The demise of the Catholic Church is a tedious trope at this stage. So as a committed contrarian and harassed mother in search of 40 minutes peace, I began attending Mass some years ago. People outside my village life are slightly bewildered by this aberrant behaviour but generously tend to mark it down as a charming eccentricity.
When they ask in the kindest way what I'm up to, I always tell them that like Beckett, you have to see the humour in Mass.
It's all about the routine. When you sit in the same spot with the same people week after week, year after year, without exchanging anything more than pleasantries and the sign of peace, an intimacy develops to the point where a raised eyebrow or well-timed nudge can reduce everyone to convulsions of giggles.
By the same token, it adds to the twinge of regret I feel when my eye rests on the spot once occupied by a regular. Though I'm not one for the supernatural, it's at Mass I note the absence of and feel a connection to the dead.
Though some relish the decline of religion, it's sad to bear witness, one by one, to the death of our congregation. As a society, I'm convinced that most people won't understand what has been lost until it's too late.
So the rest of us persist, each with our own motives; faith, consolation, discipline, sociability, loyalty; and for me hilarity. I always leave Mass laughing and happy.
Like many other things in lockdown, it's something one can learn to live without, and yet the want of it is cumulatively draining.
But like I discovered when I first had children and spent long rural winters at home devoid of the company of friends and colleagues, there is the internet.
If necessity is the mother of invention, then quarantine has been the mother of initiative.
Priests have seized unfamiliar technology to bring us Mass online, and chatting with pals it's clear our parents haven't hesitated in quickly adapting to watching rather than attending Mass.
I'm conscious not all of the older generation have been able to make the switch and it's not the same anyway, but as with the real thing, there is much to amuse.
The greatest fun is the threat online Mass presents to the parish priest who might have taken his flock for granted.
While in places like America and England people choose favourite churches like restaurants, in Ireland it's still very much about geography.
There are always stories of famous fallings out, and every church will have a few blow-ins who abandon their own parish and take up with a new Mass. We do not speak much of these transfers of affection, though I for one tend to think the presence of a non-parishioner is a kind of victory.
But that is unseemly. Usually, the most boring priest in the world can rely on parish loyalty to fill seats.
But they had better watch out because online Mass has ripped geography out from underneath them and introduced us to Mass betrayal.
Older people are often accused of being technology laggards, but far from being alienated and confused by laptops and webcams, they have sharply discovered they can watch any Mass, anywhere, any time. Having never left their parish for weekly or daily Mass for 50 years except for funerals or weddings, they're displaying shocking signs of promiscuity. Word started going around and like online porn or gambling, when people out of curiosity mooched around the internet to see what was going on, they found a whole new world and have become inveterate Mass-swappers.
The Redemptoristine nuns in Drumcondra, Dublin, won a following and then we got turned onto Mass from Mullingar, seat of the bishop of the diocese of Meath.
However, just as many businesses have done, some priests saw the crisis as an opportunity and that's when things quickly spiralled out of control.
If there's an audience to be pulled in, anything goes and if you want a great lift, check out St Peter's in Lurgan, Co Armagh. Last week, Fr Colum Wright, deacon Kevin Devine and sacristan Noel McCann went "full Riverdance" and pulled off fabulous Irish dancing.
After that, any priest who thinks they can drone on with the usual readings is going to see their ratings plummet.
If I were a priest, I'd be looking up local producers to see what razzamatazz could be added into the line-up. The world is your congregation now.
To be fair loyalty is still strong, and many still join their own daily Mass but even then attention wanders. It's handy to leave it on so the priest knows someone is there while you carry on with your housework. There but not there. Comforting to have on, so one is not alone.
On a more sombre note, funerals are also attended online and they are sad affairs. The 10 permitted family members standing so alone in the church. It's all wrong.
It's why though some fear the world will never be the same after Covid-19, I remain much more optimistic. Humans are social animals and virtual connections, while hugely comforting, are never the same.
The phone, Skype and the craic of wandering around the internet watching other better masses keeps us going. But these merely fill the gap.
We are designed to be together and one day soon, we will.