By F. A. FULFORD UAD last Thursday been a Holy
day day of Obligation. I. in common with thousands of other British Catholics, might hate missed Mass—just on account of work.
But had it been a Holyday of It Obligation, and had there been evening Masses in our churches, they would hate been as packed as they are for normal Sunday Mass.
These were the thoughts that irreverently. though not irrelerandy. crossed my mind while I served an evening Mass on Thursday last.
Occasion was when I made friends with an American army chaplain. recently arrived in London, who told me he was going to say Mass for his boys at 6 p.m.
But 1 was not privileged to receive Holy Communion ; only members of .his Forces might do so.
My own privilege. apart from serving, was, I think, that of bee the first English reporter to serve an American evening Mass and to write about it. But American evening Masses are just the same as any other, save that Inasmuch as they are offered at sundown you get something hitting your brow with a slap, namely. that hit of a psalm that says " even from the rising of the sun till the going down thereof. ."
The celebrant, Fr. Richard P. Grady, Si.. offered that Moss in a big London house where his men are quartered. There was a little room, not quite ready yet with its .fittings and so on. but with a make-shift confessional just near a wooden altar nailed up by the men with an eye more for
efficiency than for artistic niceties. I thought. Cheerful voices could be heard outside the room as soldiers went about Martha's cares in the cookhouse and elsewhere.
Being privileged to be Mary, I should have reverently stuck to my better part, and served that Mass with perfect recollection.
I failed. I was thinking of my English Marthas — those people who, because they hare to work, can't get to morning Mass during the week, and particularly on HolydaYs of Obligation.
The point I want to make here is that, in common with thousands of other British Catholics, I had several hours to spare on Thursday evening. That was why I was able to go to Mass.
The inference? Well, just work it out in terms of the eight Holydays of Obligation we have in this country, besides some other days that are worthwhile keeping with special solemnity.