Maundy numbers

Well it does to the people who post here... dispassionate and reasoned debate, with a good deal of humour thrown in for good measure.

Moderators: Dom Perignon, Casimir

Post Reply
User avatar
Nick Baty
Posts: 2144
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:27 am
Parish / Diocese: Everton, Liverpool
Contact:

Maundy numbers

Post by Nick Baty » Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:49 am

I remember a discussion last year about numbers being down for The Mass of the Lord's Supper: And last night was an all-time low. When I joined the parish in 2004, the building was almost full on Maundy Thursday but numbers have decreased each year since. Last night, once the 12 had come forward to have their feet washed, there was almost no one left in the pews. Is it just us or is this happening elsewhere?

It could be that the building we use is high on Everton Brow. It could be the result of parishes merging and the folk simply thinking there is no Mass in their church that day. Or, as PP suggests, many of the stalwarts have died off over the years and have not been replaced.

Or perhaps it's because most folk don't see Maundy Thursday as part of he Triduum: I expect numbers to be back up today.

alan29
Posts: 1155
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 8:04 pm
Location: Wirral

Re: Maundy numbers

Post by alan29 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:04 am

We were packed to the rafters.
Holy Week attendance is usually excellent except for the Vigil. Its still a bit of a horse designed by committee in my eyes......

organgrinder
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:35 pm
Parish / Diocese: Andover
Location: North-west Hampshire

Re: Maundy numbers

Post by organgrinder » Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:56 pm

We too were packed to the rafters, and also Good Friday. Our Vigil has lower numbers but usually still quite reasonable. We are a country town parish with no other options for miles, so that may be a factor.

User avatar
Nick Baty
Posts: 2144
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:27 am
Parish / Diocese: Everton, Liverpool
Contact:

Re: Maundy numbers

Post by Nick Baty » Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:23 pm

Good Friday started with the smallest number I've ever seen. However, by the end of the psalm it was quite healthy, but still no more than 150 – and that's three-and-a-half former parishes merged into one!

HallamPhil
Posts: 420
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:57 pm
Parish / Diocese: St Lawrence Diocese of St Petersburg
Location: Tampa, Florida

Re: Maundy numbers

Post by HallamPhil » Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:23 pm

We did over 300 Orders of Service for Thursday and there were just enough. Only about 25 stayed till Night Prayer but perhaps city centres are not places for religious folk to hang out! This afternoon's Passion was attended by almost 500 and there were about 30 children celebrating the Passion elsewhere in one of the halls. We managed to get it completed in about 1 hour 20 mins (quickest for a while).

Ros Wood
Posts: 77
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2004 4:19 pm
Parish / Diocese: Christ the King Chingford - Brentwood Diocese
Location: London

Re: Maundy numbers

Post by Ros Wood » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:29 am

We were full on Holy Thursday(we ran out of orders of service). Watch numbers were the highest I've ever known - we didn't have the usual rush for the door once father left. Yesterday was full but we only had a handful of people in the porch. In previous years they have been standing outside the church but the lower numbers may be because our regular travellers were elsewhere. Vigil numbers have been growing over recent years so we'll see what happens tonight.

HallamPhil
Posts: 420
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:57 pm
Parish / Diocese: St Lawrence Diocese of St Petersburg
Location: Tampa, Florida

Re: Maundy numbers

Post by HallamPhil » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:05 pm

Having just been to the practice for those to be baptised/received/confirmed and seen the numbers involved we could be in for a long night tonight. It will still be shorter than the three years when Bishop and Dean baptised by full immersion. This year each baptism will only involve the pouring of a litre of water over the Elect three times! That amount of water will test the drains in the baptismal floor but at least the bishop won't have to go off to get changed!

We were recalling this morning the occasion when one African Elect, who had not attended the practice, really panicked as the Bishop and Dean struggled to push him under the water (three times)!

Happy Easter, one and all!

JW
Posts: 850
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:46 am
Location: Kent

Re: Maundy numbers

Post by JW » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:18 pm

We seem to be a dying parish at present. Church only about a quarter full for the Maundy Mass. Half full yesterday. Easter Vigil tends to be around the same as Maundy Thursday. Easter Sunday - church fairly full. No adults baptised, confirmed or received for the last 2 years. And that's despite us have a "missionary" priest. I don't know what the Spirit is saying to us. The church is growing in multi-cultural London. What's happened to the descendants of the Irish and English Catholics who filled our churches in such numbers in the 1960's?
JW

User avatar
Nick Baty
Posts: 2144
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 11:27 am
Parish / Diocese: Everton, Liverpool
Contact:

Re: Maundy numbers

Post by Nick Baty » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:40 pm

This is probably a debate for elsewhere, JW. But I think we appear irrelevant to many. And we're not good at PR, let's be honest. We're only ever heard talking about sex: even the gay marriage debate was reduced to sex. Were I on the outside looking in, I'd think that the Church saw relationships as about sex and nothing else. All terribly sad. (Oops! I said this was for elsewhere and now I've wittered. Apologies, Mr Bear!)

HallamPhil
Posts: 420
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:57 pm
Parish / Diocese: St Lawrence Diocese of St Petersburg
Location: Tampa, Florida

Re: Maundy numbers

Post by HallamPhil » Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:18 pm

well I'd like to keep on the topic that is 'off topic'. The sacrificial love that we have just been celebrating is also present in relationships of any kind. Love is sacrificial unless it is fragmented in whatever way. One of our daily newspapers ran an article this weekend about the same but without the Christian take on it. The christian take is that our wish to relate to each other, which is at best unselfish and altruistic, is inspired by the Holy Spirit. This is what we Christians need to be recognised for ... that we are men and women for others. But may be I'm just drunk ... with the spirit?

old barmaid
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:44 am

Re: Maundy numbers

Post by old barmaid » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:31 am

From a small-town Yorkshire parish, average weekly Mass attendance around 300.

Maundy Thursday: 110.
Good Friday: 150.
Easter Vigil: 100.
Easter Sunday: Too many to count but around 400.
Counted from the Choir loft.
On Holy Saturday at noon there was a Polish food blessing. I happened to drive by about 12-20p.m. There were cars all over, parked (dangerously) along both
sides of the main road for about a quarter of a mile. The the Church car park was full of people who could not get into the church. Where are they the rest of the
year?

Ephrem Feeley
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:05 pm
Parish / Diocese: Ashbourne Meath
Contact:

Re: Maundy numbers

Post by Ephrem Feeley » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:30 pm

For the first year in a long while, we had a packed church at the Easter Vigil - around 800 people. Usually there is a noticeable difference between Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Vigil, but not so much this year. Perhaps people are beginning to see the connection between the three liturgies - or rather one liturgy spread over three days even! Good Friday was unaccompanied, the other two liturgies had a good mix of music, and the congregation sang very well - an indication that those that were there really wanted to be there.

Post Reply