This week I am scheduled to celebrate Mass for our cloistered Carmelite nuns in Savannah, 25 miles away from my rectory. It began yesterday with a 6 AM Mass. Our Carmelites are from Kenya and thus they have an incluturated form of the Mass as it concerns their music, language and bongo drums. It is quite interesting and it was the first hybrid Kenyan language/English Mass I have ever celebrated as normally when I celebrate Mass there it is always in English. It was quite lovely and I was not in anyway put out by the language, music or bongos. I was appreciative of it in fact.
Then I had my normal 8:30 AM Mass. Our music is a blend of organ and piano and musical selections are often more contemporary than what I have experienced since 1985. But it was very beautiful, reverent and strengthening of our Catholic Faith.
Then our 11:00 AM Mass was our once a month "childrens' Mass". We have a lovely children's choir and their selections are juvenile but in the positive sense of the word. They are fun to listen to and they do sing their hearts out and are quite proud of what they do. We also have children lectors, a child cantor who is as good as any of our adults and at the homily time, a give a children's homily and invite the kids to the altar to sit in front of me. My homily was quite good, if I do say so myself, and given the Gospel of the day, with Jesus expelling a demon who tells the world who Jesus is, "The Holy One of God" I mentioned that if a demon knows who Jesus is, how much more should we and then I said let's talk about demons and a four year child raised her hand and said "I don't know what a demon is." And I said, "that's good for me to know and then I explained the fall of the angels and how the Archangel Lucifer began the rebellion and disobeyed God with complete freedom of the will for an eternity and brought other lesser angels with him who would forever fight a losing battle against God and drag many human beings to their losing side. I spoke of the great Archangel Michael who defends us in battle. Then I concluded the homily by passing out the St. Michael the Archangel prayer and we faced our lovely statue of him and prayed it together. Stunning no?
Then to cap my liturgical diversity day that has led to my liturgical multiple personality disorder dysfunction, I celebrated the Cathedral's 1 PM Extraordinary Form for the First Sunday of Septuagesima! I wore lovely violet Roman Vestments. The Catheral Schola is a good as any in our country and they need to do a CD of their complicated Gregorian Chant and polyphony. The leader of the band is 27 years old and the oldest in the schola of about 12 kids who are all much younger than he!
I have to say that I am transported by this form of the Mass into a form of mysticism that I have never experienced in the OF Mass. And since I am facing the apse of the church/cathedral, I can allow my facial expressions to symbolize the euphoria and mysticism I am experiencing especially with the absolutely splendid chanting. I feel as though I am in a 6th century monsastery and could well be--time stands still and I am in eternity which is palpable in this form of the Mass, not so much in the OF Mass unfortunately.
So doctor, how serious is my multiple liturgical personality disorder? Can I be helped?
I feel like the character in the movie "The Three Faces of Eve" who lived near Augusta, GA in the 1950's and brought worldwide attention to multiple personality disorder at that time. I grew up in Augusta and I hope it isn't contagious!