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Camera; Bell; Tantum Ergo; Pittance

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Saturday 26 March 2011.

Well this was a fine day devoted to the church. I think I performed my usual routine including exercise and a shower. Rosanna gave me an early lunch of salad including egg, rice and a vinegary dressing. I walked over with my camera and book arriving at 12.45. Ann Murphy and plenty of choir members soon turned up. Ann had rung around. Pat Brennan insisted and everyone except Catherine Baldwin, me, and Ann Murphy deserted the church and went down to the front gate to meet The Eucharistic Congress Bell. Ann and Fr. Murphy made out a program of 7 hymns earlier in the church.

· Holy God, We Praise Thy Name

· O Salutaris Hostia

· Here I Am, Lord

· Tantum Ergo

· O, Sacrament Most Holy

· Hail, Queen of Heaven

· Christ Be Beside Me

We also sang the response during benediction, “Omne delectamentum in se habentem.” I was standing beside Catherine. “For fuck’s sake!” I exclaimed at one point when Gerry Woods got confused at my request to pass “that book!” “When do we sing, ‘O Salutaris?’” Catherine asked me before the Tantum Ergo. “It’s over,” I informed her making a flat gesture with my right hand. Anyway there was a bit of confusion with Gerry Woods and others audibly exhorting Ann to begin the last hymn. Ann waited staunchly and ignored them until the last person had rung the bell. I got a chance to ring it myself and I also took a few snaps inside the church of the procession up to ring the bell. The bell is not really impressive looking and it does not sound wonderful. At least one of the snaps turned out later to be quite presentable. Taken on “natural light” setting. Gave Mrs. McNamee a wave as I walked down from the church in the sunshine. She responded in mild, friendly, good humoured fashion The bell was already leaving for Kilkerley. “Well you got good weather for it anyway,” I remarked to Fr. Murphy who deigned to talk to me at the gate for a second, “It’s like Italy today.” The church was full of incense and smoke today. I was dressed sparely in Stena navy fleece and Calvin Klein white T-shirt, black slacks, black socks, black patent Clarks. Fr. Murphy mentioned that the bell had gone round all the churches in Cooley but maintained it was better here to do it all in one church. I concurred although the Lordship mafia had a very strong presence in what I still feel is “our” church. I rang Jimmy and had a long chat with him. I don’t think I took a siesta. Rosanna golfed today and scored 34 points off 16. There were shades of enthusiasm because the choir returned for 19.30 mass. I walked over in my high visibility jacket with my lamp, book, pen. €4 in coin in the envelope for the priest. Helen Meek collecting for water safety at the door. I emptied my purse into the basket, a pittance. I told them I did water safety training years ago, “When I was in college.” Fr. Paddy Larkin. Less tension.

· Here I Am, Lord

· My God Loves Me

· Lady of Knock (Catherine: solo)

· Let There Be Love Shared Among Us

The session earlier today meant that the choir was more assured. The third hymn was an answer to a special request and I thought it went very well. I was in good form in the church tonight. “Are you sure you have that name spelled correctly?” I asked Phil Sutherland pointing to Annie McDonald’s name in the diary. “I’m certain!” she replied peremptorily much to Fr. Larkin’s amusement. I had previously asked him and he advised me to “go by the book.” Anyway I said goodnight to Ann Murphy who seemed in good mood even after the exertions of the day. E-mailed Silvia and had enough energy to complete and send an application form to Gabriela Tanasan about the capacity building ENUSP/MHE conference in Brussels on 19 May 2011. Could not summon up enough energy to do any journaling. Typing this day’s entry at 17.22 on 28 March 2011. I think I went to bed around 23.00 in anticipation of the clock going forward 1 hour tonight. No-one said anything to me about it but I thought the singing today was of a very high standard. I spared no effort.

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