The Roman Catholic Parish of
18th Sunday of Ordinary Time
2nd August 2020
"You open wide your hand, O Lord,
you grant our desires"
|6.00pm||Glastonbury||Gabrielle Poyntz-Wright RIP|
|9.00am||Shepton Mallet||Polly Egglestone RIP|
|11.00am||Cheddar (Fr Wally) *|
|12.15pm||Glastonbury (Latin)||Benefactors to the Community, living and dead|
|7.30am||Glastonbury (Latin)||Friends of the Suffering Souls (FOSS)|
|10.00am||Glastonbury||Clare and Joseph Sweetman RIP|
|* Fr Wally Beale will offer Mass in the Classroom, and at 10am on weekdays|
|* Fr Bede and Fr Anselm are away from Monday to Friday this week|
|Glastonbury Saturday 5.15pm-5.45pm
Shepton Saturday 5.15pm-5.45pm
|Cheddar on request|
Wells on request
There is much nowadays about masks. We are bidden to wear them while in shops, on public transport, etc., but not yet in Church. If we allowed people to sit close together then we would have to wear masks, but we decided on the 2 metre rule. It is funny how things change! Pre 'all-this' the idea of going into a shop in a mask would have been vaguely worrying. Perhaps not if it was one of those blue surgical ones, but we monks have nifty black ones, and they are just a little bit sinister! But now, this is not the case at all. My favourites so far are the ones which have a weird grin on them, or transform you into half human, half cat. You can get them which reproduce that part of your face which is covered up (but that just really looks weird!). But masks are here to stay, for a bit anyway. We have to find ways of stopping glasses being steamed up, and working out where to tie them when they are not in use. I whipped my mask out the other day only to find it besmirched with pocket fluff! Yuk!
It will interest you to know that 'masks' are deeply involved in very tricky theology. And as such deserve to be talked about for a couple of weeks.
It all starts with the Greeks. Ancient Greek theatre is a wonderful thing, and although it deals with the fundamental things of life, it does so in a stylised way. Well, it is to us because we have got used to closeups on television and films where every gory detail and tear and sob is laid bare. Well, the Greeks were a bit more classic than that. If they wanted to show that a character was happy or sad, well they didn't have a zoom so that the audience could immediately see the face, so they had a mask that the actor could put on. Happy face mask… happy moment, sad face mask ... sad moment.
This may seem quite flippant and a long way from very tricky theology, but those ancient Greeks were incapable of anything happening without turning it into deep philosophy. And so it was with the masks. In Greek, a mask is a prosopon, and this became part of what or who a person was. It was definitely not something used to conceal or alter (like a burglar with a black mask and a bag of swag, or someone hiding their face to get up to dastardly deeds, or hide who they are). The prosopon, the mask, showed something deep down about who you were as a person, it 'revealed' an element, a depth of the person standing in front of you. In the theatre, the mask showed you the truth.
We need to get this fixed before next week. The mask reveals the truth, it does not hide. Got that? Good. Time for some very tricky theology ...
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