The Mass itself was beautiful. The choir sang Virginia and Palestrina, but insisted on keeping those to themselves and demonstrating that they could sing harmonies (which they did quite well). Bishop Campbell's homily was excellent and the rite of the blessing of the oils was beautiful, as was the renewal of the priests' vows. The oils, rather amusingly, were carried forth in containers that looked exactly like the large spigoted metal coffee pots you see at catering events. There's actually an odd logic to that, come to think of it . . . The readings, of course, were from Isaiah, about the one annointed by the Lord, and from Revelation about the power and priesthood of Christ, and from Luke where Christ reads the passage from Isaiah in the synogogue. The second reading was in Spanish, although I saw all of four hispanics, all the same family, in the whole church (talk about things that need desperately to be suppressed: bilingual masses; if you can't settle on one language, use Latin, because otherwise you accrue no benefit from using the vernacular(s)). Because almost every priest in the diocese was there, there were plenty of (ordinary) Eucharistic ministers, which was a unique and welcome change. And they had spare chalices prepared for when the Precious Blood ran out, which struck me as a wonderful bit of forethought and planning. The recessional hymn was "O God Our Help in Ages Past," a very nice hymn I haven't heard in a very long time.
I'm sure there is something else of note I could say about the Mass, but I can't think of what it would be at the moment. Tomorrow: Spy Wednesday!
File Under: The_Liturgy