Wednesday brought a trip to the Sint Salvador Cathedral in Brugge to the annual Chrism mass which this year was presided over by the newly installed Bishop of Brugge. This was special and frankly I could not wait to go! A cold was valiantly trying to catch me but I might have had the ‘bird flu’ and I would still have tried to go. The bird flu has truly devastated the winged population here, last year there were flocks of ducks mating and nesting and sitting atop the roofs and in the canals, this year not. Flocks of large black birds usually foraged in our courtyard for morning breakfast but no….maybe a couple or two which I try always to greet to encourage their return. Return to the Chrism mass…the cathedral has been undergoing renovations, (a regular sight in Brugge churches) for the past I think 3 three years ever since I came for my long stay. At various previous visits to the cathedral, the working walls moved steadily around, varying sections being open for a congregation sitting in different places not being worked on, on movable chairs. The organ console had a way of moving also!! Today the whole central aisle was finished and wow was it beautiful. The paintings were cleaned and the colors bright and arresting; the statues had freshly scrubbed arms and legs and layers of dull dust removed. I loved it. The Bishop was bedecked in wonderful ritual robes and various parish representatives carried the oil for blessing to the high altar. It was a moving and blessed service including a small reception at the end which I was privileged to attend.
PS. This sister was happy she knew all the responses in Dutch and even managed a slight conversation at the reception with a friendly priest and a chat with some other sisters in the diocese. God is Good.