Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ascension - Chesterfield (Part 1)

Happy Ascension of Our Lord!  This post will be about the main church while Part 2 will show the little chapel.

Ascension was built in 1977 and is of a more modern style.  The interior is stark with no stained-glass windows.  There are no extra statues of saints or paintings on the walls (there were 2 mosaics/images of Jesus and Mary in the back).  The church holds 500-600 and was packed.

There is no choir loft so the choir sits on Mary's side.  They actually face the altar. (In some parishes, the choir faces the Congregation or the wall...).  The music was accompanied by an organ or piano, depending on the piece.
Before Mass:  Let Every Voice Rejoice
Entrance:  Hail the Day That Sees Him Rise
Offertory:  How Great Though Art
Communion:  You Are Mine and Alleluia
Closing:  Alleluia! Sing to Jesus
Mass Setting:  Mass of Creation

At Ascension, all of the ushers wore green jackets.  I'm all for uniformity, but initially I thought I was at a golf tournament.

Father started the Mass with the comment that "We acknowledge the obvious, God loves us as a parish."  

Father's homily was delivered at break neck speed.  It was a solid homily, he just went fast and had a lot of topics to cover.  Father started out talking about how the Crucifix should be paramount especially in Church.  It reminds us of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and is a fixture of our Faith.  It's about Hope.  When we leave this Church we see Jesus, extending his arms in blessing.  Jesus gives us our marching orders; or mandate.  Go and teach all the nations and baptize.  It is why the Apostles were filled with joy.  The Ascension is not a goodbye, it is an affirmation of hope.  Jesus is with us.  In and through the Church, God is in our lives through the Sacraments, most powerfully in the Sacramental life of the Church.  It is our mission to go and preach the Good News.

Father used Eucharistic Prayer II and there were bells at the Consecration.  The altar girls wore cassocks, but so did the priest that came to help with Communion (wow.  a parish with 3 priests.  and they came to assist with Communion...).  There were also patens (!!!) used at Communion.   There was also the usual hand-holding at the Our Father and the upraised hands too.

It was a nice Mass and it looks like it is a very active parish.  It's a shame I can't afford to live out there.


View from the Back Pew!
Why yes, it is off-center.
I got booted from the back pew so the offertory family 
could sit there.

It's the baptismal coffin!

Mary and the Infant Jesus

St. Joseph
Why the long face St. Joseph?
I'm busy bilocating in different parishes.
(I'm positive I've seen this same statue in 3 other parishes.)

The Eighth Station:  Jesus Meets the Women

Mary, Mother of the Church
It's Hippie Mary!
All she needs is a flower in her hair...

The Risen Jesus
aka Touchdown Jesus
(The pastor said it in the homily...don't blame me!)

Website of Ascension


  1. Green jackets?! I'm surprised that the church only seats 500-600, though I've never been there. The archdiocesan website shows an estimated 8,299 Catholics in the parish. (Actually, I don't know how to interpret that...maybe it means registered parishioners, but maybe not.)

  2. There are 7(!!!) Masses every weekend. I did speak with one Father after Mass. He reported that the 9:15 and the 10:45 are normally full to bursting while the other Mass were still full but not packed.