BY Ryan McDougall | June 7 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Faith and fellowship at Edinburgh’s first Mass in Spanish

Catholics across Scotland travelled to an Edinburgh parish last week to celebrate Mass in Spanish, in what is believed to be one of the first Spanish Masses held in the city.

St Mary’s Star of the Sea Church in Leith hosted the Mass which attracted Spanish speakers from Scotland, as well as many others who have emigrated from Spain, El Salvador, Columbia, Venezuela, Argentina, Portugal and other countries.

Non-Spanish speakers with an interest in the language were also welcome to attend the Mass, which was celebrated by fluent Spanish speaker Fr Brian McNaught and Fr Charles O’Farrell.

Parish priest Fr Martin Moran welcomed the Spanish speakers into the church.


Unidos en la fe

The Mass was organised by Unidos en la Fe (United in Faith), a community of Spanish-speaking Catholics living in Scotland.

Ellen Hughes, a member of the community, spoke of the outstanding number who attended, including a man, Michael, who travelled from Glasgow as he felt ‘it was important to be there and offer his support.’

She said the value of the Mass was demonstrated by the attendance of a Salvadoran family who had just moved to Glasgow two weeks before and had made the journey to the Leith church.



“There was such obvious joy as voices rose in worship,” she said, stating the choir ‘added to the ambience’ and the two soloists were ‘a highlight.’

A family of asylum seekers also made it along to the Mass.

“We often forget the dangers that asylum seekers face before arriving here, but the family was so grateful for the warm welcome afforded to them by the Scottish people they had met thus far,” Mrs Hughes said.

“For me, too, watching the children play with others who understood them was immensely moving and so memorable.”


Delicious cuisine

Those who attended also brought dishes from their home countries to be served in a ‘pot-luck’ lunch which proved to be a hit, with tortilla, tapas and paella among the dishes served.

Mrs Hughes said organisers Unidos en la Fe ‘are to be congratulated for all their efforts and are planning more events in the future.’

She added that the local parishioners of St Mary’s ‘ensured that everyone felt like one big family.’

“Soon, singing erupted as is apparently very common when Spanish-speaking people get together,” she said.

“As my family and I left, I felt that I had been very privileged to have attended a truly wonderful Mass, one that had been testament to the deep-rooted Faith of these Spanish-speaking people.”


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