A week ago we had the privilege of celebrating the private Sunday liturgy at Casa Santa Maria in Rome. The 'Casa' is home to English-speaking (mostly US) priests who are furthering their studies at one of the universities there.
Worship in the Catholic Faith is intended to be sensual, relating to the senses. Sometimes we only experience this at Easter Vigil (and hear grumbling about the incense), but last week, mass was wonderful.
The Chapel is exquisite, built between 1641 and 1646. I couldn't help but wonder if one would just get used to the surroundings, or if every time you walk in, the sight of it would take your breath away.
Not many of the churches in our country look like this and we don't always have the opportunity to attend a mass with all the smells and bells. Sometimes you might just want to close your eyes and pray, and I was tempted to last week. However, to see, to watch and smell the incense, to hear the voices of the priests, the touch of knees on the kneeler, and to taste Holy Communion, we couldn't help but be drawn into God's time and space.
It's one thing to show up for Mass (that's the first step!), it's another thing to enter into the Mass.