Father’s Day at Mass and Vespers

The outside of the Blackfriars

The outside of the Blackfriars

First of all, happy Father’s Day to you all especially everyone who is a father. Being a dad is certainly not an easy task. You have to protect your children while respecting their independent needs and allowing them to grow. You help children to walk, learn to bike, and teach them to talk before releasing them out into the big world. You must handle your own struggles while caring for the hurts of your family.

Those are huge responsibilities. Sadly, many fathers do not live up to these ideals. Of course, no man is perfect. However, abuse, neglect, shaming, and other harmful tactics are never alright. Everyone makes mistakes, but these pains should never be inflicted by a father to his children. If you have been hurt by your father, my prayers are with you on this day. Hopefully, you will be able to find joy and security in a different father figure such as a teacher, pastor, God, family friend, uncle, grandfather, etc.

My father and my sister Maria years ago

My father and my sister Maria years ago

Today, I was sad not to see my father. However, going to Mass gave me the chance to pray for him and think about how wonderful he has been in my life. I went to the Dominican priory for Mass to try something different. This Dominican order has a special service that combines Mass and vespers on Sunday evenings. While doing the liturgy, we sang some extra psalms throughout as well as the magnificat at the end.

All the while, I kept thinking about my own father. He would have loved this Mass. All of the brothers sang and interacted with the liturgy up front. The singing was beautiful while staying simple and repetitive. The church itself was lovely without being over-the-top extravagant. People engaged with the Mass which gave the room a feeling of oneness. Overall, it was a lovely experience.

Then tonight, I was able to speak with my father and discuss how life has been in Oxford. This is the first time we have talked since I have been here, so hearing his voice was amazing. I am so thankful to have such an amazing dad! Happy Father’s Day to you especially, Daddy. You mean so much to me and will always be my strong helper and adviser.

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