This weekend we visited friends in D.C., as is our wont, and since I didn't want to miss the fifth Sunday of Lent (the gospel readings during Lent are so fabulous, especially yesterday's, the raising of Lazarus), I walked the block and a half from Jove's apartment to Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian, a mostly black parish in southeastern D.C. It was way cool. There was a gifted choir and an amazing cantor with a deep, resonant voice. The congregation clapped along and raised their hands, and they punctuated the homily with shouts of "amen!", and there's a lot of shouting to do when you're talking about Lazarus. There was even a sort of altar call after the homily for people who wanted prayer, to repent of sin, to return to the church. The sign of peace was unusually long--these are clearly people who are glad to see each other on Sundays--and the other parishioners welcomed me. The priest greeted me afterwards and invited me to come back, which I probably will, since we're in D.C. so often.
This is a little thing, but I also liked that an usher wearing white gloves handed the (female) readers down from the pulpit after they'd done their readings.
It was the longest ordinary mass I've attended in a while. No rush. This was what everyone's Sunday was for.
5 months ago