When I finally head back to church this weekend, after a year of Covid-avoidance, it is going to feel a little strange. These past 12 months constitute the longest stretch of time I’ve been away since I was born. And I’m not going to lie, part of me liked the sudden plague-long dispensation. I’ve become used to the lazy, empty, gently unfolding Sundays. They’ve grown on me. I could live like this, it occurs to me — as so many others do, all the time.
So why go back? When I ask myself what exactly I’ve missed, I realise it isn’t a weekly revelation. I don’t expect to feel something profound every time I go to Mass — because most of the time I don’t, and rarely have. The one thing Catholicism teaches the bored and distracted churchgoer is that your own mood doesn’t really matter.