We are not parishioners of The Sacred Heart and St., Thomas in Exeter, but were delighted to join those who are, for Mass in the Extraordinary Form yesterday.It is only the second time that I have been able to attend this Mass and I know that I have much to learn.
Just a few observations:
The silence of this Mass is stunning-I found it an enormous help in uncluttering my mind and focusing on what was before me.
I know that the priest (at any Mass) acts 'in Persona Christi'; at yesterday's Mass, I perceived this again (struggling to find the right words here)with more depth during and after the Consecration.
It was a joy to kneel at the Communion rail to receive first the Blessing, then immediately, My Lord and Saviour.
Facing 'ad orientam' with the priest heightened my understanding of the priest praying with us, and for us.
Our children want to know more of this Mass.
After Mass, how lovely it was to pray the Memorare followed by the Prayer to St. Michael, the Archangel.
To attend Mass in the E.F., for us, involves a round trip of about seventy miles, an hour's travelling each way. Somehow, the extra effort required seems to remind us that Mass (in either Form) is the most important event of the day.
Sunday Mass in The Extraordinary Form is offered once a month here, and we are definitely going to be back!