crucifixes etc. from “Passion Sunday” onwards (6th Sunday in Lent in the new money, 5th in the old), but I was never aware of a custom in which the shrouding took place from the very beginning of Lent.