Mass at Serpentine Splendour was wonderful. I've become a bit of (as a local friend terms it) a Mass Junkie. I like watching differences between people's style of presentation.
The Vegas group has a public space dedicated to their Mass activities. They were doing an afternoon mass for the first time so the turn out was lower than usual. The bulk of this team will be in L.A. in two weeks to perform Mass at Blue Horizon. Afterwards we had the requisite toasts and I am pleased to say that the blight is spreading as they closed with our favourite closing toast that we often look to elqahar to deliver.
From there most of us headed to a very good chinese restaurant for dinner. Mass and travel had taken a lot out of all of us. It was back to the lodge master's house and quickly off to sleep.
The people at Splendour was unbelievably friendly, fraternal, and welcoming and I look forward to seeing them all again soon. happily I have been invited to act as a guest priest in the fall as well as to bring out my 102 class series on Ritual basics.
Interestingly, I did not stop to enjoy any of "Vegas" during this trip out. I didn't even drop a quarter in one of the nearly infinite games around. I guess I have better self-control than I thought.
I was up at about 8:30 am. I looked at the clock, made some mental calculations and decided that I could in fact make mass that afternoon if I didn't dawdle. The lodge master was very solidly asleep. I left a very warm and thankful note for their hospitality and explained that I was off to another group's mass. This one would be at the Camp of the Golden Lotus in Laguna Beach. 273 miles and about 5 hours.
I managed to stop only three times between the body master's locations. Once 5 miles in for gasoline and breakfast, once at a halfway point in a town called Barstow, and once 5 minutes for Golden Lotus to pick up food donations for Mass.
Mass at G.L. was lovely as ever. Bishop S.L.Q. and Camp Master Sor. Lutea did an excelent job. The team was w3woody as Deacon (who is probably one of the best Deacons I have ever seen), phosteres as the water child and apsulute (sporting his again shorn head) as the fire child.
Mass this time included a confirmation. These are always nice because it is a welcoming to the church.
On a social level it was nice to see Fra. A.C. Meridian who hasn't been around enough lately in my opinion. There was a nice buffet pot luck afterwards. There was some almond based cheeze made in the form and taste of a brick of cheddar (which thrilled my little lactose intolerant heart). As always, it was also nice to take a nice warm dip in the hosts hot tub after the formal mass was over.
We chatted about whether it was possible to do a SoCal Mass and a Thelema (Berkeley) lodge Mass in one weekend by car. Personally, I just take this as a challenge.
I spent a good portion of the weekend (as has been my way of late) talking to jnanacandra by way of my IM client. She (I think) is looking forward to doing Mass crawls with me.
The interesting thing about this weekend was that (for me) it really was all about the mass and the fraternity of my church. I am officially ordained within the church as a Deacon and am a novitiate priest studying under my local Bishop in the hopes of being ordained. I currently have 2 more masses scheduled to act as priest in the near future and one occasion to Deacon.
On the other hand, I need to laugh that this weekend was a religious retreat. All moneys spent were on the effort to travel for religious purposes or donations made to camps.
By federal law, as ordained clergy: (and we are recognized by the US Gov't)
633 miles of travel at $0.31 / mi == 196.23
Donations to mass temples == $37.97
Additional travel expenses == $45.30
Gas costs: (not included in final total) == $31.93
Cost of weekend: $115.20
Legitimate tax write off: $279.50
Aren't religious donations fun!