29 April 2008

To morning mass at St Peter's - in Rome

The bells were calling to us as we hurried along to early morning mass at St Peter's. We moved through security and then up the steps, passing one priest after another whose walk, by contrast, was slow and measured.

As we crowded around the grilled doors, the line of priests waiting calmly to one side grew, each of them with a prayer book or their neatly pressed white alb folded under their arm. They rested against the balustrade, keeping a little apart from one another in reflective silence, their backs warmed by the sun as it rose over the top of Bernini's colonade.

At five to seven the guard entrusted with the keys of St Peter's fumbled with the huge padlock and unlocked it, and the small crowd surged forward in anticipation. We crossed ourself with holy water from the huge sconces, nodding to the marble cherubs as we moved on.

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1 comment:

Jeffrey said...

1) Your visit in Valencia was certainly a long one, or so it seems. How long is your stay in Rome/Italy and what is your next stop after that? I am really enjoying reading your blog, as well as browsing through the amazing photos you take along your journey!

2) I think your writing style is very awe-inspiring. The vivid details you use to describe the world's largest religious structure, as well as the emotions and anecdotes that accompany the rare occasion of attending mass in such a place, make me want to be there.

Looking forward to reading more in the future!