Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Hols: Mass in Pollensa

Paulinus Minor Major and I went to Mass on the middle Sunday of our holiday in Pollensa (Paulinus Minor Minor had a tummy bug, poor thing. Franco's Revenge? Manuel's Revenge?)

The Boy gave a gasp of astonishment as we walked through the undistinguished doors at the sight that greeted him. "Wow, Dad! This is amazing. Do you think we could make our church at home like this?" (renovations start soon but I don't think Monsignor can run to a couple of hundred square metres of gilding, a dozen new life-size statues, eight marble side-altars and a painted ceiling)

Mass was a straightforward vernacular affair celebrated reverently with a pleasingly full and diverse congregation (locals and holidaymakers). The choir sang the ordinaries in Spanish in a manner in keeping with the GIRM.

It struck me that the Novus Ordo, far from being less clericalised is precisely the opposite - presbytercentric. In the re-ordering of this church the altar has been moved or replaced to stand free and the priest presides from behind it, the centre of attention. When he faces the people, he is their focus again. Ad orientem celebration seems to anonymise the priest (in either form) at the consecration and when, as previously, he sat at 'liturgical south', he was again, removed from the centre and Christ, the Word Made Flesh, was the centre.

The only fly in the ointment was what was sung at Communion. Was it to please the dangerously liberal British punters? It was delivered in English by a voice from the choir who came across as a cross between Manuel and Julio Iglesias. (I'm not sneering - I'm sure my Spanish makes me sound like a cross between Alan Bennett and Ken Stott)

Here it is. At least the priest had a wry smile. I hope he had a quiet word after.

We consoled ourselves with a wee cafe con leche in the square after. The Boy had a Sprite.

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Blogger Rita said...

That song by Mrs Zimmerman's little boy seems to be something of a favourite in Spanish churches. I've heard it often (in Spanish)in decidedly ordinary rural Andalucia miles away from the tourist destinations.

Spanish ladies don't half let rip when they sing, the husky flamenco is not far behind and "angelic" is not an appropriate adjective even if they seem very devout.

Their coffee is the best in Europe however, why people rave about French coffee I'll never know.

10:18 AM  

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