The Feast of St. Ann, Mother of Mary, is July 26. Every year, Visitation/St. Ann Shrine holds a novena to St. Ann for the 8 days leading up to the feast and the feast day itself. On Saturday, July 24, 2010, I attended the seventh day of the Novena and the 6 pm Mass at the Shrine. The seventh day of the Novena was for those suffering from physical illness. Different priests celebrate Mass on each of the different days.
Visitation/St. Ann Shrine is a beautiful old church in need of a little restoration. The stained glass windows are awesome.
Visitation/St. Ann Shrine is in a part of St. Louis City that is predominately African-American. As such, the church music (gospel and soul) and decorations (like the altar cloth which was kente cloth) tend to reflect this.
The music was accompanied by an electronic keyboard. It wasn't the full choir that provided the music, I was told after Mass: the full choir is apparently quite large. The keyboardist was awesome.
Opening: I've Got a Feeling (Not the song by the Beatles or Pearl Jam FYI)
Presentation of the Gifts: All I Need Is a Touch
Communion: Spirit of the Living God
Recessional: Hold to His Hand
Since the readings were for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, the homily reflected that, although Father started off by asking for the intercession of St. Ann. God knows what we need. God provides what we need to touch us. Where is that place you go to pray? What do you ask of God? We are God's beloved. We find our names written on God's palm. There is that sense of love. We need to pray that God's Will be done. Sometimes God's will is a test of our hope and our faithfulness to walking God's Path. God will provide the healing we seek; We are His beloved.
After the homily, the relics of St. Anne were venerated as well as the novena prayers said. I thought it was a little odd to have the novena in the middle of the Mass. I thought they were supposed to be outside of Mass. (FYI People: If you are going to be kissing relics, don't wear thick gooey lipstick...)
I think Father used Eucharistic Prayer I for Reconciliation, whichever Eucharistic Prayer it was, it was in the way back of the Sacramentary. There were no bells.
Father and the parishoners were very friendly.
Visitation/St. Ann Shrine
Gargoyles on Bell Tower
Relic of St. Ann
Relic of St. Ann
View From the Back Pew!
Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted
Jesus with Children
Assumption of Mary
Death of St. Joseph
Mary Visits Elizabeth
Links to more pictures by me on flickr
Visitation/St. Ann Shrine Website
Novenas to Saint Ann: Novena 1, Novena 2, Novena 3 (I think they are all the same..)
Litanies to Saint Ann: Litany 1, Litany 2, Litany 3
Link to Chaplet of St. Ann (Visitation/St. Ann Shrine had handmade chaplets available and St. Ann Water. I'm still trying to figure out what exactly St. Ann water is....)
Pictures (and here!) from Rome of the West