Sunday, September 30, 2012

Revisit - St. Mary of Victories

In this Archdiocese, there are 3 versions of the Latin Rite Mass available.  There's the standard ordinary form Mass found in most parishes.  I think it is like the Mass of Paul VI 1974 version or something.  (I'm sure someone will correct me.)  There's also the Extraordinary Form, which uses the Liturgy from 1962.  There is another version.  It's from 1969!  This is the Latin Novus Ordo.  According to the booklet, this is the Mass that the Bishops at Vatican II actually had in mind.

In this Mass, the things that don't change from week to week, like the Our Father, the Creed, the Gloria, the Roman Canon, are in Latin.  The things that change from week to week can be in the venacular.  The music is mostly in chant, especially the Mass Settings.  

If you'd like to experience this Mass, you can go to St. Mary of Victories for their 9 am Mass.  

The music this morning was very nice.  There was a small choir with a lead cantor that chanted everything. 
Mass Setting:  Mazz XI (Orbis Factor)  The notes were square :(  
Offertory:  Where Charity and Love Prevail
Recessional:  Crown Him With Many Crowns

This morning's Mass was celebrated by the Bishop from Melbourne, Australia.  His homily was a little on the long side.  It focused on Portus Fideli, the Door of Faith and the Year of Faith that is coming up in 2 weeks.  His homily was different from most homilies I've heard.  He quoted other parts of scripture and Vatican II documents.  He also talked about how much Vatican II is misinterpreted.  We need to read the documents for ourselves.

Next week, during the Solemnity for Our Lady of Victory/Rosary, the statue of Mary that was decapitated will be reblessed at 10:40ish am.


on the ceiling

Rome of the West should have some pictures soon as well...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The End.

I have attended Mass in over 200 different parishes.  I have visited every church in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.  I have been to places I didn't even know existed.  It has taken me a little over 3 years.

I'd like to say that in that time I've grown in my Faith.  I'm sad to say I have not.  I have grown in the intellectual sense in that I have a better grasp of why things are done and some of the history behind them.  My Faith has grown no deeper.  It was a pretty shallow pool to begin with and it seems the drought has affected even this.

This is the 3rd or 4th time I've tried to write this and explain.  Each draft, although I've been determined to be the detached academic I am, have ended up being emotional screeds that would embarrass a teenager.

Intellectually, I know that the Catholic Church is the One True Faith.  Emotionally it is a different story altogether.

The fault does not lay with the Catholic Church.  The fault lays with me.  I am not strong enough to keep doing this.  I am not strong enough to be a part of something that has no place for me.  Where I feel all the more isolated and alone.

I can't do it anymore.  I'm sorry I have let you all down.

Melkite Liturgy

When I was at St. Raymond on Sunday, they has posted in the bulletin about a Melkite liturgy.  I'd never heard of such a thing so I was very intrigued.  The liturgy was Wednesday and I attended.

It was odd because initially there were only two laity there and about 30 members of the clergy.  The friend I was with was asked to take pictures of the liturgy so the plan to hide in the back pew and follow along was dashed.  It was interesting to try and figure out what to do while being in the front pews.

The Melkite Liturgy is the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.  From what I can gather, it is a subset of the Byzantine Rite.  All the parts that are in a typical Roman or Latin-Rite Mass are there but in a different order.  It also seemed like the petitions/intentions were repeated multiple times.

I really liked going to this Liturgy.  I look at this Liturgy and the Liturgy I'm typically subjected to on Sundays and I don't see how they are related.  I can see the resemblance more in the Extraordinary Form but not in what I see on any given Sunday.  It's like the regular Sunday liturgy is watered down.

One thing that caught my attention was that none of the clergy in the pews used missals or books or papers but they all knew what to sing and were singing.  Nearly all of the Liturgy was sung or chanted. It was in a lower key too I noticed.  It was much more drone like.  It was definitely in a key most people could sing.

I think the awesomest thing was at the Communion all of the clergy in the pews suddenly put on stoles and came up around the altar and took Communion together.  When they left the sanctuary, they took the stoles off.

Incense!  Lots and Lots of Incense!

How most of the Liturgy was conducted.

I have no idea what was going on...


More Information:
Eparchy of Newton
From Catholic Encyclopedia
St. Ignatios Melkite Catholic Church  (Probably the best visitor section I've ever seen.)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

St. Raymond Cathedral

Good Evening!
This morning I attended the 9 am Mass at St. Raymond Cathedral just south of Downtown.  St. Raymond is different from other churches in the city in that it is not a Roman or Latin Rite parish but a Maronite Rite parish.  It's an Eastern Rite parish.  Some things are different while some things are the same.  Some of the basic elements of the Mass are the same:  greeting, readings, homily, offertory, profession of Faith, sign of peace, Consecration, and blessing.  However, they might be in a different order, such as the Sign of Peace being right after the offertory and before the Consecration.  Or they might be in a different language for example the Consecration was in Syriac.  Father did not wear a chasuble but instead a cope.  He also carried a little cross in his hand.

Most of the Liturgy was chanted.  There was incense.  The congregation sang and chanted, sometimes in English and sometimes in Syriac.  There was no kneeling but instead there was standing and sitting.

The Maronite Rite has a different calendar than the Latin Rite.  Instead of it being ordinary time, it was a Sunday of the Holy Cross.  Father wore white vestments.

Music was provided by an organ.
Entrance:  Lord, Your Cross Was Taken From the Tree
Qolo:  Your Cross, O Lord
Communion:  Your Body is Our Food
There were other hymns/psalms but I couldn't tell you what they were.

The Sign of Peace is different at St. Raymond.  Father gives peace to the deacon, the subdeacon and the servers.  The servers then take that sign of peace to the people in the pews. They hold their hands together at the palms but open.  When you receive the sign of peace, your hands are together.  The servers then put your hands in their open hands and close them.  No one leaves the pews and there is no danger of random strangers coming up and hugging on you.

At the Our Father, everyone had their hands in the orans posture.  However, in the Maronite Rite, you are supposed to do this.  Father used the Anaphora of the Twelve Apostles.

The Gospel of St. Matthew is confusing and scary.  So many verses to discuss.  We will concentrate on the verse most relevant to us.  It gives us hope and compassion.  He is here for us to the end.  Jesus' prophecy is a two-edged sword.  His judgment and saving mercy.  Jesus tells us of the destruction of Jerusalem.  Jesus went to Jerusalem knowing what would happen to him.  Jesus brought salvation for all us Christians in His name.  Gospel message is good news but why do so many people oppose it?  Jesus is telling us He will be with us to the end, giving us hope of salvation.  We will see God face to face and inherit eternal life.  Endurance.  It is a gift of the Holy Spirit and enables us to keep on through trials.  Jesus shed His Blood willingly for our salvation.  Calls us to love ourselves (uh oh)  Jesus was a martyr for us.  Martyr means witness.  He witnessed to prepare the Kingdom on Earth.  We need to prepare ourselves to be at the Heavenly Kingdom.  This is done through loving and doing good deeds.  This is far from being what we think of as a martyr.  You do not have to shed blood (it's called the white martyrdom.)  Sacrifice is martyrdom.  We don't want to sacrifice but we do it because we want to be a good disciple.  We need to live our martyrdom with faith, hope and love.  God is warning us in this Gospel.  The world is coming to an end.  Be wary of modern technology, against making God the way I want Him to be.  God is the Creator of everything.  When we recite the Creed we are praying a Profession of Faith.  We need to mean every word.  Am I eager to be a witness to the Gospel?  (uh...probably not)

I really like this Liturgy.  I really wish the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite could be combined into some way to resemble this liturgy.

Shrine of Our Lady of St. Louis

Our Lady of the Cedars

St. Raymond Cathedral

St. Raymond

View from the Back Pew

Information about the Maronite Rite:
From St. George  and an explanation of the Liturgy
From Maronite Monks

Website of St. Raymond Cathedral
Pictures from Rome of the West

Special Announcement:
St. Raymond's Ladies Sodality is having a Ladies' Fashion Show and Shopping Event on Sunday, October 14.  Shopping starts at 1 pm while the Fashion Show starts at 3 pm.  If you would like more information about the event or to buy tickets, please email me and I will pass your request onto the organizers :)  (who happen to be my cousins :) )

Immaculate Conception - Maplewood Windows

If you remember, I went to Immaculate Conception in Maplewood for Christmas Eve.  Sadly it was dark so I wasn't able to take good pictures of the windows.  I went back to get pictures of the windows this weekend.