Sunday, March 02, 2008

Mass at St Francis, Tripoli

To Mass at midday, at St Francis church in Tripoli - though actually I think it may be a cathedral, as it has a bishop. It's very imposing from the outside. Click here to see the image in Flickr, where there's a bigger version for the curious. Inside, it was reminiscent of a parish church. The congregation were about 30ish souls, mostly (I would guess) Filipinos, with a handful of Europeans and slightly more black Africans. The sung bits of the mass were accompanied by a guitar, with a wee touch of atonality which made it difficult to join in. And the creed was raced through. At the sign of peace, it was good to get big smiles - and a lady near the front turned round and dished out V peace signs to anyone whose eyes she caught, which was novel (to me) and nice.

What was interesting was, the way the same words and essential procedure feel different according to the environment. Everything went the same as it did this morning (no doubt) in St Aloysius, Hebburn, and yet it was different. It's a great comfort, though, to have the same Mass in Tripoli as on Tyneside. I don't feel so far away now. I got such a lift from going, for all kinds of reasons, mostly ineluctable. Next week, I'll be at work on Sunday, so I'll have to go to a later Mass, which is in Italian.