Connecting at the Misa

During my recent recovery from a minor illness, I decided the Sunday 1:00 p.m. Misa in Español at St. Paul’s might be less strenuous than the 8:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. services—and I headed north a few blocks.

And almost a week later, I still savor the sweet cadence of the mass presided by The Reverend Canon (La Revda. Canonigo) Mary Moreno Richardson and her assistant; the eventual peace I carried away still lingers—possibly helped by a lovely guitar soloist’s song.

For many of us,the rapid-fire urban Spanish we hear on buses, on the street and in markets has taken on an existential blandness and I for one no longer listen consciously.

But during the One o’Clock I simply let go and was amazed at first to immediately understand “El senor sea con estedes,” “Y con tu espirito” with the help of the program, of course. “El credo Niceno—(Esperamos la resurreccion de los muertos y la vida del mundo futuro”) and “Cristo ha muerto, Cristo ha resuccidado y Cristo volvera” needed no translation. Ditto for “La Paz (“La Paz del Senor sea siempre ustedes….Y con espiritu….” while greeting my new neighbors and later praying Padre nuestro together.

The scripture readings and the sermon were not as easy but I simply meditated until the lovely Santa Communion

Maybe the most memorable part of the One o’Clock was watching the extraordinary grace of Canigo Mary’s hands, ministering, soothing, greeting, gesturing, throughout the mass.

At just about two o’clock, I smiled at my new neighbors, as we walked out to the street again. How many times this week–filled with stress, untoward (even nasty) thoughts as fatigue-filled days can be—have I gone back to the One O’Clock, with the guitar music “y con espirito” and my splendid neighbors?

Ellen Shaw Tufts

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