This is one of those parts of the country where there are long-established Masses for the Polish community. I believe their origin lies in the Second World War, when Polish refugee settlements were set up in various places. Many refugees remained in Britain, and their children and grandchildren were born here. The settlements are all closed now; but new immigrants have arrived from Poland, and the sparse Mass attendance of a few years ago has grown enormously.
I take my old prayerbook to pretty well every Mass I attend, whatever the language, and thanks to this, even though I can't understand a word of Polish, my participatio was intensely actuosa.
Being a little more organised than usual, I had already read today's Scripture passages before going out. Then, during the homily, it came into my head to turn to the back of my prayerbook and read the old Epistle and Gospel for the day. These old prayerbooks contain all the Sunday readings; they are a wonderful resource, and a very compact and portable size.
The Epistle was such a delight that I thought I would share it with you. It isn't long. I think it must be in the Douai version.
Romans XIII, 11-14
Brethren. Know, that it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is past and the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.
That is one tremendous wake-up call. Short and to the point, and we know exactly what it means. Including the chambering.