For several years Fr Tad Turski has offered Advent or Lenten reflections to his parishioners and those in the St Thomas’ Deanery area. This year From Mass to Mission was the title of the Lenten talks to be held in Buckie.
In the dark days of early March, pilgrims from Aberlour, Dufftown, Elgin, Fochabers, Huntly and points in between, picked up passengers and, trekked to St Peter’s Hall, Buckie for 6pm. Local parishioners made coffee and Fr Tad provided suitable Lenten fare – a different menu each week; chocolate biscuits, spinach cake, hot cross buns, clooty dumpling – to strengthen us after our arduous journeys.
The format was simple but effective: a booklet, a short video and a talk and discussion. Understanding the Mass and its Significance for our Christian Life was the theme.
Over five weeks, the days lengthened and we travelled through the Mass towards the light. As a convert it was surprising, enlightening and inspiring. Week by week the significance of what happens at Mass, from the moment we make the decision to attend, to how we connect that hour in church on a Sunday to the week ahead, became clear.
From Why go to Mass at all? to How do you prepare for Mass? How do you relate to the sign of the Peace? Reading the Bible, The importance of the final Blessing, I untangled my thoughts. Chinks of light filtered through.
On April 5, following the final meeting of the series the sun was still shining, the light was bright. I was uplifted by the final reflection on “The concluding Rites on our call to Mission; to put our faith into action”. I had been a little anxious about the evangelising aspect so was thankful to hear that subtlety was the key. The light was beginning to dawn.
Reflecting on these five weeks, indeed just five hours, of reflections, I can see more clearly, I have more hope, more peace and yes, more joy, than in the dark days of March. I do not think I am alone in this.
The benefits of gathering together from all parts of the Deanery once a week for five weeks is palpable. Meeting up with people you see rarely, getting to know those you haven’t met before is good for the soul. It is a recipe for happiness.
Anne Oliver, St Sylvester’s Elgin