Last Thursday I witnessed one of the very best Masses it has been my privilege to attend and, whilst all Masses should be uplifting and inspiring, this particular one certainly had that special wow factor. I didn’t take place in a cathedral nor even a church but in a small school somewhere in Hemsworth. I say somewhere because it seems many people got lost trying to find their way there.
The Mass took place in a small room which was called the Hall but I thought that it really resembled a stable. It had plenty of tat int eh corners and hay ricks on the walls! Sorry Mrs Henderson. However, there seemed to be lots of important people present. Some wise girls had travelled from the east, the High School actually, although I am sure they must have come by camel as they all carried howdahs to protect them from the sun. We had three shepherds dressed in white assisting the Bishop and we were also expecting some centurions from Wakefield, but they failed to arrive, luckily as they would only be coming to heckle and ridicule. I’m sure Mr Bruin was there because half way through the service I felt a tingling spread across my hands. There were then disciples from the schools patron, S Helen! I understand that there was also a man there on a donkey, I didn’t see him but I am sure that he touched me and I certainly felt his presence amongst us.
Now let me describe the Mass to you. The children came in first with each class carrying a banner celebrating the school’s 60 years, followed by the acolytes, the shepherds and finally the Bishop. Together we sang a beautiful celebratory song called Jubilate. The Bishop then welcomed everybody and said how pleased he was to be present at our birthday celebrations. A girl from school read a passage from the Bible, beautifully, loud and clear, after which the Bishop came from around the back of his table to talk to the children. Well, he wasn’t a Bishop at all, he was the party clown, who soon had all the children laughing with joy and the adults too. He had brought balloons and a special birthday cake with candles which when a boy tried to blow them out soon came alight again. The Bishop then returned to his seat, having first sprinkled some magic dust on the children, as they immediately settled down, sitting quietly. The party magic was now finished but the magic of the Eucharist was to come. And then it was over. Some people left with a smile and some left with a tear of joy but everyone left happy. Everyone I spoke to said what a wonderful and exhilarating service it had been. Two parents sitting with me said they never thought it would be like this and tears were streaming down there faces. Thanks must be extended to Fr Robert and Lyn Jennings for arranging this Mass and for all the work that went into it.
If you don’t believe what I have written ask Pat Hurworth who was there, ask John Lewis who had walked there, ask Melvyn Gillespie who had taken his wife Janet and decided to stay, ask one of the wise girls from the High School, they were there, ask on of the shepherds on the altar, they were there, but above all find the Man with the Donkey, He was there, and tell him why you weren’t there.