Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happy Feast Day!

it's 10:40 Philly time, and I'm just getting back from the festivities.

They stole my idea and decked the altars with blues, gold,and white roses. All the reliquaries were displayed on the gradines of the altar, including S.Bernadette's relics.
It began with a solemn procession around the church, with a station (But no collect) at the altar of Our Lady of Lourdes, while the choir sang the antiphon "O holy Dwelling place of God, O holy Temple of the Word, O holy Mary, holy Mother of God." By Alstott. Quite nice, sounds like an adaptation of a Gregorian ant.
The procession consisted of a master of ceremonies, thurifer and boat-bearer, crucifer and acolytes, eight servers 'in choro' nine Bernadettes (the parish's girls society.) Some Knights of Malta, six or so seminarians and priests, Mercedarian brothers snd sisters, two concelebrants, two deacons, a second master of ceremonies and celebrant. It took place with the church darkened while the people and those in procession held small candles.The lights came on during the gloria.

Like I mentioned earlier, mass was celbrated facing the liturgical east, i.e. "Ad Orientem", The mass setting was Richard proulx's 'A Community Mass' except for the Kyrie* which was the Kyrie Simplex.
The gospel procession consisted of acolytes with candles , thurifer, boat-bearer, and deacon with gospel-book. Strangely, the dialogues before and after the gospel were sung, but not the gospel itself.
The sermon was about Monsignor Lallou, Lourdes' um, 'eccentric' pastor in the fifties*, and the importance of going to our lady to avoid becoming personal Massabielles, that it, Garbage Dumps of sin. She will help us by her prayer to hse son who made her Immaculate. Mention was made of turning toward the lord in prayer, in a common direction. No doubt having to do with the direction of the mass.

The Credo was recited, and the intercessions ready by a deacon. The sick were blessed afterwards.
The offertory motet was a setting of the proper antiphon, "Ave Maria" By Victoria. The offetory hymn was "hail, all hail Great Queen of heaven."
The eucharistic liturgy took place as usual, Versus Deum, with deacons on the steps. In my opinion, the solemn concelbrated mass looks better facing the liturgical east. Rather than cramming everyone behind the altar on the footpace, people can be spread out on the steps.

The deacons held the commuion pates at communion, which was given kneeeling at the altar rail.
While communion was given, the magnificat was chanted in English. The Te Deum was sung in Latin to the simpler setting as the communion motet.
The blessing and Prayer to S.Michael were done as usual. The recessional hymn was 'Immaculate Mary" (Duh. Like you did'nt know it was going to be in there.)
The postlude (or voluntary) was BWV 572 (Fantasia in G major.)
Refreshments and conversations at Ivy hall.

It was all in all great. Soo good, that I heard out of towners talking about how much they loved it, including a lady visintg from Detroit (A parishioner of the rightly famous Assumption Grotto Parish.)
I sang vespers in my room at 5:30 PM today. We were short ten or so servers, and the deacon had some balance problems at the altar. I was'nt sure where I was to sit.
* Are'nt the introductory rites omitted after a liturgical procession like that?

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