Special guests included descendants of the benefactor, John Hughes, (who gifted the land to build the church at the end of the 19th century), along with politicians, other religious, and 400+ worshippers.
N ow, three months later, we celebrate the Feast of St Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits. I’ve spent a busy few weeks preparing for this Feast Day Mass, and I’m very satisfied with the way the community engaged and enjoyed the day. T he Ignatian aspect to the community at St Canice’s is very strong, so for this Feast Day, I wanted to tap in to that, and create a thoughtful ‘liturgy’ to engage more deeply with the ideals of Ignatius. It is still a ‘performance’, but more importantly, I believe it was ‘good liturgy’ that seemed to resonate well with so many on the day. A sign of this is the number of people who stay for the ‘cup of tea’ after a Mass and mingle.
There would be no ‘grand performance’ without our fantastic liturgical organist, Christine. This busy woman, mother, teacher, organist not only advises on the music, but sources and scripts the musicians who make for a ‘grand performance’.
Appropriate flowers are another essential part of a ‘grand performance’. Stalwart Gerhard, whose flowers heighten the sense of celebration during Christmas and Easter and on Feast Days, is off in Germany. I’ve watched him and swept up after him often enough, so now I do it. I plant a ‘Spring Garden’ in front of the altar, based on something I’d seen at St Elizabeth’s in Wroclaw Poland on last Pentecost Sunday, and one of the ladies has since written asking me to handle the flowers for her funeral!
A music and video record of such an occasion is grand to have for posterity and patrimony (and I like doing it anyway).
Disaster! Time for the show to go on – a trumpet fanfare blasts forth; followed by a rousing Prelude; and a powerfully performed opening verse of the Ignatius Hymn – when I realise that I’ve pressed the wrong button for Movies on my new camera. Damn! I’ve recorded nothing!
I give myself points for my calm reaction. (My recently resumed practice of daily Meditation is working.) With a flick of the switch, and just two seconds to spare, I press the correct ‘Record’ button, and capture the last two verses of Pascal singing the St Ignatius hymn. I also get the ‘Opening’ that I missed thanks to Christine and the musicians jumping to the rescue after Mass and playing it again for me to re-record. Listen to it in the video embedded in this post.