Irish catholicism

A fairly large part of my stay in & around Dublin was taken up by ‘family-related-stuff’ — the family of F. that is. F’s godson (son of her sister) was christened on sunday. I attented 2 masses: saturday evening mass & the christening on sunday. I was amazed, if not shocked by how quick these masses were done over with. Rushed is not even the right word. On saturday there was literally no pause between the blessing at the end and the words “that’s it, see you next time”. The priest hurried off to see the football match. The whole thing took 35 minutes. The only ‘music’ was the sound of coins in the collecting baskets, heard while the prayer for the confession of the sins was said. One positive thing: the reading from the Scriptures were done by women.

I have a protestant background & as a kidI used to go to church with my parents every sunday. We went to a beautiful church (the Grote Kerk in Almelo), where at that time Rev. Otten was preaching. There was always an elaborate liturgy — Otten would say or sing a sentence, the community would answer, then the organ, then the small choir. Very well orchestrated. The same thing for the singing of Psalms & Songs. A few years later the small choir became so good that they would perform things like the Angus Dei as composed by — I think — Buxtehude. So although a protestant church, there would be a very clear sense of tradition and beauty that a lot of people only associate with the Roman Catholic church. The sermon — as far as I remember — was really an interpretation of the Scriptures, often touching upon Jewish traditions (that Otten was particularly interested in). It’s not that I liked going there (I rather did something else on a Sunday morning), but these sunday mornings have certainly had a positive effect on my ideas of the Church and religion.

The christening on sunday took place in a church in Lucan. Renovated a few years back, the organ was taken out. The music during the christening came from a tiny cassetterecorder (and was some sort of Irish new-agey-folk-music). The church owned a beamer to project texts in big white letters on Powerpoint-blue background against the wall. (It was not used during the christening). The priest did not know the name of one of the two kids being christened and basically no-one, including the priest had any clue of the order of the proceedings — the priest flipping back and forth through the leaflet and at one point asking a person to read from the Scriptures, the person being very surprised since the indicated passage was not his to read. (F. — who’s a firm believer — was disappointed about this priest).

Well. I guess all this only showns how deep Catholicism is ingrained in Irish society.

en,Uncategorized | September 7, 2006 | 14:04 | Comments Off on Irish catholicism |


RSS for comments on this post.

sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. | Arie Altena