Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mass at the Pacific Ocean

by: Aghaveagh
Nearly a hundred people from Holy Family Church, in Fresno gathered on the beach at Cayucos, for our annual Mass on the Beach--a celebration of fellowship, fun, family, and food. We piled into the buses early this morning for the nearly three-hour drive to the California coast and the chance to escape the Fresno heat. Loaded with sunscreen, beach chairs and (for the youth, at any rate) boogie boards, the two buses left our church and headed for the open road. Some slept, some read, many took the opportunity to converse at greater length than one normally can at Coffee Hour. We climbed the rolling golden hills of Highway 41, descending into the green valley with its many vineyards, and when the first magical mists of the ocean were seen, a collective cheer rose forth.

I think my favorite part of the mass was listening to the
gospel reading with the roar of the waves breaking on the shore in the background. One felt, with Peter, the immense power of the water, and marveled at the thought of Jesus walking on the choppy water. The Mass was conducted by the Very Rev. Keith Axberg as Preacher and the Rev. Michele Racusin as Celebrant. The Holy Family Choir was supported by trumpet and guitar.

After the Mass we had lunch, feasting on wonderful things. Then, glorious free time to visit, swim, walk along the beach, sit and read, whatever one wished. Fresno Mark played his guitar and sang. The young ones buried each other in the sand and rode the waves. Many dozed in postprandial bliss.

Too soon, it seemed, it was time to pack up and head for home. A sandy, sunburned, but contented group of pilgrims boarded the buses. What a splendid time it was, though, to come together and rejoice as a family, a “Holy Family” family.

I can't wait until next year.