Take a musical retreat during Lent! On April 2d at 3:00 PM at Holy Cross Church we will host a performance of Fauré's Requiem.
The choral-orchestral setting of the shortened Catholic Mass for the Dead in Latin, composed between 1887 - 1890, is the best-known of his large works. Its focus is on eternal rest and consolation. The composer himself noted that
Everything I managed to entertain by way of religious illusion I put into my Requiem, which moreover is dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest."
In place of the somber nature of many requiems that had gone before, Fauré’s is noted for its calm, serene and peaceful outlook. Anyone looking for morose themes is searching in the wrong place. Instead, here we find musical solace in a work that focuses not on the morbid, but on the supposedly restful and fear-free nature of death.(1) He described death as “a happy deliverance, an aspiration towards happiness above, rather than a painful experience”, and the Requiem encapsulates this feeling in a way that continues to hold audiences spellbound.(2)
Just a reminder (including to myself!) that there is an early morning Mass tomorrow in addition to the regularly scheduled 9 AM Mass.
The immediate purpose of the early morning mass is to allow families to attend mass together before the work and school day begins.
Its timing also follows in the strong tradition of the traditional First Friday devotions to the Sacred Heart. This devotion was promoted by the private revelations of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque who spoke of twelve promises relayed to her by Jesus during apparitions. The tradition of making nine First Fridays probably stems from the use of that number for special novena prayers.
Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk now associated with a group called Gratefulness.org, reminds us that
It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.
We're guilty of thinking the other way around, especially when we expect gratitude to spontaneously well up from an unhappy heart. To be grateful we must be observant and focus more on what we already have than what we feel need.
May we experience the joy which comes from gratitude this Thanksgiving!
The new church liturgical year, that is. The new church liturgical year begins on the First Sunday of Advent. Do you know the six seasons of the liturgical year? There are many online resources for those who would like to follow the year with a liturgical calendar. The USCCB has published a pdf version of the calendar available for download here
Beginning in December, coincident with the opening of the mass intention book for the year, we would like to experiment having an outreach parish office in the North transept in the large, mostly unused "cry-room."
A volunteer would staff the desk after the 10:30 AM mass for approximately 30 minutes or so, to serve the people who have attended that mass. A wireless connection to the parish office computer system will allow us to schedule memorial masses, distribute Memorial Mass cards, reserve Memorial Candles in the Prayer Garden and distribute new parishioner registration forms.
If the experiment is successful, we'll consider expanding it to other masses.
We need volunteers to learn the mass scheduling software (easy) and be available by schedule from approx. 11:30 AM to noon. Please call the Parish Office
Thank you to all who helped with last evening's Memorial Mass. Our annual mass is celebrated for parishioners who have lost a loved one, particularly during the past year. Families who have celebrated a funeral mass here at Holy Cross are especially remembered. Each family is presented with a votive candle fashioned from the remains of the previous year's Pascal Candle, the one which burned at the funeral they attended.
A relaxed and friendly hospitality followed downstairs in the St. Joseph Meeting Room.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and Readers gathered for an evening of prayer and reflection last Monday, followed by sessions of review and critique of the procedures now in use at weekend masses for reading and distributing Holy Communion.
We're always trying to accommodate to the needs of each mass congregation within the confines of our efficiently arranged seating. Please let us know of any suggestions how Holy Communion could flow more easily (remember that it doesn't need to be quick) or the readers could be more clearly understood.
We have ordered the second group of acoustic sound panels for the church, since the installation of the first group improved the sound in the narthex so greatly.
Images of Matthew, Mark and Luke have joined the image of St. John in our sanctuary.
St. Matthew is symbolized by an angel or winged man, St. Mark by a winged lion, St. Luke by a winged bull and St. John by an eagle.
These iconographic representations of the evangelists come from the Book of Kells. The book has a connection with St. Columcille (Columba) - the third window from the east on the southern nave of Holy Cross - and is sometimes called the Book of Columba, since by tradition it survived Viking raids on Iona from at least the 9th century.
Parishioners and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion alike are reminded that communicants are to consume the host when it is received. The communicant receiving Eucharist in hand is expected to put the host in his/her mouth in such a way that the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion can be certain that the person has not carried the host away.
It is proper for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to pause distribution of communion until they confirm that in cases of doubt, the communicant has consumed the host or returns it.
This will help preserve the dignity of the Blessed Sacrament and ensure that no one disposes of a host in an irreverent, sacrilegious manner.
If you see someone dispose of a consecrated host, please bring it to the attention of an usher, our sacristan or a priest so that the host can be brought to the sacristy and disposed of in the proper manner.
As you may know, since the church teaches that the consecrated hosts becomes the Body and Blood of Christ as long as the appearances of bread remain, even particles or portions of hosts are the Blessed Sacrament. Hosts found in dubious circumstances are not consumed, but dissolved in warm water and poured into a sink in the sacristy which empties directly into the ground ( called a sacrarium) and not into the general plumbing.
...Our church on Saturday afternoon. I'm happy to say that our church was a comfortable 70 degrees while temperatures soared outside to over 90 degrees.
The air conditioning has been a pleasure so far this summer: it is very responsive when necessary and helps us avoid pre-cooling the church for hours or keeping the church air conditioning running overnight.
As frustrating as things can be when they malfunction, it's important to note when they perform exactly as intended. Deo gratias!
We placed the first of four evangelists in the sanctuary roundel: St. John symbolized by an eagle. We wanted see how it worked with the lighting and scale of the sanctuary. What do you think in person?