To the editor
Last Sunday, I attended Mass at St. Andrew Church in the heart of (Rochester). Whenever I go there, I leave feeling uplifted and with a sense of well-being. There is an atmosphere of welcome, diversity, participation and joyful celebration of the liturgy.
Welcome: People are aware of those around them as they honor those celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and visitors by their clapping and smiles.
Diversity: You can’t help but notice the variety of races and nationalities; the presence of those in wheelchairs and walkers; babes in arms; and the elderly. This is the church. When the little ones line — run — up for the blessing before going to Child Church, you can see the smiles on the faces of those of us watching.
Participation: The lectors, many of them teenagers, are very clear and well spoken. It was moving to see a handicapped person giving Holy Communion. How God must have loved watching that! I’ve been there for the Feast of the Epiphany when they had the procession of the Three Kings and on Good Friday when they carry the cross through the neighborhood.
Liturgy: At the penitential rite, we knelt and paused long enough to reflect on our sins — a short examination of conscience — before the congregation said the prayer, “I confess to Almighty God‚Ä¶”.That made the rite more meaningful. The folk choir, by their enthusiasm, invited us to join in their singing. The signing for the deaf is so beautifully expressed it becomes a rite in itself.
All of this reflects the dedication and work of Father. Michael Mayer, Deacon Phil Yawman, Sister Anne Urquhart and Sue Howard. Thank you all. The gathering of the early church must have been something like this!