While here in Ireland, I have been able to attend Mass at three different places, Ennis (the Franciscan Friary), Lahinch, and Corofin.
The priests here really inspire me. It's almost as if instead of saying the Mass, they experience the Mass. I feel as if they are including the congregation in the Mass, and that we are the Apostles.
It has been such a blessing to be able to witness these priests and be present at their masses. During the week the priest has no altar servers and no readers. Usually there is no music and no choir. There are no ushers on Sunday. Mass is shorter. Mass here seems simpler. But it is always inspirational and very reverent.
Sometimes I wonder if we in Canada over-produce our Masses. That we make them too complicated, instead of just being with Jesus and the apostles on the night before Jesus died. There's nothing wrong with beautiful hymns at Mass, but it is also lovely to have silence where we can quietly meditate.
I also noticed the first couple of times we attended Sunday Mass in Lahinch, that collections were being taken outside the church for different causes. I assumed these were Church sanctioned causes. But then at the end of the Mass on the second Sunday, the priest said from the altar that he didn't think it right that these collections take place, that outside the church was not the right place. And they stopped, I haven't seen those collections since. I can't imagine a Canadian priest saying something like that from the pulpit. But the priest was right.
I love going to Mass wherever I am and feel blessed that I can do it often. When I return to Canada, I will remember being at Mass here and how I felt, sharing the Body and Blood of Christ with the priest as Jesus, and with the other Apostles.