Sunday, April 8, 2012

St. Alphonsus aka The Rock

One of my co-workers sings in the choir at St. Alphonsus.  She extracted a promise from me to go to Easter Sunday Mass to hear her sing.

St. Alphonsus is a very beautiful church.  It's of the same style of St. Anthony of Padua in South City.  There are lots of beautiful stained glass windows.  The church was hit by lightening in August 2007 and was restored and reopened in 2009.  There was an article mounted in the back that discusses the fire and restoration.  Apparently they found the original roof plans and were able to work from them.

Currently, St. Alphonsus is staffed the Redemptorists.  It is also primarily African-American.  There are elements in the Mass that are more reminiscent of Gospel/Protestant Churches.  For example, at the end of a prayer, Father will say "Let the Church Say Amen!"  People used bibles to follow along with the readings.  When I went to St. Alphonsus a few years ago, the church had elders.  These elders gave permission to speak and such.  That protocol has apparently been eliminated.

I have to say, I've never heard Easter referred to as "He Got Up!"  I've heard "Jesus surrexit est. Alleluia, alleluia"

The music was accompanied by a lovely choir and lots of instruments.  My one complaint is that the congregation can't sing along in this case.  I don't know the music and there were no books in the pews.  All I could do was sway and clap.  I'm taking a stab at what the songs are called.  It was Gospel.
Opening:  He Got Up.  God Raised Him Up.
Sprinkling Rite: Bless His Holy Name
Alleluia:  I Will Sing Alleluia
Homily Song:  Tell Somebody.
Offertory:  Send Out Your Glory
Communion: Jesus Went to Calvary
Meditation:  When Sunday Comes (taped)
Closing:  Don't Be Afraid

Before Mass, there were announcements.  The reader told us to have a Holy Ghost of a good time.  Then visitors were to be recognized and shown some Rock Love.  I hid in the pew.

The Sequence was omitted.

Father had an iPad with his sermon on it.  The sermon started off with a prayer.  The Word Got Up.  At various points, Father would say something and then tell us to tell our neighbor.  Tell your neighbor Happy Easter.  Tell you neighbor you're not afraid.  Tell your neighbor He Got Up.  We have come so far Church.  So far since the dawn of creation.  We have come a mighty long way.  Abraham, Sarah, Let My People Go, the Entrance to the Holy Land, David and Solomon, Maccabees.  A people trapped in darkness to a people with a Messiah, the liberator of the oppressed (there were more titles)  Your God has never abandoned you.  You might have felt it, but know this Church, God has never left you.  You know Footprints.  God carried you.  You shall be My people and I shall be your God.  This is the moment we were created for.  This is the moment he rose and conquered death.  He lives church.  Tell you neighbor he lives. That is the Good News.  This is different from the first Easter.  The women were crushed and desolate.  They were so upset they forgot about the rock.  The obstacle had been removed. There was something between God and the women.  God made it move.  God will remove that which blocks Him from us.  Remove that which blocks God in your life.  Jesus had a plan.  The women were supposed to pay attention, be glad of heart and tell the Good News.  They were to be the first.  Not in Mark's Gospel.  They fled.  Instead of being with good courage, they fled and said nothing.  Verse 8 causes a whole lot of problems.  Many people have tried to fix Mark's Gospel.  Lectionaries stop at Verse 7, but Father added Verse 8 (Let the Church sigh).  We omit the verses we don't like.  Like that tithing chapter.  It ain't in my bible Father.  Cafeteria Christians omit the hard chapters.  The verse you omit is the one you have the most trouble with.  Father read The Binding of a Strong Man.  Verse 8 is the final betrayal of Jesus.  Of the messianic secret.  Previously, when Jesus said tell no one, the people always tell.  Now, when the people can say something, they say nothing.  Oh the irony.  Mark uses this to challenge us.  What matters is that we tell.  We go and tell someone.  We must tell the secret and be not afraid.  We can not rely on others to build the Kingdom or tell the Good News.  We must do it.  We can't wait for others.  If everyone else runs away, will you abandon him as well.  This is not how the story ends.  We are not going anywhere.  SLU might try and buy everything around us and us but we are not going.  We will not leave.  We will proclaim the Good News.  Mark may have been worried about the future would this be a fad?  My Faith is not a fad.  I am not going to keep the secret.  I will proclaim that my Redeemer lives. We are not afraid.  We will not be silent.  He lives.  Tell somebody.

Father forgot we had to renew our Baptism Promises.  We said the Creed and then he was like I forgot this.  Let's do it now.  You can never have too much Creed.

There was clapping at the Preface Dialogue.  Not sure why.  Eucharistic Prayer II was used.  There were no bells.

At the Our Father, everyone linked hands and snaked around the Church.  And then came the Sign of Peace.  A 5 minute free for all.  I was hugged 4 times.

After Communion there was Liturgical Movement.  Actually, anytime there was singing/music, there was liturgical movement.  For your viewing pleasure:

After Communion, the Deacon came up to encourage African American Males to think about being deacons.  There are 155 Deacons in the Archdiocese and 59 in formation.  Only 5 are African American.  There needs to be parity and equality....

View From the Back Pew!

Shrine of All Souls

Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Titles of Our Lady
Behind Shrine

Jesus?  Joseph?

Scenes from St. Alphonus Ligouri


Scenes from Mary's Life.

Website of St. Alphonsus
Pictures from Rome of the West

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