Nov 10 2008

Off to a Good Start at St. Rose

Thought I’d write a little about how the first Masses went at St. Rose yesterday.  First, a few clerical details.  The Sunday High Mass has been moved to 11:00am, not 10:00am as I posted earlier.  That’s to make it easier for people coming long distances to get here in time.  Apparently we have people coming from as far as 100 miles away.  Also, we were calling St. Rose a “shrine” before, since there are technical reasons it can’t be called a parish; but it turns out that won’t work either, because shrines are places that have pilgrimages.  So technically, it will be a chaplaincy for now, which is much like a parish, but people who become members can stay members at their previous parishes.  The official name is now simply St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church.

I went to both Masses, because I plan to go to the 8:00 most of the time, but I’d never been to a High Mass, and I wanted to hear the choir sing, so I went to that one too.  The Low Mass at 8:00 was what I’ve gotten used to, with a few minor differences from the way Fr. Schlangen did it.  I can report that the kneelers are reasonably comfortable—certainly better than kneeling on marble like the servers were up front.  I heard there were 140 people there, which was more than I expected for the early Mass.

High Mass was pretty impressive.  The choir sounded good, but they need more voices to pump out enough volume to fill the place.  We had nine (9!) servers, and they all had things to do.  I told someone that the main thing we had to do when I served the Novus Ordo was try not to fall asleep, but these guys stayed busy.  They did a great job of keeping it all straight, considering it was their first time.  Kudos to them and the older guys who have been training them.

There was some confusion in the pews about when to stand, sit, and kneel.  The missal tells us when, but with the choir singing, I think people lost track of where we were exactly.  At one point I and about a dozen other people sat down, and no one else did.  We’ll get better with practice, though.  As Father said in his sermon, the Latin Mass does take some getting used to.  It has less dialogue between priest and congregation, and more internal communication between the individual and God.  During the consecration, there are long stretches of silence where we have nothing to “do,” so we have to get used to the idea of praying and using that time to prepare for Communion.  As Pope Saint Pius X said, “Don’t pray at Holy Mass, but pray the Holy Mass.”

There were about 230 people at High Mass, so nearly every pew was in use, but there was room for 100 or so more.  Not counting the people like me who went to both, we probably had nearly 350 altogether, so that was a great start.  In the hall afterwards, people were full of excitement and so thankful for Father Devillers and everyone who worked to make this happen.  I didn’t take any pictures, but I hope to get some from someone who did, and put them up soon.  I’ll keep writing about St. Rose and the Latin Mass, since I’m interested and involved in it, but also because it brings me more traffic than anything else I write!

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