Spanish Nationalist leader General Francisco Franco (1892 - 1975) salutes during the singing of the Nationalist national anthem at Burgos Cathedral, Castile, Spain, 24th November 1938. He is attending a holy mass in memory of José Antonio Primo de Rivera (1903 - 1936), founder of the Falange Española, the only legal political party in Francoist Spain.

as far as smells and bells are concerned - I love them. as y’all know, I generally pro-ritual, pro-chanting, anti-applause-during-liturgy. I am a firm believer in the power and importance of ritual to draw us into a liminal space and change us. I get so excited when the fancy liturgical seasons come upon us and I know there’s gonna be more incense, more chanting, fancier decorations.

but. I think there is also a power and importance of ordinary time and in the ordinary trappings of an ordinary mass. the combination of ritual + simplicity + every-day-ness of atmosphere reminds us of something important - the every-day-ness of our transcendent/incarnate/living god. 

if we only associate ritual and sacredness with foreignness, with dark smoky light and spooky bass chanting (which I love), we risk forgetting that eating a meal with our friends, helping a customer at work, sitting on the bus looking out the window, listening to a pop song, are also sacred opportunities for reverence, meditation, christian joy, and encounters with god. I think there’s a need for both. experiences of both transcendence and incarnation. eternity and the present moment. chanting and folk hymns.