... in Mass with the birds

Published on 05 May 2020
A robin singing

Some years ago I attended a Mass in a community chapel which overlooked a garden. As Mass proceeded I could hear the birds singing outside, and I recall how this beautiful sound made the liturgy even more prayerful. 

It has taken me a few weeks since lockdown began to work out the best way to settle in to my livestream Mass on a Sunday. I realised I needed to change positions from where I sit to work, because this meant that Mass didn't seem different enough from everything else I'd do sitting in my armchair. 

I have a spare chair which I rarely sit in that can be turned to face the window. In the mornings, the sun streams through the window. I don't have seat that looks onto a garden, but the daylight coming in seemed to help. I light a candle too and put this on the table next to the laptop. If the weather is pleasant enough, I open the window, so fresh air comes in. As I attend Mass I am on my own, only united in spiritual communion with other Catholics. I say the resonses aloud and prefer not to use headphones but have used a speaker, which makes it sound more like the Mass is going on in the room with me. When the window is open, I can hear the birds singing outside, and they keep me company. 

I am sure on one occasion the church which I livestream Mass from had a door or window open too, because I also heard faint birdsong at the other end! 

One of the things I miss about going to Mass in person is the music, as of course there are no choirs for livestream Mass. To begin with, the priests were not singing the Mass parts, but lately the priest has begun to sing hymns or Alleluias and has a nice voice. In lieu of a choir, I have the birds.