We are now into the summer Sunday schedule at St Clement’s, which means High Mass at 10 instead of 11 and sung by a Quartet instead of the full choir; also no Vespers. Today’s congregation was half its normal size, mainly because the approaches to the church were cut off because of some sort of charity race. It was unusually cool for this time of the year, so all the windows were open. My curate was also away for the weekend; so we had a Missa Cantata instead of the High Mass.
This combination was strangely soothing: a cantor singing the Latin Propers; a lovely short Mass- setting sung by the quartet; a short sermon from me on the love of God as symbolized in the Sacred Heart of Jesus; and some Sacred Heart hymns, whose words were unfamiliar, but sung to well known tunes. Just an hour and a quarter, which for St Clement’s is quite a record!
So it will be all summer, except for the great eruption of organ and orchestra and hundreds of people for the Assumption of Our Lady on August 15th. This year it is a Saturday; so the Mass will be in the morning at 11 o’clock and we will have an afternoon reception rather than the usual evening torchlight one.
We do get some visitors every Sunday, and I hope our missing members are being visitors at other churches’ Masses. I enjoy visiting other churches, but am always glad to be back at my own church at the end of vacation time. “The hazy, lazy days of summer” are all very well (and we need recreation) but not all the time – which is why I am totally turned off by the idea of Heaven as perpetual rest!