Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sts. Peter and Paul

This morning, I headed to Soulard for 9:30 am Mass at Sts. Peter and Paul.  I had found out Bishop Rice would be in attendance and thought it would be a good Mass.

When I first walked into the church I was dumbfounded.  Speechless.
Sts. Peter and Paul is over 175 years old I believe.  It has a long nave.  It was a very traditional looking church.  It's the same style as St. Francis de Sales.

What did they do to this church?  They ripped out all the pews and put them in a circle around some point, which they put an altar.  There's no sanctuary anymore.  Oh.  and then they put the pews on steps.    I felt like I was in an old autopsy room, looking down on an autopsy.  And because the pews were on risers...there was no way to get around them unless you cut through the "sanctuary" so if you wanted out, you had to move all over people.  Oh and there's no kneelers.  Let's take a look shall we?

That's Bishop Rice speaking behind the column.  

The music for mass was provided by a choir.  The instruments included drums, keyboards and tambourines.  
Opening:  Come, Now is the Time to Worship
Offertory:  Here Am I
Communion:  Bright as Silver, Pure as Gold (It's really Simple Gifts, with a Christian Chorus)
Recessional:  In the Day of the Lord (and the kids got to play various percussion instruments!)
Responsorial Psalm:  To You, O God, I Lift Up My Soul
Mass Setting:  Mass for a New World

Mass starts.  

The dancers did something all through out the Liturgy of the Word.  The Gloria had some active participation with the audience doing the dancing during the chorus.  I even participated.  I rolled my eyes.  A lot.  

Bishop Rice started Mass and then Father decided now was the time to give Bishop Rice's biography.  Bishop Rice did sing the Opening Prayer.  

There was incense at the Gospel.
Shake Shake Shake
Shake Shake Shake
Shake Your Incense Bowl

The homily was given by Bishop Rice.  He started off talking about how live TV first came about in 1951.  Every generation is defined by its TV shows.  His parents watched Jackie Gleason.  He watched Happy Days.  He has no idea what they watch today.  Bishop Rice fondly recalled the shows he watched on TV like Flipper, F Troop, Giligan's Island and Leave it to Beaver.  These shows had an innocence to them.  On one show there was a kid named Eddie Haskel.  Eddie was perfect in front of adults but turned into a jerk once they left.  It is an insult to be called Eddie Haskel.  In the Gospel, the 2nd son told Dad what he wanted to hear but did what he wanted, like Eddie Haskel.  The first son came around to embrace the Will of the Father.  To know and embrace the Will of God.  The Our Father wear us down to do.  Thy Will Be Done.  Psalm 119 mentions that "Your Will is My Delight"  I must let go of the things I want.  Do we really believe God knows better than us?  God's plan is better than my plan.  St. Francis of Assisi "We wish to serve God, but we want to do it in our own way."  St. Francis de Sales "We wish to be saints but that will never happen if we try to do it our way instead of God's way."  It must be God's Way.  We are all called to sainthood.  We will see the Will of God in the ordinary chaos of the everyday.  It is the little things that help us grow in grace.  The little things help us grow deeper in love and holiness.  Thy will be done will lead to joy.  Living the life of Christ should be joyful.  

Sts. Peter and Paul is one of many parishes that allow people to make their own petitions on the spot.  As I was trying to understand what people were saying, what is to stop someone from getting up and saying something like "For the Church, that she stop her bigoted, patriarchal, homophobic ways, etc we pray to the Lord."  

Bishop Rice used Eucharistic Prayer III and there were no bells.  Everyone stood throughout the Liturgy of the Eucharist (no kneelers).  There was handholding at the Our Father and lots of huggy and such at the Sign of Peace.  

Mass ended with the week's birthdays and anniversaries being announced.  The class reunions.  and then the retiring parish council members were honored.  

Then there was the procession:

View From uh...I have no idea.

God looks ready to smite.
Oh and then there's St. Michael.

Marian Altar
St. Elizabeth of Thuringia is on the Left I believe
Not sure on the right.
Sts. Peter and Paul was originally a German parish...

Relics found under the Marian Altar

St. Joseph Altar
I don't know who the saints on the side are.

Relics under the St. Joseph Altar.

St. Stephen of Hungry?

St. Henry?

Station VIII

St. Mark

Poor Sts. Peter and Paul
Out in the Vestibule.

Website of Sts. Peter and Paul
Picture from Rome of the West

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Immaculate Conception - West Alton

This morning I headed out to Immaculate Conception in West Alton for the 10 am Mass.  In the pouring rain.  I learned I need new tires!  I was actually jonesing for pancakes but no one had any.  I'm hoping for next week.

IC in West Alton was built in the 1950s.  The Church is has a really tall steep roof and is made of brick.  The one wall is a mix of brick and little windows that had colored glass in them.  IC is a joint parish with St. Francis of Assisi in Portage de Sioux.

The music was accompanied by an organ and cantor.
Opening:  Praise and Thanksgiving
Offertory: Only This I Want
Communion:  You Are Near
Closing:  Lord of Hopefulness

Father used Eucharistic Prayer II and there were bells.  There was an adult server who was wearing jeans and a polo.  A paten was used at Communion.

Getting paid on what you agreed on is justice.  The workers had a beef with the owner about generosity.  God's mercy, justice and generosity meet in the Kingdom.  They kiss.  We haven't found another way that works.  We don't want to look at the real Cross.  Cross is God's mercy, justice, generosity.  We don't think like God.  Father then talked about the Prodigal Son Parable.  Do we see ourselves as sons or as slaves?  St. Paul doesn't know what to do.  If he lives, he has lots of work to do and he's ok with that.  If he dies, he gets to go to Heaven and that's pretty awesome.  In the end, he lets God decide and let's God be in charge.  We need to have the same heart and mind as Jesus who didn't argue with God.  We need to open our hearts.  The Cross is justice and love.  There were various people at the foot of the Cross.  Dismas is guilty but Jesus welcomes into the Kingdom.  Scribes and Pharisees say that's not fair.  That's God's Way.

Immaculate Conception West Alton

View From the Back Pew

Station VIII:  Jesus Meets the Holy Women

Information from the Archdiocese

Remember!  Vote for Me in Most UnderAppreciated!  Vote for Rome of the West in Best Visual Treat.

Vote for ME!!!!!

The Crescat is having her annual Crescat awards!
I've been nominated for Best Visual Treat!


I suppose if you can't vote for can vote for my pal over at Rome of the West!

I've been nominated for Best UnderAppreciated!  Vote there too!

So here's what we are going to do!  Ya'll vote for Mark and Rome of the West in Best Visual Treat.  And then vote for me in Best UnderAppreciated!!!  YAY!!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

St. Louis Mission Byzantine Catholic Church

Hello! I was working on a top secret Jake project and decided to attend Mass on Saturday, September 10, instead. I decided to be daring and attend the Byzantine Rite parish.

The Byzantine Rite uses the Divine Liturgies of St. John Chrysotom and St. Basil the Great.  On Saturday, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysotom was used.

The music was all Carpathian plain chant for the two Feasts.  And everybody sang.  The whole liturgy was sung except for the prayer before Communion.  The closing hymn was Virgin, We Beseech You or Prosimot'a D'va in Slavic.

I got to the Chapel early and discovered the men praying the Rosary.  After the Rosary ended, the cantor walked me through the Liturgy.  He mentioned that the Sign of the Cross is different.  In the Byzantine Rite, when you go across your shoulders at "And the Holy Spirit" you got from right to left instead of left to right like in the Roman Rite.  The cantor explained to me it was because Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father and drives out sin.  In Latin, left is sinister, which is sin.

Before Mass, Father and the subdeacons/servers, prepare the gifts.  It's a very intricate and neat ritual called the Prothesis.  In this ritual, the bread is blessed and cut into pieces.

There were lots of petitions and lots of incense.  One set of petitions was call the "Litany of Fervent Supplication".    The Mass was said Ad Orientem except of the Gospel and homily.  It seems that the people take the place of the Cherubim in the Liturgy.

At the Homily, Father read a letter from Pope Benedict XVI about 9/11 and a letter from Archbishop Dolan.     The Gospel was John 3:16.  God sent His Son into the World to save us.  The most important verse in the Bible.  How do we have life?    He will not perish but will have eternal life.  The Feast of the Exultation of the Cross is this week.  We need to live our lives in obedience to the Cross.  The Epistle was from Paul to the Galatians about circumcision.  It is not an external sign that makes us Christian.  It is something inside of us.  That makes all the difference.

Communion was different.  The bread was leavened and dipped into the Precious Blood on a spoon.  It was then flicked into your mouth.  So you had to kind of bend funky.  Another difference was that Father asked my name and then used it when giving me the Eucharist.

At the end of the Liturgy, the Cross was venerated.

Everyone was really friendly!
It was hella awesome.  I actually think this might be the right place for me...

The Royal Gate and Altar

Feasts of the Day
Nativity of Blessed Virgin and the Exultation of the Cross

Website of the Parish

Monday, September 5, 2011

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

This weekend was the Greek Festival at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.  I took a peek inside.

The Last Supper

Jesus getting Adam and Eve from Hell

St. John the Baptist

St. George

St. Catherine
(See the wheel!)

I don't know why there's a little devil...

Rose Window


Presentation at the Temple

Flight Into Egypt

Jesus baptized by St. John the Baptist

Jesus Preaching

Jesus Riding into the Jerusalem 

Jesus Meets His Mother


Down from the Cross


St. Nicholas

 Saints I don't Recognize:

St. Benedict?

Website of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox
Pictures from Rome of the West