One of the things that is optional in the Catholic Mass is a communal song of praise and thanksgiving after communion. This has never made sense to me in terms of the flow of the liturgy, and I’ve never been to a mass in which it’s been done.
I suppose I still haven’t, but last night’s communion song extended into the time after communion, after everyone had received and the dishes were cleaned up and we were all seated once again. The song was Amazing Grace, which I don’t particularly care for, especially at mass. But there was something about it last night that just really grabbed me. I sang my heart out on those last two verses, filled with the spirit of thanksgiving for what we had received and what we will receive.
I think I get it now!
Through many dangers, toils, and snares
I have already come,
‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun!