Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Mass gathering...

Vatican Radio staff flooded the chapel this morning as we celebrated our Christmas Mass and then had a buffet lunch with all the various nibbles that I thoroughly enjoy and which leave me wishing that it could have been possible to eat more without being just plain greedy!

The Mass was beautiful. Just out of curiosity, I counted 19 concelebrants, including Cardinal Tucci, whose office is only a few yards away from the Chapel of the Annunciation on the second floor of the building. That there were ‘only’ 19 was because that happened to be the number who could conveniently fit around the altar and the first row of seats. I’m not actually sure how many other priests were present, because the congregation spilled out into the corridor. However, there were at least five priests of the Latin rite, two of the Byzantine and also two who are of one of the Rites from the Middle East, but I’m not sure which.

The people gathered in the chapel represented most, if not all, of the 46 languages in which Vatican Radio broadcasts and, therefore, a good proportion of the 59 nationalities of the radio personnel.

Not for the first time, I thought how fortunate we were to be able to celebrate Mass freely and with such beauty. We were a microcosm gathered around the altar, some of the people representing their countrymen and women who actually risk their lives in order to attend Mass. Some of those peoples are engaged in fighting and bloodshed, yet there we were, in peace and in prayer.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, even for five minutes this Christmas, we could have world peace?

God bless,
Sr. Janet