Monday greetings to you all.
My parish, St. James, here in Chicago, does not celebrate a Saturday vigil Mass. I decided to find a parish in my neighborhood with a vigil Mass on Saturday afternoon. Having found a parish nearby, I drove into the neighborhood at about 4:50 for the 5:00 P.M. Mass. When I walked to the front of the building, the priest told me that it was really hot in the church and that I should find a seat near a fan. It was pretty warm in the building, but not stifling.
The music consisted of these pieces: Sing to the Mountains, (no Gloria), Psalm from the hymnal, A Gospel Acclamation, The Summons at the Preparation of the Gifts, Eucharistic Acclamations from Janco's Mass of the Angels and Saints, Only This I Want at Communion, and City of God at the closing. The opening song, song during the preparation, and the closing all made me feel like it was 1979 again. The homily was very brief. The entire Mass lasted exactly thirty-seven minutes. At the conclusion of Mass, the celebrant apologized for rushing through the Mass, but he did so because it was so hot. He said that he had hoped for Mass to be under thirty minutes and promised that if it were this hot next weekend that the Mass would definitely be under thirty minutes.
Honestly folks, I felt so detached from the celebration. I recalled that Sunday Mass the weekend before at Saint James lasted nearly an hour and a half. Too long? Yes, but due mostly to a very protracted homily. Did I feel totally connected at that liturgy at Saint James? Absolutely.
I was left feeling sorry for the people at the Saturday parish. My hope was that their usual experience of the liturgy is so much better than what I experienced. It did leave me thinking about people who attend Mass in parishes where the liturgical life is just like what I experienced on Saturday. It just seemed to me to be the kind of place where you get your card stamped saying you attended Mass and then you came the next week and did the same.
Do you have experiences like these? In your own parish? When you are traveling or on vacation?
Lastly, I had the chance to sit on the roof deck last night and do the Sunday crossword and watch the sun set. Here you go:
Thanks for listening, and I hope you have a great week.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.