I was looking through the St. Louis Review, the newspaper of the St. Louis Archdiocese and noticed St. John Nepomuk, the Czech parish, was having a Solemn Crowning of the Infant Jesus of Prague. Thinking that anything would be better than working on my dissertation, I decided to go.
St. John Nepomuk is a classic old church. Statues are everywhere. Along one side of the nave, the Sacraments are painted on the walls in symbols. On the other side of the nave, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are painted. Modern/contemporary art seems to have missed this Chapel.
All of the music today was either in Czech, Latin or English.
Order of today's devotion:
Entrance Hymn: Savty Jani Nepomuku. A procession occurred. There were Knights of Columbus with swords. One had a purple feathery hat. I've heard of such men, but I have never seen them. They formed a sort of Honor Guard. Then came Monsignors of different sorts and a few priests.
Next came scripture readings. The readings were from Christmas Day. The Gospel was from Luke, the one that starts, "And a decree went out in those days..."
Hymn: Come Holy Ghost
There was a sermon. In the sermon, Father discussed the history of the Infant of Prague Devotion. He mentioned that in the old days, brides would put out statues of the Infant of Prague the night before their wedding to ensure good weather for the wedding. He ended with this quote from the Infant Jesus of Prague: "The more you Honor Me, the more I will bless you."
After the sermon, the Infant Jesus of Prague was processed around the Church, while songs in Czech were sung. One was "Jak, jse krásné nevinatko.."
On the side altar, you can see some of the outfits for the statue.
The Infant Jesus of Prague was crowned.
We then said a variety of prayers to the Infant Jesus of Prague. One set is here. The big prayer written by Father Cyril, was translated from the Czech by the fifth pastor of the parish and is still the approved translation.
Then there was Benediction. First we sang a Czech hymn, "Matko presvato, cnostmi Bohata..."
Then we sang the traditional hymns for Benediction in Latin: O Sanctissima, O Salutaris, Tantum Ergo. The devotion ended with the singing of "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name"
This was a really cool devotion that I went to this afternoon. I'm rather glad I went.
Pictures (I apologize, my camera sucks in low light):
This is a Holy Water Font.
View from the Back Pew!
St. John Nepomuk is in the center.
Fortitude and Knowledge
Two of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
St. Michael the Archangel
This was above the old ambo or lecturn.
Window in the Sanctuary
Grotto of Our Lady of Lordes and St. Bernadette
Information on St. John Nepomuk, Chapel, from the St. Louis Archdiocese
St. John Nepomuk (closed parish) from the Archdiocesan Archives
Pictures from Rome of the West
History and more of St. John Nepomuk
History from the perspective of the School Sisters of Notre Dame