After the summer break, Nightfever returned to Glasgow this evening. Hosted at St Aloysius Church on Rose Street in the city centre, similar events were taking place across the world this evening – Regensburg (Germany), Dundee (Scotland), Erfurt (Germany), Basel (Switzerland), Chicago (United States of America) and Queretaro (Mexico).
The idea is to open the Church at a time it is usually closed, and outwith a ‘formal’ service; and then, to go out onto the streets and evangelise, inviting people to come and spend a little time in the Church, where the Lord is exposed in the Blessed Sacrament, and also to light a small votive candle and leave it on the Altar steps. This magnificent Church is essentially in darkness – the only light comes from the candles surrounding the Monstrance on the Altar, and those little votive lights which are lit by the people.
Throughout the evening, there are periods where gentle music is playing, interspersed with periods of silence; and all the while, Priests have very kindly given their free time in order to hear Confessions or simply to be available if people want to talk to them. And people do.
People come and go; some stay a little while, some stay longer. Some have made a point of going, knowing that Nightfever is on, whilst others are invited from the street and may never have heard of Nightfever until that moment. It is likely that for some, at least, this may be the first time they have stepped into a Catholic Church in a while, if ever.
It is surprising how many passers-by accept the invitation of the Nightfever team to come. The Church is close to Sauchiehall Street, where there are numerous pubs and clubs – it takes both courage and commitment to go out amongst the people in such a place and to evangelise. And yet that is precisely what they do.
What is perhaps not at all surprising is that the Lord seems to be most generous with His grace, if tonight and previous evenings are anything to go by.
You can read more about the history of Nightfever here.