Ps 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11
Heb 10:11-14, 18
I emerged from the tunnel, meandered about some local streets, and, to my surprise, was able to get to a 10:30 AM Mass. (I had already prepared myself for a search for an 11 AM Mass but figured I'd give it a shot anyway.) I looked around as I entered but was unable to locate the cornerstone; after Mass, I looked a bit harder and found it behind a bush. Standing at exactly the right angle, I determined that it read "1948." Inside, however, one would be hard-pressed to match the current state with the cornerstone date.
The building is rectangular with a peaked roof supported by dark trusswork. The walls are white with narrow, arched, traditional stained-glass windows. Toward the front on each side are two niches that are obviously former confessionals. The sanctuary has been pulled forward from the original domed area. A wooden altar is at the new center, slightly ahead of the narrow, marble ambo to the left. The organ is at the right along with some seats for the choir (facing the altar). Additional individual seats are at the left, also facing the altar. A traditional crucifix is suspended above the sanctuary. The domed metal tabernacle is in its original location but the expanded sanctuary makes the tabernacle look far in the distance. The current spartan look of the original sanctuary area highlights this effect. The old choir loft looks like a cry room now, with a high glass wall around the perimeter (but not all the way to the ceiling). The wooden pews are divided into two sections; they look as though they are slightly flared on the sides, because as we all know every church now has to be either "in the round" or at least pretend to be round. Racks hold copies of OCP's Today's Missal and Music Issue in the standard blue, plastic binder.
The church was just about full; it holds about 500-600 people as fas as I can tell. After we recited the Stewardship Prayer inserted into the back cover of the binder, the Mass began. The opening hymn was "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come." Four servers, four lay ministers of Holy Communion, a reader, and the priest participated in the opening procession through the center aisle. We recited the Confiteor and then the choir (about a dozen people) led the singing of the Kyrie in English. We then sang the Gloria to Owen Alstott's Heritage Mass setting.
After the children were dismissed for a children's Liturgy of the Word in another room, the reader went to the ambo and gave the first reading. We sang the psalm for the day, and then the reader gave the second reading. We sang the Alleluia and the priest proclaimed the Gospel from the ambo. Remaining there, he gave a homily that focused on the readings for this time of year being not a cause for fear and trembling on account of impending judgment but rather a reminder to begin preparing for judgment here and now. Those who are prepared will have nothing to fear and need have only a healthy "fear of the Lord" in the traditional sense.
We recited the Creed, and then the reader went to the cantor's lectern near the organ to lead the intentions of the Prayer of the Faithful. The children started to return at this point; after they were reseated, the ushers began a collection using long-handled wicker baskets. The offertory hymn was "The Path of Life." The chalice and ciboriums were of metal. A glass flagon was used for additional wine. At the Oratre Fratres, no one stood until after the congregation's response was complete.
The Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation, Great Amen, and Agnus Dei were sung to the Mass of Glory setting (Canedo/ Hurd). The priest offered the third Eucharistic Prayer. At each consecration, a chime was struck three times. We sang the Our Father to the most common setting; the priest did not introduce it, and the organist played all through the "Deliver us, O Lord, from every evil..." prayer.
The four lay ministers did not approach the sanctuary until after the fraction rite and "Lord, I am not worthy..." prayer were complete and the priest had received. The priest stood at the center so those from either aisle could approach him while the other ministers stood at the sides. The Communion hymn was "Jesus, Come to Us."
After Communion, the priest gave the closing prayer, read two brief announcements, reiterated the points made in the homily, and then imparted a simple blessing. The closing hymn was "Rejoice, the Lord Is King." Those who were in the opening procession also participated in the closing procession via the center aisle.