Sunday, March 16, 2008

Palm Sunday: Matters Spiritual

To Mass. It opened with the children, the Sisters and the Clergy coming in an walking around the church singing and waving palms and olive branches. The altar was decorated with palms. Seeing the bishop with his staff and mitre, looking dignified without pomposity, reminded me that this IS a see, and that St Francis' is a cathedral, even though the congregation is less than half the size of our parish church back home.

The Mass was half and half English and Italian again. I'm getting the hang of it now. A wee nun next to me pointed out the responses in the Italian sections. The creed was in Italian only, but I was able to follow it by saying it in English, the two languages jogging along happily together on the tongue, and in the ear.

Afterwards, Tarik the taxi driver was outside the church. We were both unaccountably chuffed at the fact that his prayers at the mosque had finished precisely in time for him to pick me up after mine.

Then I went with Tarik to get a the trousers on my new suit taken up, and to get some self igniting charcoal for my shisha pipe, and a few cans of Crown no-alcohol beer to go with it. I'd agreed to get some strawberry flavoured tobacco for Colin, my fellow shisha addict, but the seems to be a dearth of it. At least I found out the Arabic name for strawberry: frau-la.

In Tarik's taxi, on the way to Mass and on the way home, I realised how unexpectedly fond of this City I've become.