If not for coronavirus, I would have treated Holy mass

Holy Mass Africa File photo

Tue, 19 May 2020 Source: Emmanuel Graham Nyameke

Hmm! I have missed those good times at church. When my pastor will tell us the best sermons given the readings for the day.

I miss that beautiful moment during mass when the priest will call on us to profess our faith in God. I really miss those good times.

Mass usually starts at 6:30am, on Sundays, and I wouldn’t want to miss the first mass. I will take my seat in the front, do my usual meditations before the mass started. I remember “praying the rosary” was my last devotion before mass before Novel Coronavirus came into the scene and snatched away all the beauty of the mass.

I remember how I enjoyed the mass with those few colleagues on my pew. Being at mass is like being at a royal party and served with the best wine like that of the wedding at Cana. You can’t just stop drinking from that beautiful well of wine that never finishes. It is the new well of Jacob.

The sound of the bell is loud in the church. Everyone is on his feet. The altar servers have dressed nicely. They are in their white garment. I remember vividly the type of chasuble the priest was in. the material was from the African kente. It had a picture of the immaculate Mary on both faces. That day, the priest was looking like “his master.”

The choristers too did amazingly well. The beauty of the processional song touched the hearts of everyone. The room was completely charged. As the song went on, people began to feel very emotional. Some held their chests and some others had their eyes fixed on the roofing of the church. It was like they were looking at Jesus descending once again. This song “Ewuradze ne fie y3 me fie” will not cease from my life.

Soon the priest was on the sanctuary. The priest reverently venerated the altar with a deep kiss. Simultaneously, I realized I had also kissed the pew I was sitting on. In fact, I was sure I was in God worshiping him that day. With the priest’s introductory rite, I already knew that I was going to have a good time with the Lord that day. “Jesus loves us no matter what, and so he calls on you and me to come to him with our many but simple sins and he will make us whole.” With such divine words, I was filled with a contrite heart and I confessed all my sins to God. While confessing, my eyes accidentally caught sight with the cross on the sanctuary. At once I knew my redeemer lives.

I listened attentively to all the readings. I knew I had a responsibility to give a short reflection to those in my house who are not Catholics. We usually share our readings no matter the type of church one attends. So I kept my ears awake. Soon it was time for the gospel to be read. We all stood up. Joined in the singing. The priest reverently bowed before the altar of God and approached the pulpit.

We continued to sing the Alleluia chorale. It was “Gloria In Excelsis Deo”. I must not hide something that happened at this point from you. As we sang the Alleluia, my heart leapt for joy! I felt like that was the last mass I was ever going to be part of. The priest after showing reverence to the word of God, proclaimed it. I believe everyone in the church that day still remembers how the priest did proclaim word. It was beautiful. His style has stayed with me.

That day, the gospel was about the good Samaritan. Our pastor sent us home with this message: “Jesus is a unifying force, he is the only person that can make both unlike poles and like poles attract respectively, hence, we who have his word in us must go home unifying people.” I knew this short message was for me. It was for me to bring the man who has separated from his wife together. I knew very well that the message was for me to bring my workers who are fighting together. And I very well knew that it was talking to me to go and unify my husband with the Lord. I never stopped doing exactly what the message required of me. Now there was some few moments of silence after the priest had delivered his homily. I truly observed it. I opened my heart unto the Lord and I listened to him.

Time for offering is one of the moments in church that I enjoyed most. During collection time, I would dance all the sadness, the stress, the depressions, and all my worries off. I join in the joy of people who happily go to the box to drop into the church’s box what they have brought to offer to God. It is also a spiritual moment. It is the moment I present to the Lord what he has given me. I know it is my duty to help take care of his work. But I know very well that all thanksgiving belongs to him.

The Eucharistic table is one that I miss so much. It is where I get my strength, where I gain the favour of God. It is during this moment that I feel I am a princess, called to sit at the table with all other princes and princesses. The Eucharist is a daily strength. I joined the line and reverently received the Lord into my unworthy temple. I then said a prayer: “Dear Jesus, make me like unto thine and never let me desert you…. Amen.”

After praying the Anima Christe, I observed a moment of silence. Soon the second bell was ringing. It’s time for the second mass. There was procession. Mass was over!

My dear friends, don’t you miss this great event in your life. Will you not want to make it the point to be there on time when you get the chance again. Perhaps you’re among those few who will come for mass during preaching time and even leave after first collection. Today you don’t have procession even for you to have second collection to even think of leaving church before time.

Do you not miss those times when the priest will humbly invite us to come to Jesus with our sins? Maybe you don’t care. For all you know you may be one of those guys who come to church because others want them there. If not, you must miss mass, what coronavirus has taken away from you now.

For me, I miss dancing in church for it is the moment I join all who have their worries and are laying them unto the shoulders of Jesus. It is at this moment that my smile becomes complete. I believe you also miss this aspect of the mass, lest you may be part of those few who though at church will be planning how to deal with that person who wronged them the last time.

Coronavirus might have now made you value the sacraments of the church. Who dared told you to go for confession, or who dared told you to go for holy communion? Today you wish that old woman who likes talking is at the get telling you once more to go and see the priest.

What will you do if you have the holy mass again? Will you chew gum in the church and plaster the pews with them? If you had a moment out of this coronavirus, will you go for mass late and wish to go home before the mass ends?

What has coronavirus taught you?

From the pen of Emmanuel Graham Nyameke.

Columnist: Emmanuel Graham Nyameke