February 17, 2008

transfiguration An after-action report about the Mass I attended at St. Anne Catholic Church today.

One of the many things this particular parish does best is dress the church’s interior as a way to prepare visually those who attend Mass for worship at that particular time in the Church Year. For example, for Lent (where the seasonal color is purple and the sentiment of the season is humility and self-examination), the usual array of candles throughout have been reduced to just two on the altar, the large wall murals on both sides of the altar have been covered in a soft purple veil, and the triple arches behind the altar, ordinarily brightly illuminated, are now bathed in soft purple light. And lest anyone not get the idea of what lies at the end of the season, the large mural behind the altar and the arches stunningly depicts the Crucifixion in an iconic setting.

As usual, the music, while perhaps not the most memorable you’ll ever hear, was perfomed stunningly well. At St. Anne there are two female singers and one male; instrumentation is from piano and a single guitar. Simple, well done, and consistent in both execution and quality week in and out.

A word about the sermons – today the priest spoke about the Transfiguration. His sermon today, like all the others I’ve heard, was fairly short: not much more than 7 minutes or so. Some people might quibble about this sort of thing, wanting more of a message to take away with them, but I’m starting to get used to the fact that, unlike, say, in the Methodist, Episcopal, or even the Baptist traditions, the Roman Catholic priest is (refreshingly so, I might add) NOT the star of the show – that’s reserved for Christ and His Presence in the Holy Eucharist. A novel idea!

Still, I must add that, because most of the time Mass runs no more than 50 minutes or so, it’s difficult not to feel as if everything is over a little too quickly. Therefore, once you get there the emphasis must be on quality, not quantity! Since I don’t go up to receive the sacrament, I use that time for remaining quiet and simply allowing the music and the sounds of the people filtering back and forth to wash over me. And, strangely enough, even though I miss not being able to receive the sacrament, simply knowing I’m in God’s Presence as others receive the sacrament seems good enough for me, at least for now.

So there you have it – on this Saturday it was a Lenten feast for the senses. Never having attended a RC church during Lent (or Holy Week, for that matter), each week seems to reveal something new, and it’s something I have gotten used to looking forward to.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 01:39 | Comment (1)
1 Comment »
  1. […] The Lenten feast for the senses I wrote about last week continued today (Saturday) at St. Anne Catholic Church, but it occurred to me during today’s Mass that what I find most comforting and reassuring about the Roman Catholic way of doing things, as opposed to the Methodist, Presbyterian, non-denominational, and yes, even Episcopal liturgical and worship practices is how worship brings together into one tight bundle the history of the Church in all the right ways. […]

    Pingback by GoodBoys Nation - Archives » Religion Done Right — February 24, 2008 @ 1:17 am


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