Sunday, 4 September 2011
Arriving in media res
Everything went swimmingly, all connections made and picked up wonderfully by Mr Francis, a maths master. I arrived in Chavagnes to see all the boys arriving, with parents in tow. The boys are great, though there are lots of faces and too many names. It will take time, and even though there are not too many of them, I do not have a great track record of remembering names.
In a fortuitous way, I had not said Mass yet, so when I arrived and deposited my things, it was a good opportunity to offer the Sacrifice officially in my Chapel. I'd said Mass there before of course, but it is a little different when you're there officially.
New rite Latin, and the boys are going to need a little brushing up (but then again so will I. I usually say the Extra-Ordinary Form in Latin, and the Ordinary is different in places, and it does trip you up.) But the lovely thing about it was the ease. In the new rite, the servers have to learn the idiosyncrasies of the Priest, and they do not know that yet, so every movement was accompanied by sotto voce instructions 'genuflect, give me my biretta, go back to your seat'. And we forgot to light the altar candles and to bring out the communion plate.
But the great thing was that it was just all a bit rough and ready. Not on purpose for that would not be fitting for the Divine Sacrifice, but as happenchance. We learn together. This is the beginning of term, and they can see that we strive for perfection but do not always get it. It does not matter that they did not pick up the Mass booklets, they did not know they were there. They will next time. And next time, I will remember the candles! Or better still teh servers will!
Together, pray God, we will do great things... a little unsteady at the beginning, but just rusty, that's all.
I have people again!