I know what you’re thinking – no posts for a week and now two posts in one day! Relax, this one is pretty short.
This evening I had some moments of peace and joy that I had to share. Feeling connected to faith has been a challenge for me for some time. From time to time I’ve been known, in a moment of guilt, to attend Sunday evening mass at 5 p.m. at Sacred Heart Cathedral. Today was one of those times. At the appointed time, 4:30 p.m., I left my house. Since I arrived not on time but actually early (a feat for me), I had some time to look around the church, read a couple of passages and generally reflect on my Catholicism. By the time mass started I was getting pretty melancholy – when the organ began for the processional, waves of nostalgia floated over me. My childhood memories came flashing back in bursts – it was as if I were transported back in time. Even though the liturgy is different for the most part, I couldn’t help but feel a connection that was reminiscent of my seventh-grade year at St. Andrew’s, the year in which I was convinced I had a vocation to become a Sister of Mercy. If you happen to know me well, you can stop laughing now.
But truly, the most joyous moment was when the recessional hymn began. The mammoth pipe organ began the introduction to “Joy to the World,” and my heart skipped a beat. It was so loud and people were singing audibly, I got chills and a big grin on my face. We sang four verses from beginning to end – I could have died then and there and not been afraid.
When it was over, I put my coat on, said good night to the people sitting around me and the nice gentlemen at the back handing out parish digests. As I exited the church, the chill of the night air hit me smack in my face. I looked around. When I went in to mass, it was still light and few people were around. But now, it was dark, people were milling around chatting and bustling to their cars. The lights from the cars on the main street and the side streets next to the church looked like the lights on a Christmas tree. There it was! It was Christmas – really and truly Christmas for me – on January 9th! (Today is officially, by the way, the end of the church’s Christmas season.)
On my way home I decided that I’m going to put my Ipod in my car and listen to Christmas hymns for the next week or so. I want to keep this feeling for a while. I’ve included a YouTube video of an organ version of “Joy to the World.” Maybe I’ll play it a few times this week.
Have a Joy-filled week!