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The "animals' Mass."

The "animals' Mass." image
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"I spent the Christmas holidaj's in the Cevennes mountains," said Artist Grant Stewart of London at the Southern yesterday. "I was aketching the peasants. and on New Year's eve I was invited to attend the 'animáis' mass.' The church is a íniserably poor, little lichen covered pile, slowly crumbling to pieces. The old bell 'in the steeple is tracked and gives forth an unnatural sound. However, on New Year's eve the mountain-' eers, all dressed in their holiday attire, gather at the little cliurch, and, each one holding a lightef candle in their hands, chant an old Cevenol liymn to the effect that night is more beautiful than morning. Then comes the celebration of the mass. There is nothing unusual about that, but when the 'Ite missa est' is pronounced the priest again raises the host and chants the 'Magniflcat' and proceeds to the door, followed by the entire congregation. "Meanwhile all the oxen, cows, sheep and goats in the parish have been driven before the open pórtico of the church. As the priest appears the drivers and shepherds f all on their knees and an altar boy goes in among the cattle, sprinkling them all with holy water. Excited by the ceremony, the animáis have all risen to their f eet, and the venerable cure blesses them. The mass is ended in a loud hosanna," in which every voice - including the Toellov.i.ii; of mimáis - is blended, and on New Year's morning the huls are as quiet and peaceful as though the animáis had never been


Ann Arbor Argus
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