The longest mass Before mass

Sam arrived at Holy Name Church, prepared to serve another mass, hoping to have Fr Rupert, as he had yet to do a Saturday night mass and she was curious to see how he would do. She was humming "Jesus take the wheel" by Carrie Underwood.

She slipped in and greeted Greg as she went passed him. She went out the back and saw that Oliver and Alice, two of the younger altar servers had already arrived and were sitting in the corridor. She grabbed her alb and glanced into the sacristy to see if the priest had arrived. He hadn't. She grabbed the lighter and light the acolyte candles. She then went out onto the altar. She lit the candles on and either side of the altar. As she turned to go back into the sacristy, Sam glanced out at the congregation and saw someone she thought would never turn up. His holiness Pope Benedict the 16th had just arrived at the church. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Michael come out. "Michael" she hissed, frantically. He looked round. "It's only the pope."

"What" he asked

"He's the head of the catholic church". She replied sarcastically, earning a glare. They looked at each other, before he grabbed the cross and followed her off the altar. Out the back they found another altar server, Cian had just turned up, not yet in his alb but talking to the other two. "You are altar serving, aren't you Cian." He nodded. "Well get your alb on" She said. He scowled but went to get his alb.

Just then Fr Rupert and Pope Benedict came in. "Your Holiness" Sam gasped, suddenly very nervous. "Fr Rupert" Fr Rupert turned to the Pope "Your holiness, this is Samantha, the head altar server tonight" Sam looked at Fr Rupert then back at the pope and nodded. She then finished the rest of the introductions. "That's Michael, my brother. Oliver and Alice. And that's Cian just come in." As she said each name she pointed at the person. The pope nodded and said "Hello everyone, so you are my team of people tonight"

Sam heard Cian hiss "Why has he got such a strong accent" She glared at him, and then muttered "He's Italian."

"That explains it" She rolled her eyes at him

"Cian hush now puppy"

He gave her a confused look. She gave him a smile and then turned to all the altar servers. "Right guys listen up, jobs. Cian can do the bell." At this point Cian groaned and tried to protest but Sam ignored him and kept talking. "Oliver you can do book and you can do the acolyte candles with Alice. Alice, I will tell you when to go. Cian I will tell you when to ring the bell. Michael give the book to Oliver, take it off him and put it on the altar. You know the drill. After communion, Cian get the water jug"

"But I don't want to do the bell I want to do the acolyte candles.

Sam rolled her eyes. "Tough Cian. You do what I say and I want you to practice the bell." Cian looked like he was going to protest but Sam turned away. "Michael can you put books and cards on the altar. Two on your side and 3 on mine."

"But I don't know when to do the bell." Cian wined.

"Cian, if you wanted sympathy you blew it a long time ago. Quit whining and get on with it. I will tell you what to do and you do it." Sam said exasperatly. That boy would test the patience of a saint. He really would. At least most would accept you saying that you would show them what to do and get on with it. Cian rarely turned up, didn't know what to do and when to do it and then just wined and wanted everything his way.

The pope looked round at them with a slightly bemused expression. "This is normal for them." Fr Rupert said "But normally we have another couple of older altar servers. Not just Sam and Micheal."

"What do you mean 'normal'?" he asked.

"Us winding each other up" Sam commented

"Can't I do acolyte" He asked.

"No" Sam replied shortly. "The other two are doing them." She turned away and looked at the clock. It was 5.55. "Time to line up guys. Grab your candles."

Michael and Cian grabbed hymn books and Michael passed some to Fr Rupert and Pope Benedict. The hymn was "All people who on earth do dwell" They all took their places and turned to face Fr Rupert and the Pope. "Let us pray" Fr Rupert said. Together the altar servers recited "O God, you accept our ministry, and allow us to serve at your altar. Grant that while serving you we follow the example of our patron, St Stephan the first martyr and may like him come to see you standing at the right hand of the father in the kingdom of heaven"

At the conclusion of the prayer, Sam said "St Stephan" The rest of the servers responded "Pray for us"

Fr Rupert said "Ring the bell" Sam rang the bell three times, and then the bell fell off in her hand. She caught Michal's eye then put it on the floor next to her.

All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice;
Him serve with fear, his praise forth tell,
Come ye before him, and rejoice.
The Lord, ye know, is God indeed,
Without our aid he did us make;
We are his folk, he doth us feed,
And for his sheep he doth us take.

As the congregation started singing the first verse of the hymn, Sam walked out and went up the side aisle and down the middle one, ensuring she stayed at the same steady pace. She joined in and knew Michael would be joining in as well.

O enter then his gates with praise,
Approach with joy his courts unto;
Praise, laud, and bless his name always,
For it is seemly so to do.

For why? The Lord our God is good:
His mercy is for ever sure;
His truth at all times firmly stood,
And shall from age to age endure.

She bowed then went up onto the altar. She walked around the back of the lectern and placed the cross in its holder. She walked away and then heard an almighty crash. She whirled and saw that the cross had fallen over. She darted over and picked it back up. To her embarrassment the cross had a very big and very noticeable bend to it.

To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
The God whom heaven and earth adore,
From men and from the Angel-host
Be praise and glory evermore. Amen.

She caught sight of Cian laughing and gave him a look. He looked back down at his hymn book. She returned to her place as the finished the hymn.

Introductory rights

"Good evening, as you know I am Pope Benedict the sixteenth. This mass is dedicated to the intentions of the joint parish. In the name of the father and the son and of the Holy Spirit.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of god and the fellowship of the holy spirit be with you all"

The congregation responded "And with your spirit"

The pop continued "My brothers and sisters, to prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries, we call to mind our sins." After a moment he said "I confess"

At this point the rest of the congregation all joined in "to almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters that I have sinned that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do; and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God. Amen."

He then said "Lord have mercy"

The congregation replied "Lord have mercy"

He said "Christ have mercy"

The congregation replied "Christ have mercy"

He said "Christ have mercy"

He then said "Lord have mercy"

The congregation replied "Lord have mercy"

He then said "Glory to God the father"

Out of the corner of her eye Sam saw Michael get the book and pass it to Oliver as she joined the congregation saying "and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks, for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father. Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: have mercy on us. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen."

At the point of "Through my fault" The altar servers beat their breast 3 times.

"Let us pray" Oliver walked around and stood in front of him, resting the book on his forehead. "Almighty and merciful God, you break the power of evil and make all things new, in your son Jesus Christ, the king of the universe. May all in heaven and earth acclaim your glory" He then touched Oliver's hand to indicate that he had finished. Michael stepped forward to take the book off him.

Liturgy of the word

As this happened the two readers stepped forward, bowed and came onto the altar. The first reader, Lorette, stepped up to the lectern while the other sat at the side. She read from the prophet Daniel:

First Reading

I was gazing into the visions of the night, when I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven, as it were a son of man. He came to the One most venerable and was led into his presence.

On him was conferred rule, honour and kingship, and all peoples, nations and languages became his servants. His rule is an everlasting rule which will never pass away, and his kingship will never come to an end."

At the end of the first reading she said "This is the word of the Lord"

The congregation replied "Thanks be to God"

Responsorial Psalm

She then did the responsorial psalm: The response was: The Lord is King, with majesty enrobed.

Everyone then repeated: The Lord is King, with majesty enrobed

The Lord is king with majesty enrobed

The lord has robed himself with might

He has girded himself with power.

(The response -: The Lord is King, with majesty enrobed)

The word you made firm, not to be moved

Your throne has stood firm from old

From all eternity Lord you are

(The response -: The Lord is King, with majesty enrobed)

Truly your decrees are to be trusted

Holiness fitting to your house

O lord to the end of time.

(The response -: The Lord is King, with majesty enrobed)

Having completed this, she left the lectern, walked off the alter and bowed. The other reader, Antony, stepped to the lectern and read from the New Testament, from the book of the apocalypse:

Second reading

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the First-born from the dead, the ruler of all the kings of the earth. He loves us and has washed away our sins with his blood, and made us a Kingdom of kings, Priests to serve his God and Father; to him, then, be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.

It is he who is coming on the clouds everyone will see him, even those who pieced him and all the races of the earth will mourn over him. This is the truth Amen

"I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.

At the end of the second reading he said "This is the word of the Lord"

The congregation replied "Thanks be to God"

Having done this he placed the book on the shelf beneath the stand and stepped back. The congregation spoke the gospel acclimation which was Alleluia, alleluia! Blessings on him who come in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the coming kingdoms of our father David! Alleluia!

Fr Rupert stepped forward, to take the missal off the altar. Neither acolyte moved. Sam nudged Alice, knowing this was her first week and nodded at the candles. She caught the eye of Michael who nudged Oliver, who also stepped forward. They followed Fr Rupert around the altar and stood either side of the altar. The rest of the servers and congregation stood. He preached John 18:33-37.:


Fr Rupert Said "The Lord be with you"

The congregation replied "and with your spirit"

He said "A reading from the holy gospel according to John"

"Glory to you lord"

So Pilate went back into the Praetorium and called Jesus to him and asked him, 'Are you the king of the Jews?'

34 Jesus replied, 'Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others said it to you about me?'

35 Pilate answered, 'Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?'

36 Jesus replied, 'Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. As it is, my kingdom does not belong here.'

37 Pilate said, 'So, then you are a king?' Jesus answered, 'It is you who say that I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this, to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice

He then said "This is the gospel of the Lord"

The congregation replied "Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ"

When Fr Rupert had finished preaching the gospel Oliver turned and walked back to the altar. Alice followed. They bowed and placed the acolytes back in their holders. The altar servers and congregation and pope took a seat as Fr Rupert did his homily. As it was the feast day of Christ the King, this was the basis of his homily. He also talked about young people as it was national youth Sunday. "At the end of mass" Fr Rupert informed the congregation. "We will be hearing from a member of the Brentwood Youth Service. If it incredibly difficult for young people to be believers due to the pressures placed on them by their peers. We are incredibly lucky to have the young people behind me and all young people who come week by week to meet God. Without them, the Church has no future." Having finished the homily he returned to his seat and there was a moment of silence.

Profession of faith

After a moment the pope stood up and said" Let us proclaim our faith" Then rest of the congregation stood up and recited "I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen."

For the sentence "For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man." The altar servers bowed. Then stood back up again.

When everybody said "Pontius Pilate" Sam saw Michael get the black book and give it to Oliver.

Prayer of the faithful

At the end of the creed Michael nodded and Oliver walked and stood in front of the Pope. Antony also went and stood at the lectern.

The pope started reading

"We come before the Lord and ask him for help. We bring our own intentions before the Lord" he paused. Antony then continued

"For the church throughout the world. We particularly pray for the people in our sister diocese in Uganda. May we and all your church come closer to you"

"Lord in your mercy"

"Hear our prayer"

"We pray for the Pope, the cardinals and all the clergy. May they serve their communities in your image. We pray for Bishop Thomas as he prepares for his retirement."

Fr Rupert then said "Lord in your mercy"
The congregation replied "Hear our prayer".

Antony continues "We pray for the young people of the parish. May you increase their faith and the strength of their convictions .We pray that they always do what is expected of them." Here he caught Sam's eye. She gave him a stony look in response.

Fr Rupert quickly jumped in with "Lord in your mercy"

"Hear our prayer"

"We pray for those in positions of power. May they do what is right for the people they serve. May they always remember the people they serve."

"Lord in your mercy "

"Hear our prayer"

"We pray for the sick of the parish. May you give them your healing touch. We pray in particular those who are mentioned week by week in the parish newsletter"

"Lord in your mercy"

"Hear our prayer"

"We pray for those who have died. May you take them into the light of your presence. We pray for John Smith and Jane Doe. We also pray for those see no reason more to live"

"Lord in your mercy"

"Hear our prayer".

Antony then said "we ask Mary our mother to help us as we say" At this point, somehow Oliver managed to move in such a way that the book fell forwards, causing the Pope to have to catch it to prevent himself from being hit. Fr Rupert made a movement to say "Carry on".

The rest of the congregation then joined in saying "Hail Mary full of grace, hallowed be thy name Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

The reader returned to their seat and Oliver returned the book to Michael then sat down. He looked mortified. Michael put the big book on the altar and then went to help Sam set the altar. They caught each other's eye.

All that I am, all that I do,
All that I'll ever have, I offer now to you.
Take and sanctify these gifts
For your honour, Lord.
Knowing that I love and serve you
Is enough reward.
All that I am, all that I do,
All that I'll ever have I offer now to you.

Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Seeing the offerty collectors were almost at the back of the church, and Oliver was ready to go, she whispered to Alice, "Go the back of the church with Oliver, do not take your candle with you" Alice nodded, got up and went to get her candle then looked at Oliver who had walked past his and was now standing facing the priests at the front of the altar. She quickly placed her candle down then joined him. They bowed together then walked to the back of the church.

All that I dream, all that I pray,
All that I'll ever make, I give to you today.
Take and sanctify these gifts
For your honour, Lord.
Knowing that I love and serve you
Is enough reward.
All that I am, all that I do,
All that I'll ever have I offer now to you

When the offertory was ready Greg nodded at them and they lead the offertory procession to the altar and stood either side. Fr Rupert had come forward with the other altar servers, with Pope Benedict remaining seated. He gave the wine to Cian and the bread to Michael. Sam got the collection money. When this was done he bowed to the children and turned the other altar servers all moved. Sam placed the money in front of the altar on the left, Michael placed the bread on the cloth on the altar. Sam touched Alice's arm and indicated for her to come over to the table. Cian followed she told Cian to keep hold of the wine, removed the stopped and gave the water to Alice. The pope was standing with the bread above his head.

He said "Blessed are you Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life."

The congregation replied "Blessed be God forever.

When he put the bowls down she nodded for then to go. He poured the water and wine into the chalices. They returned and she took the wine off Cian, told Alice to keep hold of the jug, passed her the cloth and gave Cian the bowl. After the pope had genuflected she nodded to them and they went and washed his hands.

The Pope then said "Blessed are you Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink.

They came back and gave their items to Sam who put them down and all three returned to their seats. The pope then said "Pray brethren that our sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God the almighty father."

The congregation replied "May the lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name for our good and the good of all his holy church"

Fr Rupert then said "Together with the heavenly host we say"

The congregation joined in and said "Holy, Holy Lord, God of might heaven and earth are full of your power and Glory. Hosanna in the highest heaven and peace to his people on earth. Hosanna in the highest."

The altar servers stepped down and knelt, Sam hissing to Cian to get the bell. He did as he was bid and sank next to Sam.

Pope Benedict said "Lord you are holy indeed, the fountain of all holiness. Let your spirit come upon these gifts to make them holy so they become for us the body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ."

As Pope Benedict lowered his hands over the gifts, Sam nodded at Cian to the ring the bell.

Pope Benedict continued "Before he was given up for death, a death he freely accepted, he took bread and gave you thanks. He broke the bread gave it to his disciples and said. "Take this all of you and eat it. His is my body which will be given up for you." He then raised the bread up. Sam nodded at Cian and held three fingers up.

Pope Benedict lowered the Bread and then reached for the chalice. "When supper was ended, he took the cup. Again he gave you thanks and praise, gave the cup to his disciples and said: take this all of you and drink from it. This is the cup of my blood. The blood of the new and everlasting covenment. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me." He then lifted it up. Sam nodded at Cian again and held up three fingers. While he was ringing the bell became loose in his hand. He looked alarmed at Sam who indicated to pass it over.

Fr Rupert then said "The mystery of faith"

"When we eat this bread and drink this cup we proclaim your death Lord Jesus, until you come in glory."

As this was being said, the altar servers, led by Sam rose to their feet and returned to their place. Sam carefully put the bell back on the seat.

The pope continued "Lord remember your church throughout the church make us grow in love, together with Benedict, our Pope, Thomas our bishop and all the clergy..

"Remember our brothers and sister who have gone to their rest in the hope of raising again bring them and all the departed into the light of your presence.

"Have mercy on us all; make us worthy to share eternal life with Mary, the mother of God, with the apostles, and with all the saints who have done your will throughout the ages. May we praise you in union with them and give you glory through your son, Jesus Christ."

Cian pulled her sleeve and whispered "I'm going to blow my nose" Sam nodded then turned back to the altar.

"Through him with him in him, in the unity with the holy spirit, all glory and honour is yours. Almighty glory and honour is yours, almighty father, for ever and ever."

The congregation joined in with "Amen"

Communion Rite

The congregation rose to their feet.

Lord's prayer

Fr Rupert said "At the lord's command and formed by divine teaching we dare to say."

The congregation and altar servers joined in

Our Father

Who art in heaven

Hallowed be thy name

Thy kingdom come

Thy will be done

On earth as it is in heaven

Give us this day

Our daily bread

And forgive us our trespasses

As we forgive those who trespass against us

And lead us not into temptation


Sign of peace

Pope Benedict said "Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles: I leave you in peace, my peace I give you. Look not on our sins but on the faith of your church. And grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom where you live for ever and ever."

The congregation replied "Amen"

"The peace of the Lord be with you all"

The congregation and altar servers replied "And also with you."

"Let us offer one another the sign of peace"

Sam turned to Cian and shook his hand "Peace be with you" They both said. She then did the same with Alice.

The congregation said "Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, lamb of god, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, lamb of god you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace"

Fr Rupert and the Pope came round and did the sign of piece with everyone. The pope returned to the altar while Fr Rupert went to the tabernacle. He then caught Sam and mouthed "the key" She quickly ducked round the back of the altar and into the sacristy. She grabbed the key, came out and gave it to him. Then she returned to her place. Fr Rupert brought out the host and walked to the altar.

The Pope said "Behold the Lamb of God behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb."

The congregation replied "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed."

Cian returned to the altar

After a moment the Eucharistic monitors came up. Sam and Michael lead the altar servers off the altar. The bread and wine was distributed. Sam had communion from Fr Rupert. She went up onto the altar, and put the bell away. She then prayed. Once finished praying, she picked her hymn book. She looked at what the last hymn was and then flicked to the communion hymn. She turned to Cian. She whispered "when I tell you, get the water jug, then come stand next to me."

After a while, Mike Hiom, the organist started the hymn.

One bread, one body,
one Lord of all,
one cup of blessing which we bless.
And we, though many,
throughout the earth,
we are one body in this one Lord.

Gentile or Jew,
servant or free,
woman or man, no more.

2. Many the gifts,
many the works,
one in the Lord of all.

When everyone had received communion, she nudged Cian and said "Get the jug" He went off and she rose to her feet and took a step forward. He came and joined her. The pope and Fr Rupert went to the altar with the Eucharistic ministers placed. They placed the communion bowls and chalices down and the Ministers walked off the altar, stood in a line, bowed and returned to the seats. The pope picked up a chalice and held it out to Cian. "Pore water in it" Sam whispered. He walked over and did as he was bid. She stood by him. "Put the jug back on the table" she whispered. The pope pored water from the chalice into one of the bowls. He dried the chalivc with the purfricator. He pored the water from the bowl into the other bowl and dried. He placed the two to one side. As he washed and dried the items for communion, Sam carried them from the altar to the credence table, two by two. Once finished she sat down and Micheal took the book off the altar. She saw Oliver pick up the book for the final prayer

3. Grain for the fields,
scattered and grown,
gathered to one, for all.

Conclusion Solemn blessing

"Let us pray" the pope said. Oliver walked round and stood in front of him.

At the end of the prayer, Oliver passed the book back to Michael.

"Now we have notices"

After the notices the Pope said "Now we have one of the young people talking about the youth service, Samantha Mayo" He looked round and Sam stepped forward, catching his eye. He nodded at her. She went to the lectern and grabbed the piece of paper she had stored under there before mass.

"Good afternoon" she started, glancing at her notes. "My name is Samantha Mayo and I am here to talk to you about the Brentwood Catholic Youth Service, or to insiders, the BCYS. The BCYS is for Young Catholics who are 14 and above and would like to learn more about their faith and meet other young Catholics. The BCYS organises various activities throughout the year such as retreats and trips. Every month they organise a youth mass in Brentwood, at the Cathedral for the young people. It's every first Wednesday of the month and I try to go to them as often as possible. They do retreats to Lourdes every summer. I have been to two and they are great fun. Also two years ago, they had an a group go to the world youth day in Barcelona. It's for those over the age of 18 and has people meeting from all over the world. You also get to meet the Pope." Here she indicated backwards at the Pope. "There are plenty of other activities, other retretes and day events. All information is on the website, .org. The youth service is great fun and a great way of meeting other young people who share your faith. "

Pope Benedict said "Go in the peace of Christ"

"Thanks be to God" the congregation replied. Sam nodded at Alice who went to get her Acolyte candle while Sam went for the Cross.

The final hymn played

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

The altar servers reached the back of the church and turned. Fr Rupert and Pope Benedict turned and bowed. The Altar Servers continued on into the sacristy. The two acolyte candles were put out and placed back in their stands.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul's Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven's joys, O bright Heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

After mass

At the end of the hymn, all 5 went out onto the altar to clear off. Cian went to blow out the candles. Sam returned the cross to its holder, then went to help clear the credence table. Michael grabbed the hymn books and prayer sheets that were still out. Out of the corner of her eye Sam saw Antony bow and come over to her. "Are you going to do the light by Mary" he asked, with a smug smile.

Her temper flared. "No, Antony I'm not" she replied "It is not a part of our job and you have no right to make out that I'm not doing my job properly"

"But" he replied

"Antony you are not an altar server, not do you have any role in training us. If you have an issue with something we do, then tell Sylvia Shepard and she will sort it out." She looked over his shoulder. "Tell you what Antony. As its clearly such a big issue for you, talk to her now about it. She's at the back." He looked round. "Now if you'll excuse me I have a job to do." She turned and staked away to see if there was anything else to be cleared.

The altar servers cleared the items from the table. The chalices and bowls they placed on a wooden table in the sacristy,, the clothes they placed in a bag to be washed and the key in the cabinet it belonged in. They then got out of their albs.

Doing up her jacket, Sam left, followed by Micheal "See you later, guys" she called over her shoulder.