I often complain about the questionable practices in my parish. I often feel that the parish is a little island, cut off from the Universal Church. As a geographically large, rural parish at the farthest edge of a diocese without a bishop, which is in the care of a Religious Congregation rather than a diocesan priest we sometimes seem to "belong" only to ourselves. Never was this more evident than the week Pope Emeritus Benedict abdicated and didn't even get a mention.
I was, therefore, delighted that yesterday we participated in the Holy Hour called for by Pope Francis. It was fairly well attended (I was the youngest person there, but it was a busy Sunday in the parish, with an extra mass laid on for First Communion, and the village, with Open Gardens in aid of the Anglican parish), certainly there were more people there than just the usual suspects.
It was very reverent, there was incense (not seen in this Church since circa. 1995 when we ran out of altar servers) and we sang Tantum ergo (in Latin, a thing unheard of). If there was slightly too much 'Holy Hour input' for my taste, at least none of it was inappropriate, and I recognise that many people are not used to 60 minutes of silent prayer. There was Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at a time when the vast majority of people were not at work and therefore able to attend.
The seemingly-Trappist Confirmation group, to my delight, broke their silence yesterday evening to say that they would prefer to have the organ than a guitar to accompany the hymns at the Confirmation mass next month and no-one requested Shine, Jesus, Shine. All in all, things are looking up a little.