July 18-19, 2020
16th Sunday In Ordinary Time
What I Have Missed About Mass
During quarantine–closer to the beginning but far enough in that everyone was beginning to get restless–I wrote to a friend that we would all come out of it touch-starved, blinking in sudden sunlight, unsure of how, exactly, we were meant to proceed.
I hope we are all having a gentler reentry to normalcy, not so disorienting as I predicted to my friend. Now, some of us are beginning to return to physical Masses as we are able. Others of us are unable to return just yet.
In separation from it, I have had time to think about what I have missed about Mass. The Eucharist, for one. I believe we are all missing the sacrament, whether we recognize it or not. I miss helping in the capacities of altar server, choir member, sacristan.
But I have missed physical community most, the consoling and dynamic force of the collective. The Catholic Church is in its nature universal, and celebrating mass from home, while necessary, does less to impress that upon us. I miss seeing my friends at church every weekend and I had not realized exactly how much I value my religious community until it was suddenly inaccessible–or at least, more difficult to access.
In a way, the temporary nature of this separation is a silver lining. Across the world, there are many Catholics who cannot attend Mass and may not know when they may receive one of the sacraments next. As we begin our return to normalcy, let us continue to pray for those who have not yet reached that stage, and that they may have, if not the solidifying presence of a community, then the infinite presence of God and the Holy Spirit as companions.
– Isabel Sans