This morning a friend of mine and I attended the Latin High Mass at St. Agnes in St. Paul. We sat near the front…about the 4th row. As such we could not see much behind us.
This question is really for those in the local area in case you were there.
The Mass was beautiful and I"m hooked…first experience at the Communion rail. I have to confess that I don’t think I got as much as I could have as I was a bit lost, even with a printout of the Latin/English translation. And the Communion rail…I had NO IDEA how to proceed so Deo Gratias (Lt: Thanks be to God) my friend was with me to kind of “lead”.
Anyway, during the homily, which was in English, the priest spoke about the issues facing us at election…abortion, stem cell research…etc. There were 2 women behind us and when the priest begain talking about how abortion has always been and still is wrong they got up…I remember someone behind me genuflecting and rapidly walking down the aisle towards the back of the church.
The homilist stopped and actually watched her/them leave. I did not turn around although I wanted to. After a bit, heels still echoing away, the priest said into the mike, “It’s still wrong.” And went on with his homily.
My friend and I discussed this on the way home. Neither of us turned around, but we both felt that the tension in the Mass was palpable. Of course this woman/women (I thought there was only 1, she thought there were 2) could have had genuine reasons for leaving, given the actions of the homilist and the timing, it seems likely that the rapid exodus had to do with the non-politically correct homily.
So! Was anyone from the local area there and did you see what happened behind us? We believe that the woman must have made some sort of gesture or something happend that we couldn’t see to cause the homilist to actually react…and we BOTH independently FELT the tension.
I don’t mean to gossip but I really do wonder about what might have transpired today. I have never seen a homilist react to someone leaving the church and his comment apparently directed at the person leaving was pretty obvious.
Sometimes I wish I was a kid again so I could justify my nosiness and reasoning for turning around!
Anyway…on a more positive note…is the Latin High Mass ALWAYS that beautiful, and is it ALWAYS so hard to understand the homilist what with all the echoing?