On Saturday, March 8, 2014, the town of Camden, AR had a daffodil festival. There was even a civil war reenactment. I'm still confused as to why they all wear grey....(I'm not really...it's just *jarring* to see grey...and Confederate flags....everywhere...somebody told me that Little Rock was just like St. Louis....yeah. no and here's some evidence). Needless to say, the church in Camden did not have Saturday Mass, so I visited a church on the way back that did.
I ended up in Fordyce, at Good Shepherd for the 4 pm Saturday Mass. And as luck would have it, I was in time for Stations of the Cross (Oh my poor calf...walked 6 miles and now Stations...I slept until noon on Sunday BTW).
This has to be one of the tiniest actual churches I've been in. I've been in some small chapels, but not actual parish churches that are this small. I think there may have been maybe 20 pews....only because they were short and in 3 columns. It's a contest as to whether my 606 sq ft apartment is bigger or the Church is. Now they have a divider between the Nave and the parish hall, but it was open when I visited, which essentially doubled the size of the church. It was really cute, but really small.
The music was a capella, so it was stuff that was easy to sing without accompaniment. Amazingly, all the English speakers sang.
Opening: Holy God We Praise Thy Name
Offertory: Amazing Grace
Communion: Let Us Break Bread Together (I haven't heard this in forever...)
Closing: How Great Thou Art
The parish has some non-native English speakers or non-English speakers, so to include them, the 2nd Reading and the Gospel Acclamation was in Spanish. (I'm amused because the priest was from India.)
Lent is a time to look at consequences. It is a time to look at sin. Repent so that you can rise with Jesus at Easter. God's Grace provides a way from temptation: fasting, prayer and almsgiving. The first sin was to be like God. Adam and Eve were given a choice: be obedient or not. All of us are tempted to put ourselves in God's place but don't want to be responsible for the consequences of our choices. Jesus conquered temptation by being faithful to God. Paul tells us that sin is not private, but it is public. Sin effects our relationships with others. To avoid temptation, the Holy Spirit led Jesus to the wilderness. For the Israelites, the desert is a place of testing and renewal. (For Americans...it's a place for casinos...) The Israelites were in the desert for 40 years being purified (hmmm I thought it was so that all the troublemakers with the golden calf were all dead.) Moses and Elijah spent 40 days and 40 nights in the desert praying and fasting, preparing for their mission. What is close to you? What keeps you away? You need to avoid it. Food and water (I don't remember how this connected...) Avoid worldly pleasures. Many people are sad after the worldly pleasure has passed. It keeps us away from Jesus. We need to see the consequences to us. Fasting brings us closer to God (unless it makes you crabby and snarky at people...) Avoid temptations. Jesus struggled. He fell 3 times while carrying the Cross but kept going. Come closer to God with the Rosary, Stations of the Cross and the Bible.
Father used Eucharistic Prayer III and there were bells.
Everyone was really nice after Mass.
Good Shepherd Catholic Church
View From the Back Pew