Monday, May 19, 2008

Hearing Mass. EcoWise at ShopWise. and a Boodle feast - Part I

I have Sundays off but boyfriend doesn't so I usually spend the day here at home and wait for him to get off at between 5 and 7 PM. At around lunch time, we would start IM'ing back and forth - what are we going to do, where are we going?

Yesterday, we decided to hear mass. Now, this is not something we normally do. In our 8 years together, we've attended mass together only a few times. When we started going out, he professed to be an atheist. He was going through personal struggles at that time and I'd like to think that I helped him turn back and rediscover his faith. No, I did not bring him to Church - not to mine, not anywhere. I gave him a wooden cross instead (rather lent him) and told him he could always hold on to it. Maybe we prayed together too. Okay, I also remember saying a silent prayer for him every night we were out together in the garden...

After some time and many long discussions with his closest friends who also did not believe in established religion, he just started hearing mass again.

I'm pretty open-minded about different faiths and religion. I grew up mingling with other kids from different churches - my ecumenical circle :) I owe that to the fact that our church was a member of, and my mom worked at, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP).

Anyway, since highschool I had it in my mind to visit other churches - a different kind of visita iglesia. At the time, one of my friends was a Catholic who went to Wednesday Novenas and my best friend was a Christian (she wasn't very active at church though at the time), so that for me offered opportunities to put that plan in to place. I was only able to attend a Sunday Service at my best friend's church once. I grew sleepy though. The youth service she invited me to some time later was more my thing. It was an afternoon event and she played the guitar. I actually enjoyed that. Sadly, boyfriend did not dig the praise music some of them were playing, he said he felt it was a little too loud. That's when I realized how he's not ready for that, he was raised and educated in Catholic institutions and though he respects other people's beliefs, he isn't ready for that much immersion.

Anyway, yesterday we decided to go hear Mass. There were no afternoon/Vespers mass in our Church at this time of year so I had to ask around for schedules at Catholic churches nearby. Because dining was also on boyfriend's mind and I was thinking of grocery shopping for Zune and oreo truffle ingredients, we decided to hear mass in Cubao. I asked my friend Vanette for the schedules in the Church near her apartment and asked her to tag along too if she wanted. It was my friend Joy who lived a few blocks away from the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish that took us up on the invitation.

I've only ever seen that Church from the outside a few times so I was surprised by its magnificence when we entered its doors. There was a lot of people too.

Sadly, I wasn't inspired. There was no misalet so I couldn't follow the readings and I could barely understand what was being read. I did try to pay attention to the Gospel reading and the succeeding sermon. The choir's singing was booming through the speaker system so I wasn't sure if the rest of the congregation was singing along, I know Joy and Alfred were, and I was trying too. Again, there was no misalet with the songs so I couldn't easily follow along. The only familiar song was what they sang at the end.

Everyone else was intent in their personal conversations with the Lord, I guess that's what is paramount. Sometimes I just feel that Sunday Mass is for celebrating your faith with others - it's a group event. If I was to have personal time with the Lord, I didn't have to be in Church with a hundred other people to do that. It reminded me of how family fits in my idea of church and Sunday services.

We didn't line up to receive communion too, which I've always found odd with some people.

Don't get me wrong, I am in no way trying to pass judgment on anyone or anybody, understand that I am searching for an outlet too and trying to understand myself and my faith.


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