On Sunday, May 8th, I had the privilege of attending Mass at St. Mary Catholic Church in Dubai, UAE.
They begin celebrating to what we refer to as Sunday liturgy on Friday and continue through Sunday. Mass is offered in seventeen different languages, but the majority is done in English.
Sunday's here are the beginning of a new work week, so I wasn't expecting the church to be very full. But I was wrong. The main sanctuary was full as was the side Chapel.
They had three very large screens mounted and the entire Mass showed on the all the screens. On Friday and Saturday, the attendance is so high, it's also shown in the courtyard on a large screen.
Everyone participated in strong voice to all the prayers and songs. They had more than twenty Eucharistic Ministers all robed in white. I would venture that almost everyone in attendance went to communion.
Maybe being in a part of the world that has low regard for Christianity makes Christians here have a greater sense of being able to participate in Mass.
I did have to smile and think of home when I saw how many people arrived late. Of course traffic issues could very well have been the cause. The road is a main thoroughfare and moves at a snail’s pace or not at all.
The Sign of Peace was shared by very reverent bows to each person around you.
The choir had a drummer, guitar, and piano and the songs were those we sing at an ACTS retreat. Everyone participated and sang out strong.
When I was here two years ago I attended Mass on a Saturday afternoon and had a similar experience. This week I hope to attend on Friday to see if there are any differences.