Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas at Saint Marcelline and "Lots of Water"

Monday greetings from a frigid Chicago, where it is currently four degrees farenheit.

I wanted to share a few more photos of decorations with you, photos we took last week on our photo tour of some churches here in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Here are a few from the parish that first drew me to the Midwest, Saint Marcelline Church in Schaumburg, Illinois. While I was director of liturgy and music there, we led the parish through a complete building and renovation project. We created a chapel for the reservation of the Eucharist. Here is how it appeared the day after Christmas:

And here is the processional cross that stands in the altar space, which is in the center of the hexagonal building:

The art and environment committee at the parish did something stellar with the center of the ceiling, just above the altar; strings of stars hung from above:

One of my favorite things about the renovation was the addition of a baptismal pool. We used the original font for the bowl and then had it cut so that the water flowed into the pool. Our WLP photographer really liked this font.

She got a great shot of the flowing water:

I will never forget the first adult baptism celebrated in this font. Our parish had invited our regional auxiliary bishop, Bishop Jerry Kicanas (now bishop of Tucson, AZ) to be the celebrant. When he got into the pool with the first person to ever be baptized in this font, he filled the large pitcher with water. The person to be baptized knelt in the water and folded her arms. Bishop Kicanas then tilted the pitcher ever so slightly and a tiny trickle of water touched the head of the person. There was such a sense of disappointment in the church; we had looked forward to lots of water and here we only saw a trickle! As the next person to be baptized stepped into the water, the pastor leaned in and whispered something into Bishop Kicanas's ear. Then the bishop looked out at all of us and said, "Well, I have just been told that here at Saint Marcelline, we use lots of water at baptism." He then filled the pitcher and emptied it completely over the person being baptized, with the words, "I baptize you in the name of the Father." Then he filled the pitcher again and poured the entire contents on the person and said, "And of the Son;" then he did the same for the Holy Spirit. The congregation erupted in applause as our voices sang out with the words, "You have put on Christ, in him you have been baptized, alleluia, alleluia!" Truly a moment I will never forget.

Hope you enjoyed these photos of Saint Marcelline in Schaumburg, Illinois. More to come in the next few days.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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