Thursday, December 24, 2009

Immaculate Conception - Maplewood

Merry Christmas Everyone!

For the Christmas Eve Vigil, I decided to go to the 6 pm at Immaculate Conception in Maplewood. Immaculate Conception-Maplewood was built early in the 1900s and is a lovely old church. I wish I could have gone during the day to see the windows, which look to be original. For awhile, the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette administered the parish, but currently the parish is administered by the Archdiocese.

Before Mass there was some carols sung by the choir and the children were invited to sing a few songs. The Creche was blessed (minus incense or Holy Water) before Mass. The children, with candles, then processed in with Father.

The music was accompanied by either the organ, guitar or piano depending on what was being sung. The choir, except for the organist, was in the front of church in the sanctuary, instead of the choir loft.

The Music
Opening: O Come All Ye Faithful (last verse was the first Latin verse)
Gloria: Mass of Light (aka Sing Glory to God)
Preparation of the Gifts: The First Nowell (Hey that's how Breaking Bread spells it)
Mass: Mass of Light
Communion: Silent Night in English and in Malagasy to show solidarity with the La Salette Missionaries in Madagascar
Song of Praise and Thanksgiving: Who Has Known...
Recessional: Joy to the World

The Responsorial Psalm for tonight was supposed to be Psalm 89: Forever I Will Sing of the Goodness of the Lord. Instead the Responsorial Pslam was Today Was Born Our Savior.

The homily was interesting, all be it a bit on the long side, almost two homilies joined into one. Father spoke about how we've done all this preparation and then we are given tonight's Gospel reading, which is Jesus' genealogy from the Gospel of Matthew. The point of this list is to remember that God always fulfills his promises and that we will be redeemed. This is the foundation of our joy. Father then went on to discuss four foundations, or pillars, that were discussed during Advent which helps us to be prepared for God. These pillars are prayer, repentance, charity and service. Without these things, we will not know God or be able to recognize Him in this world.

It was different that a family performed the collection duties, in that this involved 2 kids under 12. Additionally, one of the ushers wore 5" heels, which must have been tough.

Father prayed Eucharistic Prayer 1 (but left out all the saints). There were no Consecration bells. At the beginning of the Doxology (Through Him and With Him...) the parish stood and remained standing until Communion. It is usually customary to stand after the Great Amen and then kneel again after the Lord I am not worthy to receive You response.

After Communion, a group of children did a prayer movement during the Song of Praise and Thanksgiving. A few people walked out at this point. I'm not sure what the point of this was but here's a video of it:

Uhm why?

Father did give an extra blessing today.


View From the Back Pew!
Sorry the Images are green.
The church isn't.
Update:  Mark from Rome of the West informs me that having my camera on the
wrong light setting will get me green pictures.

The Nativity Scene
(Which was in the back of Church)

St. Patrick, the Pieta, Sacred Heart of Jesus
A little side Chapel

St. Ann, Mary's Mother
St. Boniface used to have a similar statue.
It looks as if St. Ann is teaching Mary.

View from the Sanctuary.
The Organ Pipes are painted blue!

Agony in the Garden
The bottom says "Not My Will, But Thine Be Done"
Sorry for the green. I don't know how to fix it.

This is a window taken from the outside,
so the Church lights are illuminating it.
It looks like Mary and an Angel, maybe Michael.
Sorry it is blurry, it was really windy and even using my tripod...
But you get the idea. :)

Immaculate Conception Maplewood Website


  1. My first apartment was three blocks from here, so I know this church well. I think we talked about this when I met you at All Saints-U City, but this church sure loves its prayer movements/liturgical dance...I was dumbfounded when they did one on Good Friday. They have great intentions with all the new things they try, I think, especially on Holy Days, but some of them work better than others. I did like the pastor (I believe he also heads up the EMHCs at Barnes-Jewish or another big area hospital), and the church is beautiful.

  2. It is a beautiful church and I knew the pastor from when he was at another parish. He's a nice guy. I'm just not sure I'm getting the point of the prayer movement.

  3. Color balance is very tricky, since our eyes will largely correct for the color of the light, and most cameras' automatic white balance functions really don't work very well. I suspect this church has fluorescent lighting, which is why you have the green color. I don't like fluorescent much photographically - it is hard to correct adequately.

    Some cameras have a manual white balance setting which you might try, or you can correct the color balance in Photoshop.

  4. IC is different. Some things are very 70s, especially the interpretive dance parts. They have done this for a while. The Malagasy part is related to the LaSalettes. They have folks that go to missions in Madagascar yearly.

    The standing after the Lamb of God is disconcerting, but just kneel if you want. In many European churches people stand nearly the entire time, since some have wooden board or no kneelers.

    And yes, Fr. Jim is the same guy from Barnes.

  5. CB,
    It is more than standing or kneeling. It is an issue of being in conformity with what the diocese requires and as I have had a discussion with other about being part of the community. If the community stands and you kneel, are you placing yourself outside of community?