I’m working my way home from a backcountry ski vacation in Canada. This morning, I attended Mass at a very small parish in rural B.C. The experience was uplifting. The priest was reverent, especially in elevating the host and chalice, and said the black and did the red by the book. His homily was superb–he linked all three readings to our lives and committment to Christ every day. It obviously took a lot of work to craft and really hit home to me. Thank God for holy priests!
Before the Mass, most of the congregation prayed the Rosary, and after the Mass the priest led them as they prayed the St Michael prayer, plus several prayers for vocations and priests. No choir but nearly everyone I saw was singing loudly (during Mass), and it sounded better–more real heart–than many choirs I’ve heard.
At least 1/4 of the congregation did not go forward to receive Holy communion. Nobody held hands at any time during the Mass. No EHMCs, not wandering about the sanctuary, and not distributing communion–the priest distributed to one and all. Most received on the tongue, and an appropriately dressed server used a paten. The Kyrie was in Greek, the Sanctus and Angus Dei in Latin.
It was a wonderful, reverent Mass totally focused on the Lord.
I may emigrate! In all seriousness, I think what I saw was the difference that the firm leadership of one holy priest can make.