Friday, January 1, 2010

St. Dominic Savio - Affton

As I was looking for a Midnight Mass, I discovered that St. Dominic Savio had a Holy Hour midnight Mass on New Year's Day.  I was highly intrigued as I had only heard of a New Year's Eve church service in connection with African-American churches, as it is called Watch Night to await/celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation.  I decided to go to the Holy Hour and Mass, because I was so curious.  Then I found out there is a plenary indulgence attached to saying the Te Deum (also known as Holy God, We Praise Thy Name Hymn) on the last day of the year.  I was so there.

Before Mass was Holy Hour.  From what I understand, Holy Hour can mean a variety of things.  It could be a structured or unstructured prayer setting.  It almost always seems to involve Adoration and Benediction.  The iPadre sometimes streams Holy Hour from his church. (Link to his U-Stream) Needless to say I haven't been to Adoration or Benediction since I was 14.  An hour was a little too much for me (I lie: It wasn't a little too much, it was a lot too much) .  So was sitting by the Baptismal Fountain (the water tinkling over the rocks, splish, splash).  It seems to be much like what I remembered:  Singing "O Saving Victim", "Down in Adoration" (for some reason in Latin last night which was interesting as I tried to sing words I couldn't pronounce...), saying the Divine Praises, and singing "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name" (Yay! my indulgence).  All the singing was done a capella....

The music at Mass was accompanied by a guitar.  The music was Marian focused as it was the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.
Opening:  Sing of Mary
Offertory:  Ave Marie Variation, seemed like a litany, with Ora Pro Nobis sung
Communion:  Hail Mary, Gentle Woman
Recessional:  Hail Holy Queen
The Gloria was spoken.  The Responsorial Psalm recommended was Psalm 67:   May God Bless Us With Mercy.  Psalm 98: All the Ends of the Earth, everyone's favorite all purpose Psalm was used instead.

Father provided a crystal clear example of why ad-libbing in the liturgy can be a bad idea, especially at midnight.   Father was introducing the Kyrie, and was mentioning how we are are confessing our sins just like Mary.  Father realized his mistake and tried to backtrack but the damage was already done.  (FYI:  Mary is/was sinless.  Immaculate Conception and all that)  We skipped the Nicene Creed ( :( there goes the plenary indulgence...).

The homily was short.  Apparently Father had a bad 2009 and hopes 2010 is better.  Basically, if the challenges help us have greater Faith, then it is good, as it increases the Gift of Faith.  God is with us.

Father said Eucharistic Prayer 3 and there were no bells at the Consecration.  Father seemed rather in a hurry.  It was 12:30 at Communion.  No Precious Blood was distributed.


View From the Back Pew

The Nativity Scene

The Tabernacle
Dear Holy Spirit, I'm sorry everyone thinks you like orange,
And brown.  Red is your color.  RED!

Mosaic of the Holy Spirit

St. Dominic Savio or here, Easter Candle,
Baptismal Fountain
(Sorry, the water's flowing, says fountain to me, not font!)

A Stained Glass Window
The Windows were mostly symbols
There's a Station of the Cross
The white cloth thing is a banner that ran down the side of the Church

More Windows
Can see the Crosses on Calvary

Guess the Saints!
I'm going with (left to right)
St. John Bosco (maybe?  No clue)
Some are suggesting it is St. Vincent de Paul
St. Dominic Savio

Picture from Rome of the West
St. Dominic Savio Website


  1. The Latin word 'fons' means 'fountain', 'spring', or 'source', and this is where we get the Baptismal font and holy water font, and the word 'fountain' in English.

    Flowing or living water has a greater sign value than stagnant water, which is mostly likely why it was used in this church. While I agree on the symbolic value of flowing water (see my article here) , my opinion is that the flowing water fonts I've seen often lack decorum and as far as I know aren't found in sacred tradition, although this is an artistic problem that potentially could be solvable.

    I sometimes find flowing water fonts distracting, and unfortunately many contemporary full-immersion fonts tend to look like Jacuzzis: the ancients had much better looking full-immersion fonts which ought to have been more closely duplicated, assuming full immersion is the best thing to do.

    That flowing water is used in this church is likely derived from the recommendation found in the document ' Environment and Art in Catholic Worship' from the USCCB dating from 1978. However, that document never had official approval even though it was very influential. It has been replaced by 'Built of Living Stones: Art, Architecture, and Worship' which is officially promulgated for use in the United States. The newer document omits the recommendation of using flowing water.

  2. Hi Tina,

    I'm glad you finally made it to St. Dominic Savio! I've been following your journey via this blog, and wondering when you might make it to my parish.

    Midnight Mass on New Year's is a relatively new thing at SDS. It has nothing to do with indulgences. Our pastor is a very prayerful person... and has added many extra opportunities for our parish to come together in worship, including First Friday Adoration for the parish(with an hour set aside specifically for the school children, so they can experience quiet prayer in the presence of the Eucharist early in life). Last year, Father added New Year's midnight mass as a way to start the new year with God. He found this to be a solid start to the year, and continued the practice again this year.

    I hope that you will come back again to a 10:30 Sunday mass. It is then that you will hear our full choir and our music director (who is, in my opinion, one of the best in the entire Archdiocese; he was not the guitarist you heard that night). And, you will hear a full homily. I would never have expected Father to give any more than a daily-mass-type homily at midnight on New Year's... after all, this is an EXTRA mass, not a required mass. Had you joined us for midnight mass on Christmas Eve, you would have heard a full homily.

    I think it's really neat that you are attending, and writing about, "extra" masses at different parishes. However, I don't see how you can really compare apples and oranges (daily mass to Sunday high mass). I invite you to join us again on a Sunday morning... and you will see why St Dominic Savio is my spiritual home.

    May God continue to bless you on this journey.

  3. Thanks for stopping by and following along Jen!
    I'll attempt to make it to a Sunday Mass as I was actually saving St. Dominic Savio as a bad weather parish since it is easy to get to from my house.

    I do agree that you can't compare daily Mass to Sunday Mass. But remember Friday was a Holy Day of Obligation, so it is somewhere in the middle.

    Thanks for the invite back!