Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Saint Margaret Mary in Winter Park, Florida

Tuesday greetings.

I was in Orlando over the weekend for a family wedding, which was wonderful.

On Sunday morning, some family members and I went to Saint Margaret Mary Parish in Winter Park for the 9:30 A.M. Mass. Since the last time I was there, they have added a narthex with a large baptism font.

It is difficult to describe the interior style of the large church. The narthex felt warm, whereas the interior of the church itself has always left me with a bit of a cold impression.

The exterior of the church is undergoing some work, so the skylight above the cross in the sanctuary is covered with some kind of bluish-green tarp on the roof. This creates quite an odd cascade of color coming down from the skylight, don't you think? This is yet another central Florida church that has video screens installed in the church. Some parishes I have been to in the area really go overboard with the screens, showing live video of what is actually occurring right in front of one's eyes. Here at Saint Margaret Mary, though, the screens were used to show music and some responses. As a visitor, I felt like my needs were well taken care of, since they made sure that all music, whether projected on the screen or from the hymnal, was made clear to me. Congregational singing was quite good. What I appreciated most was the fact that it was not a cantor- nor choir-centric music program. It was the organ that was the foundation for the congregational singing. There simply was no need for anyone to cue us; great job music ministers at Saint Margaret Mary.

The fourth candle for the Advent wreath was carried in the opening procession and placed in its spot in the wreath behind the altar.

I am spending Christmas here in Chicago; looking forward to some time of peace and quiet.

It has been quite refreshing here at the office. Yesterday, in late afternoon, I talked with a few of my colleagues, noting how quiet and calm the place is. Then it dawned on me that for the past five weeks, my entire days have been filled with listening attentively to witness testimony at the trial. Scores of witnesses; words, words, words. It just felt good to have some peace here at the office.

Gotta sing, Gotta pray.

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