I have often heard visitors to Catholic Masses refer to the strange ritual of standing and kneeling and sitting with the responses spoken out by the congregation which are spoken out on the whole off by heart.
In November 2011, the Catholic Church in England and Wales, introduced new liturgical responses to the Mass for the priest and faithful.
They took quite a while to get used to, because the old responses had been around for nearly 50 years i.e from around the time I was born.
Occasionally, even though I now know the new responses off by heart, I will speak out the old ones, and it is usually when I am perhaps not concentrating on being present, perhaps because my mind has wandered to other issues.
At roughly the same time as the church changed its liturgical responses, I acknowledged to those whom I love, that I needed a change in response in my life.
A change from a reactive, painful, hurtful existence, to a place of calm, self love, peace, a life in the present with the prospect of a happier future.
I intended to make this change, within the current structure of my life, so remaining in my marriage, despite being gay, and remaining faithful to my deep-held Catholic faith, despite finding myself at odds over time with the quality of its welcome to those who have alternative lifestyles.
Last week at a service I noticed again that I called out the wrong response – it feels odd when everyone else around me was saying the correct response.
This made me reflect on how with change, we layover an old narrative, a new narrative, but for this change to be maintained we have to be present with it and vigilant.
I have found in my life, that when the old narrative breaks through, it is to be welcomed, listened to, because it is a voice from the heart of self, asking for me to consider an aspect of self all afresh once more.
My next blog will be: Dragged