09
Jun
09

En Messe

Sunday

I’m head-over-heels for the coffee vending machine outside the computer lab. Thé au lait (tea with milk) is the most comforting thing in the world for my head cold. I originally planned to head to the Louvre again today since it was free, but I’m not up to it. Rest. Water. Rest. Rest. Water. Besides, Barack Obama is scheduled to be there today, meaning a chunk of the building would surely be blocked off for security reasons.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

This morning I woke up bright and early to take part in today’s New Thing to Try: Mass. I wasn’t sure what might happen if I, a so-called non-believer, were to participate in the holy ritual, but the thought of attending Mass at Notre Dame is just too good to pass up.

A tourist lights a €2 candle at Notre Dame.

A tourist lights a €2 candle at Notre Dame.

I found myself asking questions: What does the smoke signify? Why does the priest extend his arms at some parts and not at others? What’s the difference between kneeling and standing? Will I be shunned for not accepting Communion? How this a Benedictine service different than others?

 

Since taking photos during Mass felt more than disrespectful, here's a service following the one I attended.

Since taking photos during Mass felt more than disrespectful, here's a service following the one I attended.

The music was simply divine. Its echoes off the long halls made it seem ethereal; voices seemed to reach for the heavens and surpass physical barriers. For me, the music transcends religion.

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