Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Solemn Pontifical Mass- wonderful!

I am going to either attempt to post pictures later or will ask DH to help me. Due to some non-related issues, we did not get there as early as I wanted to. We arrived about noon and got upstairs to the upper church about 12:15pm. It was already very full. There was still room towards the back of the church and people had not really started to move closer to let that one additional person or two in the pew. I lucked out and a kind man let me and DD have his seat (which there was actually plenty of room for both of us. It was on the left side of the sanctuary on the end of the aisle and closed to one of the sets of stairs that lead to the crypt church. We were about 5 rows behind one of the cameras for EWTN. A good space if you have a little one because you are closed to a side chapel or the stairs if you need to take them out for a bit.

It was standing room only, literally. Some people did sit in some of the side chapels and there were a lot of people standing & kneeling next to our section during the mass and the same was true elsewhere in the shrine.

The music was wonderful as was the mass. It proved a couple of things as far as I am concerned.

1)The EF form of the mass does not just appeal to those who remember it or to those of European ancestry. There were (as there tends to be) a good number of families including those with small children/infants. I saw white, black and Asian people of all ages and a good number of those in attendance seemed to be younger (late 20'-50's) people who would have no, little or just childhood recollection of the mass pre-Vatican II. There were religious sisters and brothers, but most of those there were lay people.

2)Children can learn to sing Latin. There were several youth choirs who sang before the mass started. I did see the The St. John's Academy before they went to sing and during and that is a choir made up of Catholic elementary students. Alot of them seemed to be in the 4th-8th grade range and they were singing Latin hyms. Folks, it can be done.

3)The people do know what is going on during the mass. I saw several people who it appeared were not used to attending the EF mass, but the booklets were wonderful. They had the entire mass including the propers and prayers in English and Latin and people were following along even with the challenges of a large church and microphones that were on, but were not booming.

And my experience disproved the following old saw:

4) The people can't/won't participate if the mass is in Latin. I heard others singing the "Gloria" and it was "all in" during the "Credo" and the "Pater Noster" IN LATIN and singing the proper chant along with the schola.

DD was happy as she saw some of "her sisters" and after mass we got to speak with a couple of sisters (I don't know what order and I forgot ask).

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