Ite Missa Est

In the old days

Mass was mystery

Silence incense smells

God come down from heaven

And the ringing of the bells

Congregation looking east

Heads bowed low in prayer

Adoring one white lifted host

Then coughing filled the air

Altar boys genuflecting

Bowing left and right

Carrying precarious missal stand

Gave onlookers a fright

Mumbling in Latin

Priest was centre stage

Turned to say ‘vobiscum’

We followed on the page

A half hour Sunday morning

Heaven came down to earth

A ring of Irishmen outside

Far from their place of birth

Outside were mills and factories

And coal mines by the score

The school next door a happy place

Couldn’t ask for more

Black coated priests black hatted too

Housekeeper to cook

Operation Hindsford

All done by the book


The change when come enormous

Join the modern world

Join the swinging sixties

Mini skirts and whirls

Priests now face the music

Compere for the show

Talking all in English

Silence has to go

Tabernacle tabled

Relegated to the side

Altar not a sacrifice

Rather mother’s pride

Guitars replace the organ

Singing ditties now

Earth is where it’s at now

Heaven can wait somehow


Change is always painful

We get set in our ways

And the new it isn’t perfect

Sometimes just a craze

But change was needed

That’s for sure

And change is coming still

The Church a living organism

Here to do God’s will


Last night I saw the old mass

All that bow and scrape

What is this they’re playing?

A form of great escape

Escape from modern living

Escape into the past

Hide from what needs doing

The old is best at last


The Lord gave us this supper

This holy sacrifice

We gather round as family

He died and paid the price

And I am with you always

The promise that he gave

And so I join his followers

Come O Lord and save


Brian Fahy

30 November 2021

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: