Monday morning greetings from a very warm and sticky city of Chicago.
Yesterday I attended Mass at Holy Family parish here in Chicago, not too far from where I live. Here's a shot of the exterior:
As I was walking along the street from the church's parking lot, there was a family in front of me. One of the teenage sons suddenly said, "Mom, give me the car keys, I forgot my phone." She said, "Why do you need your phone?" He replied, "So that I don't fall asleep." Made me wonder what I was in for once inside.
Here are a few shots of the interior:
This church is mammoth and has an interesting history.
I was seated up front and found myself amid a large Latino family. I would say there were at least two hundred people at Mass. This is a very ethnically diverse parish. A lively and engaging spirit among the community members was quite evident.
I believe that there is usually a large choir at this 9:45 A.M. Mass, but they were not present yesterday. There was a person playing the piano, which was located on the top level of the sanctuary. The pianist announced the hymns and led the singing from the piano. There was only one other person sitting near me who had a hymnal open and was singing. This is one of those church spaces where one's voice just seems to get lost in the sheer volume of the space.
The readings were proclaimed well and with care. The homily was engaging. All in all, I really felt nourished at the celebration of Mass. Even though this is a wonderful looking church building, I really felt that the enormity of the space really fights against good liturgy. Just a first impression. I will be returning to Holy Family, perhaps sitting in other locations to get a sense of the singing and the other responses of the assembly. As part of the announcements, the pastor asked all visitors to rise, which I did. I felt a genuine sense of welcome. And let me tell you, the coffee after Mass in the hall behind the sanctuary was wonderful!
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.