Sunday, September 27, 2009

St. Michael the Archangel - Shrewsbury

September 29 is the Feast of the Archangels, (St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael), I decided to go to St. Michael the Archangel in Shrewsbury.  I attended the 11 am Mass on September 27, 2009.

The church of St. Michael greatly resembles Sts. Mary and Joseph in South St. Louis City, except more decorated.  What was odd, was that the top row of window was glass blocks.

There was a choir accompanied by a piano.  Instead of using the choir loft, the choir was positioned in front of the tabernacle.  The songs for the morning were:
Opening:  Gather Us In
Offertory: They'll Know We Are Christians
Communion:  We Are Many Parts and Let Us Break Bread Together
Closing:  We Are Called

The homily was discussed the meaning of prophet, "one who speaks on behalf of God." In essence, we are all prophets.  God and the Church's Teaching Authority give us a sense of Truth, so we can tell whose the right kind of prophet.  There was also a call for stewardship.

Father ad lib the Eucharistic Prayer II in 2 spots.  Once before the consecration, and once after the part where we prayer for the Pope and our Archbishop.  He then said " we pause to remember living people..."  uhm.  The Our Father was sung.

There were three servers, who knelt in front of the altar for the Eucharistic Prayer.  Normally I see them on the side.  What was surprising is given that there were 3 servers, no bells were rang at the Consecration..

Oh and there was no mention of the upcoming feast day.


View From the Back Pew
(The Tabernacle is front left, in case you're wondering.)

(What liturgical season is striped?)

Picture of St. Michael

More pictures at Rome of the West

Prayer to St. Michael
St. Michael the Archangel,
Defend Us in battle.
Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host
by the power of God,
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam the world 
seeking the ruin of souls.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

St. Francis of Assisi - Oakville

Continuing the theme of asking special saints for their intercession for Jake and his ears, I chose St. Francis of Assisi as the parish to visit.  There are 3 St. Francis of Assisi parishes in St. Louis.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to visit the closest one in Oakville.  On the upside, it is right next to Oberweis!

St. Francis of Assisi - Oakville has a variety of music ministries.  The Saturday 4:30 pm Mass has Guitage (???).  The Sunday 9 am Mass is the adult choir, the 10:30 am Mass is the children's choir, and depending on the Sunday of the month, the Noon Mass is Life Teen Band.  This weekend didn't have the Life Teen Band, so I went to the 10:30 am Mass on September 20.

The children's choir did a very nice job!  They were in the choir loft and were accompanied by an organ.  The children's choir was all girls and were 13 and younger.  Before Mass, they sang Anthem.

The choir sang:
Opening: All Are Welcome
Presentation of Gifts:  Eyes Have Not Seen
Communion: The Servant Song (Two songs were played by the organ: Here I Am & Say A Simple Prayer)
Closing: Companions on the Journey

There was a squad of ushers who directed the late comers to open pews and to make people squish together in pews.  Needless to say, the Church was nearly full.  This is a middle-class parish and the dress was relatively casual (Lots of shorts and t-shirts, which given it was 65 F, seems slightly inappropriate.)

Apparently the pastor was on vacation, so a retired priest filled in for him.  I didn't catch his name, but he was 84 years old (!!!) and used to be a missionary in Bolivia.  His homily was very nice; he talked about masters and apprentices.  Essentially, Jesus is the Master and we are the apprentices.

Additionally, a deacon was re-assigned to the parish and gave his testimony after the Prayer of Dismissal.  Oh and before Mass, a letter was read from the Archbishop about stewardship.

Finally, St. Francis of Assisi does have votive candles (YAY!).  However, they were electronic ones.  You press a button and it lights a little candle shaped bulb.  I'm sure this is much safer in terms of fire prevention, it just doesn't seem the same.


Statue of St. Francis of Assisi
With the electronic votive candles

Stained Glass Window
(The others were scenes from Mary's Life.)

View from the Back Pew!
(Thanks to Mark at Rome of the West for fixing it!)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

St. Roch - St. Louis

Jake, my basset hound, is having trouble with his ears. If the video otoscope on 9/22 doesn't succeed, Jake will most likely need to have his ear removed. This is beyond not cool. So Jake and I need the intercession of the Saints. First up, St. Roch, the patron Saint of dogs and dog-lovers.

On September 13, 2009, I attended the 11 am Mass at St. Roch in St. Louis. St. Roch is very close to Washington University and Forest Park (For really awesome pictures see Forest Park at Sunrise and Forest Park at Sunset) It is at the very edge of the city, nearish the Central West End. This is a racially diverse neighborhood, and the parish reflects this.
The Church is square-shaped with stained glass windows and statues. I wanted to light some votive candles but there weren't any.

Father wore a cassock and an amice (picture). Before Mass, Father and the two altar servers, one boy and one girl, prayed in a little side area. What was odd, was that the female server was wearing a cassock and a surplice. (My more traditionally minded friends inform me this is not exactly proper. I have to admit, normally I see altar girls in alb-like things.)

The songs were played on an organ and there were 2 cantors.
Opening: Let Heaven Rejoice
Offertory: Servant Song
Communion: Behold the Lamb
Recessional: How Great Thou Art

The homily was about the Gospel. I think the theme was about the Ultimate Questions in life.

There was no presentation of the gifts. Father said Eucharistic Prayer 1 (woot!) and said it very reverently. The Our Father was chanted by the congregation. The Precious Blood was not distributed.
At this point, this Mass was probably the smallest I've been to. Mass started with around 20 to 30 and finally ballooned up to less than a hundred.

St. Roch (plaque atop St. Roch School)
View from the Back Pew
Angel on the Choir Loft
(Remember, the Angels are Always Watching!)
Pictures from Rome of the West: exterior and interior
Pictures from Built St. Louis
Until Next Sunday!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tentative Schedule for the Rest of the Year

Hi all!
Here's the tentative schedule for the rest of 2009. In the blog posts I'll explain the choices.
9/13 St. Roch
9/20 St. Francis of Assissi (There are 3...don't know which one yet)
9/27 St. Michael the Archangel
10/4 St. Ambrose (11 am)
10/11 Holy Rosary
10/18 St. Luke the Evangelist
10/25 Our Lady of the Rosary
11/1 All Saints (Most Likely U. City)
11/2 St. Francis de Sales (yes folks, that's right...the EF. Latin and all. Baby got Black!)
11/8 Open
11/15 Open
11/22 Christ the King
11/29 Open
12/6, 12/13, 12/20, 12/27 Immaculate Conception (there are 9! in the archdiocese)
12/8 Immaculate Conception in Augusta
12/24 Immaculate Conception
Christmas Midnight Mass Immaculate Conception (maybe)
Christmas Dawn Immaculate Conception in Arnold
Christmas Day Immaculate Conception
(I'm feeling rather immaculate....)
1/1 Mary, Mother of the Church
So if you have suggestions for the November Masses, I'm all ears.

9/20: St. Francis of Assisi-Oakville
10/4: St. Anthony of Padua- South City (they are having a big Franciscan info thing...and pet blessing at 4 pm)
In November, I will be going to a St. Elizabeth, since her feast is in November!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Our Lady of Sorrows - St. Louis

In the Catholic calender, September is traditionally dedicated to the Seven Dolors, or Sorrows of Mary. Since this is the first weekend in September, I decided to visit Our Lady of Sorrows, which is one of the parishes adjacent to my territorial parish.

Ordinarily, I would go to the latest Sunday Mass possible. However, in the latest St. Louis Archdiocesan Priest Shuffle, a priest I haven't seen since he baptized my sister (25 years ago) and knew him as a seminarian, was conveniently assigned Pastor to Our Lady of Sorrows. Luckily, I was able to determine which Mass he was celebrating this weekend. Unluckily, it was the 9 am Mass.

The 9 am Mass has a choir accompanied by the organ, both of which were in the choir loft. This is the first Mass I've been on this church-hopping extravaganza that this has occurred. Had I gone to the 11 am Mass it would have been guitars (YAY!!!), most likely in front.

For the 9 am Mass, the music was:
Procession: Gather the People
Preparation of Gifts: As the Deer Longs
Communion: I am the Living Bread
Recessional: God, We Praise You
Mass: Mass of the Visitation

If I had gone to the 11 am Mass, I would have heard
Procession: Lead Me Lord
Preparation of Gifts: Your Are Mine
Communion: I am the Living Bread
Recessional: City of God
Mass: Mass of Creation

What was interesting, is the Deacon was in a dalmatic while Father was wearing his stole over the chasuble.

The homily focused on "ephphatha", which is one of the few words the Gospels have that Jesus directly said. Ephphatha means "be open." Father connected this to one of the Blessings during the Sacrament of Baptism. In short, the homily was about being open and hearing the Word of God. Oh and for the cliche of the day, do you know what is in the middle of heart? Ear. We need to listen to our hearts.

At the Offertory, since it was the first Sunday, everyone brought their offerings to the altar, and their donations to the St. Vincent de Paul. There was supposed to be a special collection of Catholic University of America (Hi cuaguy!!!), however, it didn't happen.

There was a chapel veil for the chalice. There were also 8 EMHC (for around 200 people).

All and all, a typical American Mass I'd have to say.


This is what a ceiling in a Church should look like!

The Seven Joys of Our Lady

The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady

View From the Back Pew!

Our Lady of Sorrows Website
Pictures from Rome of the West