Week 278

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading I
Jer 17:5-8
Responsorial Psalm
Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6
Reading II
1 Cor 15:12, 16-20
Lk 6:17, 20-26

Today's trip landed me near a large airport and some important highways and a major railroad line in a not-too-bad part of a city that plays second fiddle to its much larger and better-known neighbor. The church is not too large and does not appear to have been renovated much since its construction in 1883. It is brick on the outside and has a bell tower with a flat top. The inside is mostly white. The wooden pews are split into two sections. A chunk has been removed from the right side, creating a break in which reside the baptismal font and the ambry. The left side has no break. Hat hooks remain from a more enlightened time when gentlemen wore hats and ladies wore veils to church. (One day I have to buy a hat just so I can wear it to church and hang it on a real hat hook.)

All three original tabernacles remain, but the center one, on the original altar remains the primary one. It is of metal and rests underneath a small dome with pillars and a small metal crucifix. Over that is a large painting of the Blessed Mother with the crowned infant Jesus in her lap with the shepherds surrounding them. Over the right tabernacle and statue of St. Joseph is a painting showing Jesus and Mary at St. Joseph's bedside, apparently as he is dying. Another painting is mounted over the statue of the Blessed Mother guarding the left side altar and tabernacle. Carved plaster plaques depicting the Stations of the Cross are found between traditional, arched, narrow stained-glass windows depicting various saints (including a lesser-known saint whose name matches the name of the street outside-- very interesting detail).

At the left of the sanctuary is an area for the organ and piano, along with about half a dozen individual chairs directly in front of the side altar and facing the nave. These remained empty for today's Mass, as did the original choir loft, which holds a large pipe organ. To the right is a small metal ambo. The celebrant's chair is at the far right.

Mass began with an invitation from the cantor to participate in the hymns and responses. The priest and two servers (one of whom had a beard and thus must have been an adult) then processed through the center aisle to the opening hymn, "Let Us Go to the Altar." The priest used form C of the penitential rite and led the recitation of the Gloria before giving the opening prayer.

The reader (who I did not see in the procession) went to the ambo and gave the first reading. Then the cantor led the responsorial psalm from the ambo. The reader returned to give the second reading. We sang the Alleluia before the Gospel, and then the priest proclaimed the Gospel from the ambo. Remaining there, he gave a homily that is notable for being rather hurried (as was his pace for the rest of the Mass). The two points I can recall from it are "Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee" and "Let God be God." He said that the point of the Beatitudes was that it's okay to be rich, well-fed, warm, or happy as long as we remember those who aren't and try to help them if we can. He also suggested that much of our hectic pace today comes from trying to be God.

We recited the Creed, with the priest omitting "men" in "for us men and our salvation." I didn't notice any bowed heads shortly after that. The priest led the intentions of the Prayer of the Faithful; the response was "Lord, increase our hope." He gave three very quick announcements as the first of two collections was taken using long-handled wicker baskets. The second collection followed immediately. The offertory hymn was "Blest Are They." I believe we sang all five verses. The chalice and ciborium were of metal. At the Orate Fratres, no one stood until the congregation's response was complete.

The Mass setting for the Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation, and Great Amen was the Mass of Creation. During the Preface, the priest changed at least one instance of "men" to something else. At the Our Father (recited), I saw no evidence of joined hands. The Agnus Dei was sung to a setting unfamiliar to me.

At Holy Communion, one of the servers (an installed acolyte, perhaps?) assisted in the distribution to the 75-100 people present. The chalice was not offered. The Communion hymn was "Gift of Finest Wheat."

After Communion, the priest offered the closing prayer and imparted a solemn blessing (but did not wait for us to respond "Amen" to the three invocations). The closing hymn was "The Church's One Foundation." The servers, reader, and priest departed via the center aisle. Almost everyone on the left departed before the end of the second verse; most of the rightists did likewise. The Mass took about 40 minutes.

Same Sunday in 2000
Same Sunday in 1999


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