I can think of countless reasons why I am going back to Mass. Here are a few of them. First, and foremost, I love God and going to Mass brings me into intimate union with God in ways I cannot experience alone or attending a virtual Mass. Spiritual communion is not and will never be the same as allowing Jesus to melt into my being at Mass just as I hope one day I will melt into his waiting, welcoming arms and heart when I leave this earth.

Second, there is a totally different “feel” between being in-person and watching Mass on television or the internet. There is a vibrancy to joining my voice with others in the prayers and responses and an emotional catharsis in singing live music that speaks to my heart both in the moment and during the week when a song resurfaces in the back of my mind.

Third, the isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted for me the value of being around and interacting with others. I like my quiet time, my reflective time, but I also recognize more than ever the value of direct eye contact, a smile, a nod, an elbow bump, a laugh, a wave of the hand, an in-person sign of peace, and yes, this past Sunday a handshake.

Attending Mass in person nourishes my body, mind, heart and spirit in all of these ways and so many more. May my sharing empower you to risk returning to Mass and discover the beauty and richness of it for you.

Ellen Brickwedde

Director of Religious Education at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Learn more about our Catechetical office: https://archny.org/ministries-and-offices/youth-faith-formation/catechetical/