The Worship of God
St. Columba's is a mission parish with her roots set firmly in the Catholic tradition. Our worship is centred around the Holy Eucharist (the Mass), continuing in the Tradition we have received from the Apostles, to whom the Lord JESUS was "known in the breaking of the bread." Our worship is that of traditional western Catholicism, with its uniquely British flavour. The ancient chant, the medieval vestments and the Elizabethan language may make our worship seem a bit strange to those unfamiliar with it, but these are not irrelevant or meaningless things to us. For 2,000 years the Church, in her worship, has encountered JESUS Christ. The solemn ceremonial of the Mass, the veil of incense which fills the Church during the liturgy, and the stately cadences of the Book of Common Prayer and the Missal speak to as (as they have spoken to many generations of our ancestors in the Faith) of the glory and majesty of God. It is to God the Holy Trinity, the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, that our worship is directed. The purpose of worship is not to entertain or even inform us, but to turn ourselves "our souls and bodies" to God. So if the Mass seems a bit strange to you at first, relax. Sit through a Mass or two if you are curious. You may catch a glimpse, even if just for a moment, of heaven.
What is the difference between a "Low Mass", a "Sung Mass" and a "Solemn High Mass?"
A "Low Mass" is a Mass at which no music is sung; one priest is most often assisted by a single acolyte, and usually no sermon is preached. At a "Sung Mass" or Missa Cantata the Mass is chanted by the priest, hymns are sung and a sermon is preached. At a "Solemn High Mass" many acolytes assist the priest, deacon and subdeacon (when the three serve together they are called the "Sacred Ministers"), incense is used, most of the Mass is chanted and a sermon preached. Besides these a "Pontifical Mass" is a Mass which a bishop presides.