I have this habit of hearing Sunday Mass. I make it a point to go every Sunday, if I can’t – I attend the anticipated Mass the evening before Sunday. Whenever I travel and a Sunday is included – the first thing I do is look for a Church. Yes, I am weird that way. I don’t find it an excuse not to hear Mass when I’m away. I usually hear Mass in English – well, most of the countries I’ve been – I’ve been lucky enough that they have an English Mass. Well, except for three instances – one was in Japan and the other was in Bohol where Mass was said in Bisaya and most recently in French!
I find that Mass is being celebrated the same but the *feeling* is different. Take for instance in Hong Kong and Singapore, Mass goers were disciplined. They sat on pews very organized not picking where to sit, it was the same when I heard Mass in Singapore. They slowly filled up one pew after another. In Tokyo, Japan – it was sporadic. I guess the Mass I attended was way too early so we were only a few – their pews don’t have kneelers attached to them, instead they have individual foam block just under the pew. In London, it was all seats – but they had kneelers, in Paris – Notre Dame to be specific, didn’t have kneelers at all only chairs. Churches in Hong Kong and in Singapore were pretty the same to what we have here.
They were all solemn in their own right. I appreciated the quietness of the Mass being said in Tokyo and London. I appreciated the gusto of singing in Hong Kong and Singapore. I appreciated the serenity and awe of Mass in Notre Dame. I was so used to singing the Filipino way of hearing Mass – I was used to the many ceremonies, the singing coupled with monologues and lots of actions. In Tokyo and London – they didn’t do singing. And I found it very solemn, it was very quiet and monotonous but very meaningful still. Here in the Philippines, the priest has a LOT of assistants. In London – it was a one man show, the priest did everything! He did all the readings himself and everything else, I was amazed! I guess priests in the Philippines (or maybe in Asia) are spoiled. Hahaha!! I guess when you hear Mass long enough, you’ll get the *feel* of the flow of the Mass without even with the language barrier. I love my Catholic faith, I am not perfect, my faith may not be too, but I am in awe of it. Here’s to more travels and hearing Mass in different Languages!