Monday greetings to all. It is in the 60's here in Chicago; feels much more like a September morning!
I want to share a comical moment that occurred yeterday at the 9:00 A.M. Mass at Saint Peter's in the Loop here in Chicago.
When the opening hymn was announced, the elderly woman seated in front of me turned around and, with the hymnal open, said to me, "Isn't this one of those electronic book things?" as she pointed to the title of the hymn:
I chuckled and, as I sang the first stanza of the hymn, the second line struck me as well:
"God, whose purpose is to kindle;
Now ignite us with your fire . . ."
Made for a humorous beginning of Mass for me, for sure.
Since I have been attending Saint Peter's, one thing has struck me, since it is outside my own liturgical experience. For the most part, at communion time, after a long silence after the priest has consumed the Body and Blood of the Lord, followed by the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion receiving, a strophic hymn is announced; a hymn without any kind of refrain. No one takes the hymnal with them to receive communion so, for the most part, it is the organ and cantor one hears.
Yesterday's communion hymn was "Draw Us in the Spirit's Tether." It is a rather short hymn and was concluded before half of those going to communion had received. At the end of the hymn, there was a brief period of silence, then the organist improvised until the celebrant was seated at the end of communion. This simply could be "the way we have always done it here," but it just seemed so disjointed and uninviting to me; there was no sense that the communion procession was cohesive.
It is often challenging for me to be in the pews Sunday after Sunday. I try so hard not to put my "liturgical reviewer" or "liturgical music critic" hat on. I am there to worship God. Sometimes it's just very tough.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.