Week 345

Corpus Christi

Reading I
Dt 8:2-3, 14b-16a
Responsorial Psalm
Ps 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
Reading II
1 Cor 10:16-17
Jn 6:51-58

I drove a little less than an hour to a parish in a large nearby city. I found a place to park in the church's parking lot and made my way inside just in time for the 9:30 AM Mass. The church (1940 cornerstone) is fairly large, with very wide transepts that have wooden pews as long as the center sections. Over the center of the nave is a large dome. The sanctuary is circular, with black grillwork across the rear. A small metal and wood ambo is at the left, while a tiny cantor's lectern is at the right. Between those is a freestanding altar. Behind another grille at the right is the organist. A bronze figure of Christ crucified is set in the wall over the sanctuary. Traditional stained-glass windows depict various Biblical scenes, and between them are the Stations of the Cross on small plaques. Racks in the pews hold copies of OCP's Breaking Bread hymnal and Paluch's Seasonal Missalette.

The entrance hymn was "Table of Plenty." Four servers, the reader, and the priest participated in the entrance procession through the center aisle. The priest used Form C of the penitential rite. We recited the Gloria. The priest offered the "standard" opening prayer.

A reader went to the ambo and gave the first reading. The cantor led the responsorial psalm for the day from the lectern. The reader gave the second reading and read the short form of the sequence for Corpus Christi. The priest then approached the ambo and proclaimed the Gospel, while the servers and reader stood behind him in their places, turned toward the ambo, coincidentally (?) in order of ascending height, which gave a visually pleasing effect.

The homily was fairly good. The priest told the story of a king who somehow had been on a long journey without food when he came upon a poor couple in the woods who fed him some soup that he found delicious. When he returned to his castle, he determined to reproduce the great soup, but none of his cooks could do so; it invariably tasted awful. Finally the king went back to the couple in the woods, but despite serving him the exact same soup as before, he found its taste repugnant. "The difference is that this time, you are not hungry," the couple told the king. This led to a review of the rules for fasting before Holy Communion, with emphasis on the desirability of hunger for the Lord. The priest also explained that it may be good for some of us to refrain from receiving and make a spiritual communion instead-- and he seemed not to be addressing only the murderers in the congregation. He prefaced that by saying that he was being a bit bold and controversial-- but that's okay.

We recited the Creed, and then the reader led the recitation of the intentions of the Prayer of the Faithful from the ambo. A collection was taken using long-handled wicker baskets. The offertory hymn was "Taste and See." The chalice and ciborium were of metal. The congregation stood as soon as the priest began the Orate Fratres invitation, instead of waiting for the invitation to be complete.

The Sanctus was from Proulx' Mass for the City. The priest offered the third Eucharistic Prayer. I'm not sure what was used for the Memorial Acclamation or Great Amen, but it didn't sound like Mass for the City. I saw no hand-joining at the Lord's Prayer. We sang the Agnus Dei, but again I couldn't tell which setting it was.

Two additional priests and five extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion assisted the priest in distribution. They were stationed at the head of each aisle, and the chalice was offered. Communicants went to the nearest aisle rather than all moving in one direction. The Communion hymn was "The Supper of the Lord."

After Communion, eight lay ministers received pyxs and were dismissed to take Communion to the homebound. The priest offered the closing prayer and imparted a simple blessing before departing via the center aisle with the servers and reader. The closing hymn was "Alleluia! Sing to Jesus." The priest did not start down the aisle before the second verse started, but almost everyone was gone before the second verse finished, leaving a lone worshipper standing in the pews singing with the cantor.

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In San Bernardino, California, Mass is offered at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on West 5 Street. From coast to coast and all around the world, you can almost always find a Catholic Mass.

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Same Sunday in 2004
Same Sunday in 2000
Same Sunday in 1999