Sunday, February 17, 2008
Address: 329 W. 42nd St. (between 8th and 9th)
Weekend Mass Times: Sat: 4:30pm; Sun: 8:30am, 10am (Spanish), 11:30am
Weekday Mass Times: M-F: 7:15am, 8am, 12:05pm; Sat: 12:05pm
Daily Communion Service:
Post-Church Activity: Go to Ikea
- Holy Cross: Wikipedia
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SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT
Like a lot of buildings in this great city, the Church of the Holy Cross' exterior down in the Times Square neighborhood is covered with scaffolding. Upon entering one finds an old church, complete with organ and surrounding balcony. Those churches with that upstairs portion that hangs over the pews are always so dark inside.
Strange being in a house of faith and worship so near the corn and consumption of Times Square. The cantor of the mass was a gentleman with such a strong deep voice, I had to wonder if he was some kind of broadway performer. Then, during the mass, I begin to think of how funny it would be if the service turned out to be a musical with a name like "Church of the Holy Cross" - you enter in the theater district, no ticket but faith required and not always that - your admission is paid halfway through the production at a strange intermission where you don't arrise, but the ushers come to you with long poles holding baskets for your admission alms. I eventually focused my mind back on the service at hand and not some made up world that continues on in my mind always.
My Lenten non-drinking is ongoing and there's nothing that difficult about it, although Friday night when a friend came to town I was perplexed as to what to do with him. We actually did end up going to a bar, I was fine with drinking Coke and buying him shots, however when I realized the soft drink was going to cost me $3 I was pissed. What kind of bar...? I guess they need to make their money and have no room for free loaders, but come Easter and beyond I certainly won't go back there. To be a good bar, you gotta give your customers something...
Tonight, my friend Patrick came over. He and his wife have also given up booze for Lent. It was 6:30pm and we couldn't think of a damned thing to do that didn't involve drinking. It is such a heavy, ingrained part of our lives, to go out, enjoy libations, inundate our thoughts and heads with the drink and to see where we go from there. And now that option is gone to us and we don't know what to do with ourselves.
I had to go to Ikea today in Jersey by way of the free weekend Ikea bus that operates out of the Port Authority. That's part of the reason I chose this church on 42nd street. I woke early, rushed to church, arrived late, mass passed fast somehow, I took some pictures with my phone and then headed to the bus terminal, made it to the superstore, bought some things, got a ride back, made it home, started making furniture and then my day went on from there. The actual going to Mass part of the day had happened so quickly and was so uneventful that I had to keep reminding myself that I had gone to church already - and that got me to thinking. I felt great that I had been that morning and received Communion. Rather than making it the penultimate event of the day, I had just moved it to an important portion. That's exaclty what church and religion and faith should be - laid in one's life as a cornerstone that must exists and works as a foundation to all other things.
(the scaffolding has come down!)