Stained glass at Our Lady of Sorrows

Elena Gray-Blanc

Stained glass at Our Lady of Sorrows

Our Lady of Sorrows

A Midday Mass in Santa Barbara

Church: Our Lady of Sorrows, 21 E. Sola St.

Service Attended: Friday, 12:10 p.m.

Priest: Father Denis Collins

Denomination: Roman Catholic

Congregation Size: about 50 attending

Services: Saturday Evening Mass: 7:30 p.m. (Spanish); Sunday Masses: 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:10 p.m. (Spanish), 5:30 p.m., and 8 p.m. (Spanish); Weekday Masses: Monday-Friday 7 a.m. and 12:10 p.m., Monday and Wednesday 6:30 p.m. (Spanish), Tuesday and Thursday Paraliturgy 6:30 (Spanish); Confessions: Saturdays, 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.; Eve of First Friday 3 p.m-4 p.m.

Contact: Call 963-1734

The Catholic Church is known for its panoply and elaborate display. The weekday afternoon service is not perhaps the best example of this, but the atmosphere of Our Lady of Sorrows is certainly one to inspire a feeling of the tradition of Catholicism, and the grandeur of the Church’s history.

The 12:10 p.m. service is truncated and does not comprise a full mass - for example, no hymns were sung. However, Father Denis Collins offered several prayers and a homily on a piece of scripture. The homily itself was couched in surprisingly colloquial language and provided an accessible, human view of the Biblical passage chosen for the day. Communion was offered, however, and was taken by almost the entire group in attendance.

One striking feature of the worshippers assembled was their casual dress-unlike many Sunday services, where formal attire is almost required, the congregation wore their street clothes, and some seemed to have stopped in on a lunch break or in the middle of their working day. Most of those in attendance looked like retirees, however, which might be expected from a weekday service.

The most touching moment was the response to Father Collins’s prayer for unity. The entire congregation turned to the nearest person, be it friend, spouse, or stranger, and offered some gesture of love or friendship - a kiss, a handshake, or a wave and smile. At that moment, the best side of religious belief was on display; each person there took a moment to truly love their neighbor and offer kindness.

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