There is a church in the archdiocese, named St. Patrick, in the middle of nowhere (google maps couldn't even find it), that is only open 2-3 times a year. It was open today! So of course, I couldn't pass this up and off I went.
St. Patrick was founded in 1843 and closed in 1924. It is under the control of St. James in Catawissa. This is an old school church. The walls are about a foot thick. There's no electricity (seriously). Oh and no heat. It was probably around 40 F in the church today. You could see your breath. The pews were very narrow and close together. Anyone over 5'6" will hit their knees on the pew in front. The kneelers are fixed to the floor. Oh and not all of them have padding. It was very cool as in awesome.
Music was accompanied by a small choir and an organ. The music was even old school:
Opening: Holy, Holy, Holy
Offertory: Humbly, Lord, We Worship You
Communion: Lord, Who at Thy First Eucharist
Closing: Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens
We sang the Responsorial Psalm and the Mass parts.
Father said Mass very reverently. We used Penitential Rite A: the Confiteor and the Kyrie. The Intentions were good, with the first being for those who teach the Catholic Faith like the Pope and the Bishops. He used Eucharistic Prayer III and there were bells at the Consecration. At the end of Mass, we recited the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.
Because the patron of St. Patrick Church is St. Patrick, the usual readings for the Fourth Wednesday in Lent were bypassed for the readings for the Feast of St. Patrick. Additionally, the priest can wear vestments that are primarily white. Father wore green...with St. Patrick embroidered on the back. They were lovely vestments...just the wrong color.
The homily wove the story of St. Patrick with the Gospel from Luke about how Jesus was going to make Peter and friends fishers of men. St. Patrick was a fisher of men. Both St. Peter and St. Patrick saw their humanity. They were open to God's blessings and grace which multiplied.
Side of Church
With Bells that actually rang at 11 am.
View From the Back Pew
View from the Middle Pew!
Close Up with Lit Candles
Detail of the Stained Glass Window
The only stained glass windows were behind the altar
in the Sanctuary.
Plaques of former priests
Oil Lamps to light Church
Not lit today.
St. Anne and Mary
Stations of the Cross
The Eighth Station
Odd Station as in it doesn't match the others seen above.
Painting of St. Patrick
St. Mary and St. James website which has some history of St. Patrick
Pictures from Rome of the West (new ones here)