Friday, November 2, 2007
I don't think I'd been to mass on All Saint's Day in any of my adult life until last night. At least, if I had, I don't remember. I had to lector last night, so I went by myself. Just a smattering of people were there, all sitting in the front of the church. I'm always kind of intrigued by the gatherings I see at holy day masses, and a little in awe — the various assortment of people who, for whatever reason, come to church on a weeknight in spite of their busy schedules. It's different than the Sunday crowd; I imagine these are people who really want to be there, who find meaning in this particular holy day and want to spend their time in worship, or to be around others who are worshipping with them. I heard a baby crying in the back. I heard a couple of people talking about having to pick up their kids from practice afterward. Maybe there are a few who were dragged in by guilt, since it is, after all, a holy day of obligation. At any rate, it was a peaceful, beautiful service. Father Joe gave a simple homily, reminding us that the feasts of All Saints and All Souls bind us with those who have gone before us, those who will come after us, and those all around us with whom we walk through this world. I don't know if it was pregnancy hormones or my increased sensitivity to my own mortality or just my general emotional nature, but it really moved me to listen to that homily and feel connected especially with the ragtag collection of people who gave up their Thursday evening to gather with others and celebrate the communion of saints, the communion of humanity.