If you’re a Catholic and you’re in Seoul, you may want to know that there’s an English Mass celebrated at the Myeongdong Cathedral every Sunday at 9AM. The Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral is a beautiful structure made with bricks of different colors and shapes, and because it is a symbol for Myeongdong, is frequently visited by tourists.
We attended the Palm Sunday celebration at the Myeongdong Cathedral and we fell in love with their culture, their discipline, and how they celebrate Mass in general.
Here are some of the things that I observed and wish would be also done here in the Philippines:
- Church-goers really dress up and make themselves look presentable when hearing Mass.
- If there are no more seats inside the church, they don’t overcrowd by squeezing themselves in. Nobody reserves seats for families or friends.
- They know when they are late for Mass and they fall in line outside the church as they wait for the next Mass.
- Have I said it already? Oh well, again, they fall in line as they wait for the next Mass.
- The Mass is solemn and free from unnecessary distractions. There are no vendors in the immediate perimeter of the church. The doors are closed so that the solemnity of the Mass is preserved.
- Church-goers don’t gossip during Mass.
- Bibles, song lyrics, and missalettes are available for everyone’s use. Nobody takes them home.
- The Homily is meaningful and sincere. It’s not opinionated. It doesn’t attack anyone. And more importantly, it is not long.
- Everyone stands up and falls in line during collection of donation. Everyone donates regardless of amount. True, just because someone is not as better off as someone else doesn’t mean he can’t give.
- No one makes besu-besu when giving each other the Sign of Peace. They will either give you a heartfelt smile or firmly shake your hands, and say “Peace be with you.”
- Everyone falls in line and receives Communion by row. Nobody tries to overtake anyone or cuts in line under the pretense of not knowing that there’s a need to fall in line.
- After Mass, everyone orderly leaves the Church. There’s no bumping into each other because those who will be attending the next Mass are obediently waiting in line for their turn to go in.
I really hope to live and see the day when we can be as orderly as the Myeongdong church-goers.
Anyways, a visit to Myeongdong Cathedral won’t be complete without the obligatory photo in front of the magnificent structure. I’ve had too many photos at this exact spot but this one is really special because my son is in it.
To reach Myeongdong Cathedral, visit the KTO website for directions.
In the meantime, I’ll park right here. Please wait for my other Seoul posts. There are more to come, promise! 🙂