By Mary DeTurris Poust
When I was talking with Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York on his radio show last week, the archbishop mentioned celebrating Mass in the hospital room of an ailing priest. The hospital tray was the altar. The priest, too sick to get up from bed, concelebrated with a stole draped across him. When it was over, the priest's family was in tears, so moved by this stripped down but supremely powerful experience of the pivotal Catholic prayer.
That conversation got me to thinking about my own unusual, albeit powerful, experiences of the Mass. Sure, I have been to many beautiful Masses in St. Patrick's Cathedral and other awesome churches around this country, but the truth is that the Masses that stand out most for me are those that were not necessarily accompanied by inspiring music and brilliant stained glass. They were the simple Masses -- the CYO Mass celebrated at our parish with the hosts we made in my family's kitchen, the private Mass offered in a small and simply appointed chapel in a bishop's home, the retreat Mass offered among aging Sisters at their retirement center, the Mass celebrated in Italian by a Nigerian priest in a side chapel at St. Peter's Basilica for a congregation of two, the Masses where there was nothing to distract from the main event, the Eucharist.
What are some of your most powerful experiences of the Mass? Please share with us those moments around the altar that have most moved you.