The Mystery Worshipper from Ship of Fools who attended the Votive Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Michael’s Cathedral last Friday evening and gave it a 10 out of 10, also gave a 10 to St. Thomas More, the ordinariate parish in Toronto, that he or she attended on Sunday, Nov. 17.
Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
I could listen to Five Mystical Songs for eternity, and ‘The Call’ from that composition by Ralph Vaughan Williams, which was sung as a motet at communion, is possibly my favorite George Herbert poem.
And which part was like being in… er… the other place?
The acoustics. If I were a parishioner, I would want, someday, to budget for some sort of amelioration to the reverberation issue, although I can understand if the community has higher priority budget items at this time.
What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
Like a good Mystery Worshipper, I stood in the back looking lost, even though I knew that there would be a coffee hour. It didn’t take long for someone to ask me if I would come downstairs and join them for their after-mass fellowship.
How would you describe the after-service coffee?
Coffee hour, also known as the eighth sacrament, is part of the patrimony Pope Benedict has invited Ordinarians to bring into the wider church. You’ll never find just lukewarm coffee and a few stale donuts. The pastor and his wife presided. (Anglican priests who are married may remain married when they join the Ordinariate and become Catholic priests; however, married priests may not become bishops.) In addition to coffee and tea, there were cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, pain au chocolat, other pastries, and cakes. Groups of people sat at large round tables and chatted until well after three o’clock.
How would you feel about making another visit (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
10 — Even the acoustics problem wouldn’t keep me away or prevent me from making this my permanent parish home if I were to move to Toronto.
Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
Yes. God, the creator of all things visible and invisible, deserves our constant praise and worship. The liturgy offered by the parish of St Thomas More allows us to offer worship to God in the beauty of holiness.
I posted on the fellowship at St. Thomas More with pictures here.
The write-up pretty much matches my experience at St. Thomas More, though I was closer to the children and the “screaming” was not constant, only occasional. But as a priest I know says, “If your parish isn’t crying, it’s dying.”