Friday, June 19, 2009

What's going on...

Well, it's been busy.

For several weeks, we've had three seminarians staying in the parish. Every year we do this; they stay the summer, work around the parishes, mostly doing maintenance or odd jobs that just wouldn't get done otherwise, but also go on communion calls, assist at Mass, provide leadership at more complicated liturgies, and along the way, we hope have a good experience of parish life and priestly fraternity.

Last weekend we celebrated Corpus Christi, with 40 Hours all weekend, and then a Corpus Christi Procession from St. Mary to St. Boniface. Two of our seminarians were a great help, providing leadership: one as master of ceremonies for the procession, the other as a thurifer (i.e., the holder of censer with the incense).

Last night, we began our celebration of the Sacred Heart. On Fridays, we normally have one Mass, at St. Mary; but for a solemnity, I think we should--if a priest is available--have a Mass at the other parish. Since Friday evening is not so popular an evening for a Mass, and I have a wedding rehearsal, I had a vigil Mass last night.

The way I look at it, when I have such a Mass--for a non-obligatory solemnity, not otherwise scheduled--then if I use more Latin and incense, no one has reason to complain. Also, some members of the Schola Cantorum enjoy the opportunity to try out some things, such as a Latin Gloria, which we haven't used at a Sunday Mass. And the seminarians and the priest get a chance to refine our ars celebrandi--our manner of celebrating or participating in the liturgy. One tries, but--this can be remarkably hard to do in Sunday Mass.

So, last night, I fixed dinner for the house--we had pork roast, mashed potatoes, salad, some wine (Pinot Grigiot and Merlot, although we didn't even drink one full bottle between five of us); for dessert, we had a cheesecake one of the seminarians put together, with some strawberries. Then we headed over to St. Boniface for Mass. I thought about ad orientem, but decided against it. I may do that when we do this again, on Monday, June 29, 7 pm -- again at St. Boniface -- to mark the solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul; a day of obligation in the rest of the world, but not here.

As far as Latin goes, all we used was the Gloria, Sanctus and Agnus Dei, as well as the opening hymn. Someone heard I was doing it all in Latin; well, maybe more on Peter and Paul. I personally don't consider what I just described as "all in Latin," but really just a mix, which is clearly what Vatican II envisioned where the vernacular was chosen--i.e., it seems indisputable that Vatican II never intended the vernacular option to mean, no Latin at all.

We had a turnout of about 12 people, but that's okay; I didn't beat the drums. Our seminarian Andrew, who is from Russia (that's a village northwest of here, oddly pronounced RUE-she), did a great job making smoke, and I smoked up the altar, the cross, and the image of the Sacred Heart. He and Brian (from Cincinnati) did a great job incensing during the elevations, and Eric (from Versailles, a village nearby) was on the spot as the "tintinnabulator" (my name for the one who rings the bells).

Meanwhile, the business of the parish continues. We have a position available, details of which I'll post shortly, but it's for a part-time development director. Feel free to send an email to if you want to apply. My meetings are winding down; last night, after the Mass, I drove up to Sidney for the Lehman board meeting, arriving for the second half of a three hour meeting. But that represents the last of my heavy-duty meetings till August, I hope!

There's certainly more that is happening, but that's all I can think of, or which seems fit for publication.

1 comment:

Peyton's said...

I for one love the Latin, and am so disappointed when attending Mass officiated by others that do not use Latin or incense, or make Mass special, but instead talk so slow that Mass is drawn out way beyond what is called for. I don't mind a long Mass when it is cause by admiration.

Don't get discouraged by those that snob their own religion, one day they will be opened up to the truth, and you are that door, as you are constantly teaching us!

I am amazed by those that go to Mass in order to check it off of their to do list for the day and not because they will encounter Jesus.

The Bible tells us "Because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I shall spit you out of my mouth." Revelations 3:16

So being a Lukewarm Catholic isn't going to pave your way to Heaven, Too bad so many think that is all they need. It might however get you to purgatory and only God knows for how long.

It is those lukewarm people that chew gum, dress inappropriately, and/or talk after Mass in church, disturbing those who want to continue to pray, Too bad they are the one you always seem to be hearing from.

Keep doing what you are doing, I will join you when I can!