"Who is my neighbour? Jammed by the hour to slow music. That woman at midnight mass. Seventh heaven. Women knelt in the benches with crimson halters round their necks, heads bowed. A batch knelt at the altar rails." (U5.341)
"The priest went along by them, murmuring, holding the thing in his hands. He stopped at each, took out a communion, shook a drop or two (are they in water?) off it" (U5.344)
"and put it neatly into her mouth. Her hat and head sank. Then the next one. Her hat sank at once. Then the next one: a small old woman. The priest bent down to put it into her mouth, murmuring all the time. Latin. The next one." (U5.346)
"Shut your eyes and open your mouth." (U5.349)
"Shut your eyes and open your mouth. What?" (U5.350)
"Corpus: body. Corpse. Good idea the Latin. Stupefies them first. Hospice for the dying. They don't seem to chew it: only swallow it down. Rum idea: eating bits of a corpse why the cannibals cotton to it.
He stood aside watching their blind masks pass down the aisle, one by one, and seek their places. He approached a bench and seated himself in its corner, nursing his hat and newspaper." (U5.350)
"These pots we have to wear. We ought to have hats modelled on our heads." (U5.355)
"They were about him here and there, with heads still bowed in their crimson halters, waiting for it to melt in their stomachs. Something like those mazzoth: it's that sort of bread: unleavened shewbread. Look at them. Now I bet it makes them feel happy. Lollipop. It does. Yes, bread of angels it's called. There's a big idea behind it, kind of kingdom of God is within you feel." (U5.356)
"First communicants." (U5.361)
"Hokypoky penny a lump. Then feel all like one family party, same in the theatre, all in the same swim. They do. I'm sure of that. Not so lonely. In our confraternity. Then come out a big spreeish. Let off steam." (U5.362)
According to the Oxford English Dictionary 'hokey pokey' comes from 'hocus pocus,' the traditional magician's incantation. 'Hocus pocus' in turn may be a deformation of the Latin 'Hoc est Corpus meum' (= This is my Body, said by the Catholic priest during the mass), in a mocking anti-Catholic parody of transubstantiation. Transubstantiation is the change of the substance of bread and wine into that of the body and blood of Christ that occurs in the Eucharist. 'Hokey pokey' was also a 19c. slang term for ice cream (more specifically that sold by street vendors), that possibly cost a penny per scoop.
"Thing is if you really believe in it. Lourdes cure, waters of oblivion" (U5.364)
"and the Knock apparition," (U5.365)
Knock (Irish An Cnoc = the Hill) is a village in Co. Mayo. It was the site, on August 21st 1879, of an apparition of the Virgin Mary, together with St Joseph and St John the Evangelist. Hence Knock became one of Europe's major Roman Catholic Marian shrines, alongside Lourdes and Fatima. Nowadays 1.5M people visit Knock annually (including Pope John Paul II in 1979, the centenary of the apparition).
On the evening of August 21st 1879, 15 people (5-75 year old, the first being Mary McLoughlin, housekeeper to Archdeacon Kavanagh), witnessed an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM), St Joseph, and St John the Evangelist at the south gable end of the Church of St John the Baptist in Knock. The BVM was described as life-size, standing about 2 feet above the ground. She wore a white cloak, a crown, and over the crown a rose. St Joseph stood on her right. He also wore white robes, his head bent in respect toward the BVM, and appeared somewhat aged. St John stood to the left of the BVM. He wore a long robe and a mitre, was partly turned away from the others, and appeared to be preaching. He held open a large book in his left hand, and his right hand was raised. Behind the figures, to the left of St John, was an altar with a lamb with a cross (Agnus Dei). Angels hovered around the altar the whole time. The witnesses stood in the pouring rain for some 2 hours reciting the Rosary. An ecclesiastical Commission of Inquiry was established by the Archbishop of Tuam, Most Rev. Dr. John MacHale. The Commission's verdict deemed the testimony of all the witnesses trustworthy and satisfactory. This card (1881), issued by St Joseph's Union in NY, was sold as a fundraiser for its 'Homeless Child' project.
"statues bleeding. Old fellow asleep near that confession box. Hence those snores." (U5.366)
"Blind faith. Safe in the arms of kingdom come. Lulls all pain. Wake this time next year." (U5.367)
"He saw the priest stow the communion cup away, well in, and kneel an instant before it, showing a large grey bootsole from under the lace affair he had on. Suppose he lost the pin of his. He wouldn't know what to do to. Bald spot behind." (U5.369)