Friday, October 02, 2009

25Dec1867, High Mass

ROME, Christmas Day, 1867.
—We went to the 9 o'clock celebration of the Holy Communion at our own ch. and then to S. Peter's for the High Mass. The elevation, and all the showing of the consecrated ele¬ments to the people, was excessively painful to one ; I followed the service as well as I could in a missal, and, the more one was able to join and feel with the service, the more distressing was the terrible shock that the notion of Transubstantiation gives one. The ceremonial is certainly impressive, but would be much more so, I think, if they would only do away with the ward¬robe part of it, and leave the Pope and Cardinals in gorgeous vestments if they please, but in statu quo. It is impossible too not to see that all the outward worship (except of the Host) centres in the Pope. The music was lovely, but altogether I was pained and grieved, and tired out with conflicting feelings.

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