Thursday, November 23, 2006

Did you go to Mass today?

...Not that you had to; I'm not trying to guilt-trip anyone.

I just wonder how many folks observe this very nice custom of assisting at Mass on Thanksgiving Day.

Mass this morning was at 8 am, and we were joined by Father Tom, the parochial vicar who is recovering from serious surgery. We've been praying for him constantly in his absence, and he got a little applause when, at the beginning of Mass, I acknowledged his return and said, "our prayers have been answered" and "we have something more to be thankful for."

Our daily Mass at St. Boniface is usually in our chapel, which is in the basement of the church; it dawned on me a day or two ago that perhaps we should have announced this Mass would be in church, upstairs, but since we didn't announce it, I decided to wait and see.

Sure enough, as 8 am neared, the chapel was packed, so I said, how about we all go upstairs? So we all did; Mass started a little late. We sang "We Gather Together" for an opening and "Immaculate Mary" as the closing. I kept the daily readings, because its one of the few times we hear from the Book of Revelation, and I wanted to give a little reflection on that.

At the conclusion of Mass, I said something to the effect of, "I'm so encouraged to see you here, and I commend you--you don't have to come today, you chose to, the Lord inspired you to come, and I am glad to have Mass with you."

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's the very same thing our Priest said to us this morning at the 9:00 Mass! God Bless and happy Thanksgiving!

Robin

Anonymous said...

I went today, I usually go to daily mass anytime I have off. It was much more crowed than a usual daily mass and we had music- gathered and sown, Come to the banquet and table of plenty. It was the folk group. I guess they alternate each year with the regular choir. Father's homily was about prayer and how we often pray prayers of petition and sometimes prayers of petition with thankgiving added as he said trying to butter up God. He also said that it was good to have a special day to meditate and thank God. It was a very good homily with much more. It was a nice way to get the morning started.

barbfromcincy said...

When we're going to someone else's house for Thanksgiving, we go to noon Mass at St. Teresa, but if we're having it at our house (and we are this year), we go to Wednesday evening Mass at St. Jude. There were several hundred people and both the children's and adult choirs sang...very beautiful.
A blessing, indeed...a happy, blessed Thanksgiving Day to you, Father!

Ann said...

Church was packed, as it is every Thanksgiving. Father blessed the loaves of bread at the beginning of Mass to be passed out at the end of Mass. We're a farming community and are thankful for a truly bountiful harvest this year. The bread is a nice touch, because most of the farmers raise wheat.

I love this Mass because no one "has" to be there. And those who are, whole-heartedly participate in the songs and responses.

DilexitPrior said...

It's not Thanksgiving here but, yes, I went to Mass today.

Happy Thanksgiving to all you Americans!

Esther said...

Yes, my family went and the church was packed. Our pastor wrote a little article in our bulletin on what he refers to "Secular Holy Days of Obligation" of which Thanksgiving is one. We the recessional we sang was America the Beautiful.
BTW, Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

I went on the day when Thanksgiving is properly celebrated -- back in October ;)

Mark Anthony said...

We were unfortunately on the road most of Thursday morning, so we were not able to get to mass, although we have in the past.

I could not help but be struck, though, Father, by your use of the term "assisted at Mass"... I celebrate the Mass with the rest of the faithful and the priest, but "assist?" That sounds like the priest is "doing" the mass and I'm there to help. Please tell me that isn't what you meant...

Father Martin Fox said...

Mark:

The term "celebrated," as you use it, is problematic, because while it is true the laity present join in the offering of the Mass, it has a qualitative difference from the way in which the priest offers the sacrifice; so he is "celebrant" in a unique way.

I used the "assist" term for no other reason than it has a venerable pedigree; and I meant it to emphasize that the laity present are not spectators, but participants.

Considering that many think of the assembly as spectators, I don't think of "helping the priest"to be as negative as it seems you do.

Anonymous said...

We had a total of 18 people, including two priests at the Cathedral in Cinci. All in all, it was more than we expected, b/c for Labor Day there were all of four people in attendance.

Puff the Magic Dragon said...

Father, I`ve added your blog to one of my blogroll.

Hope you had a Happy American Thanksgiving.

Also may Tomorrow, Solemnitas D.N.Iesu Christi Universorum Regis is particularly blessed and happy

Diane said...

I was at the pastor's 7:30am Latin Novus Ordo at my parish, along with about 40-50 other people. More piled in for the 8:30am Latin Novus Ordo.

This was the first time I started my Thanksgiving off with a Mass and I will do it every year now.

I was touched also to learn that a collection is taken up on this day for the St. Vincent de Paul society, with proceeds going to the poor of the parish. How can we be thankful for what we have without giving something for those who do not have?

The pastor's homily was just awesome too. Fr. Perrone talked about how people are typically grateful for material things, such as their homes, their TV's, stereos, computers, etc. But, he questioned, "How many are thankful to the Lord for the gift of the Holy Eucharist?"

Wow - got me hook line and sinker.

I can't wait for New Year's Eve. It's the only place I've ever seen that brings the New Year in with a Latin Novus Ordo. The two diocesan priests, a resident Marist, and the priests of Opus Angelorum who work onsite all concelebrate. Last year, the Missionaries of Charity in Detroit attended, as they do many functions at my parish. There were about 200 in attendance. Father waited until well after midnight before ending the Mass and prayers since we are in a bad area. By the time we crossed over to where the party was, the gunfire had pretty much ceased. There, we had a potluck dinner, with modest amounts of beer and wine until about 2:00am.

Whereas Thanksgiving does have some spiritual sense to it, New Years has always been very secular. Now, we turn a secular holiday into something truly spiritual!!! As the world brought in the New Year with champagne, we brought it in with the Body and Blood of Christ!

Oh - and the pastor always seems to take the earliest Mass after such a late night!

Diane said...

I meant to provide a link for the priests of Opus Angelorum since so many have no idea what, or who, they are. They do parish missions, retreats and even give excellent retreats for priests. We are blessed to have them working out of our parish in Detroit where they often give Days of Recollection.

joachim said...

Clergy and laity alike are rightfully impressed when the church is packed on a day like Thanksgiving. We scrambled to assemble some great music for the occasion, our rural church was packed, the people sang like there was no tomorrow and the pastor gave a truly great homily. What great faith and zeal!

joachim said...
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