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Old 16th October 2008, 10:15 PM
Shane Shane is offline
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Default Station Masses

Tomorrow night, the station Mass for my area occurs. I am not sure if the station Mass tradition is unique to Ireland (I think it is, so I'll briefly describe it here.) Twice every year each townland in the parish hosts a station Mass, i.e a local Mass that can be celebrated in the home of a local person, or in the parish church, if that is the preferred option. My parish is a small rural one, with about 500 persons in total, so in each townland the average attendance at a station Mass would mainly consist of the neighbours.

The Mass is then celebrated by the Parish Priest in the home of the appointed person. The members rotate the Masses each time, so that everyone in the townland gets a chance to host them. On arrival, the priest blesses the house and its occupantsThe kitchen table is usually prepared to function as the altar, and lines of chairs (many borrowed from generous neighbours) fill the rest of the room, and sometimes extend into a sitting room. It is wonderful to see the celebration of the Eucharist happen in such a close and intimate way, literally right in front of you, as opposed to being in a pew half a mile down the aisle of a church. Afterwards the small congregation are treated to tea and sandwiches, and conversation with each other and with the priest.

The station Masses usually happen in my parish every October and March.


Shane
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Old 17th October 2008, 02:40 PM
Bible Apprentice Bible Apprentice is offline
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I'm not familiar with the practice of Station Masses, but it is a common practice of Italian immigrants to have a Mass celebrated in their home in honor of deceased family members. We have one every year in the summer. This year we had about 75 people. The weather cooperated so we were able to have it in the garden by the Padre Pio shrine my dad built. It is an awesome experience. I cried. Once you have the Sacrifice of Mass celebrated in your home, it gives you the feeling that your home has become a kind of Holy Ground. It also makes me think of what the Last Supper and the early Masses might have been like.

Peace.
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Old 17th October 2008, 10:38 PM
Joey Joey is offline
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Shane,
That sounds just beautiful. Every summer in July my very large family holds a reunion at a local camp nestled in the mountains. A priest from a neighboring town comes and has Sunday Mass outdoors. I always look forward to it, although people could stand to be a tad more reverent. Mass in a home sounds so intimate. It would make you believe that the home is now holy ground.
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Joey
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Old 17th October 2008, 10:58 PM
Shane Shane is offline
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Having a Mass said in one's home is really a beautiful blessing, and as you both say, Joey and Bible Apprentice, it becomes a sort of holy ground, a place where the Holy Eucharist was consecrated.

Some parishoners prefer to have their station Masses in the church, either they feel they may not have room for it, or for other reasons. In my opinion, they should be held in homes whenever and wherever possible, for attending a Mass celebrated in one's home is indeed a beautiful feeling, which is hard to describe.

Depending on the priest, some also hear confessions before the house Mass. I remember a good few years ago our then parish priest retreated into the cosy, lamp-lit sitting room of my neighbour's house and heard confessions from an armchair. The penitents would kneel beside him on the carpet. It sounds a bit bizarre writing about it, but it was a wonderful feeling, receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation in your neighbour's sitting room. Then when all were done (some went, others wouldn't) he would come out and begin the Mass.

Here is a page that briefly describes the tradition of the station Mass:
http://www.castlebar.ie/news/mhas-20050625.shtml


Shane

Last edited by Shane : 17th October 2008 at 11:11 PM.
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