Monday, December 25, 2006

2006 Photo Post: Midnight Mass at Assumption Grotto

Here are a few pics taken at Assumption Grotto's Midnight Mass.

This first photo was taken before Mass, around 10:45pm. The normally green backdrop behind the Crucifix is now red. The Church beautifully decorated all to give glory to God on the birth of our Savior!

A photo taken of the high wall altar during the homily.

These were taken during the second reading. I had stepped up to the choir loft in between singing the Mass.

Here, our new Deacon - the Rev. Mr. Jim Wilder, receives a blessing from the celebrant, Fr. John as the Master of Ceremonies - in black cassock and white surplice - stands nearby. Altar boys wait to escort the Deacon who will take the Word of God from the table altar where it is seen in the photo, to the pulpit, where it will be proclaimed.

The Deacon swings a thurible with incense just ahead of chanting the Gospel. Regardless of where anyone is standing, all face the pulpit for the Word of God. Altar boys are seen in white cassocks and Christmas season shoulder capes in red. During Easter Season, they are gold. The Nativity is off to the left, but not seen very well in this photo. I plan on photographing the Nativity during the week.

Here, all listen to a beautiful Christmas homily given by one of the priests of Opus Angelorum

Fr. John elevates the Sacred Host. The highlight of the Catholic Mass is always the Consecration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. What struck me profoundly when I first came to Assumption Grotto was not only the ad orientem posture of the priest during the Mass, but the prolonged elevation of the Sacred Host and Chalice.

I believe that much of the indifference to our Eucharistic Lord can be changed over time through simple and ordinary gestures. Everyone has their own thoughts and prayers during elevation. Some say, "My God and my All". Others will say, "My Lord and my God". In some parishes, I barely have time to say these words in my heart because the elevation happens so rapidly and below eye level of the priest. At Assumption Grotto, the elevation is long enough to actually say the first part of the Fatima Angel's Prayer: "My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, I love You. I ask forgiveness for those who do not believe, nor adore, nor hope nor love you."

Regardless of whether you like to just adore the Lord without even a word, or a short prayer, I pray that priests will begin to prolong the elevation so that we may pause and behold Our Lord - whether the Mass is celebrated ad orientem, or versus populum - facing the people. I once thought the high elevation was due to the fact that the priest is facing the high wall altar. However, I have seen several priests who make use of a very prolonged and high elevation even when celebrating versus populum. I found this also drawing my attention to our Eucharistic Lord.

I would be interested in knowing what others pray or do during elevation. Please feel free to comment.


Gaudete Sunday Photo Post. It may not be everyone's favorite shade of rose, but we greatfully accept any "rose" in an era when many don't even know of this special tradition.

Archbishop Burke Returns to Grotto on December 30, 2006 to Remember Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, who spent is final years at Assumption Grotto. Come and join us for Mass and talks this Saturday. It is free and no reservation is necessary. Bring your own lunch. See details in the link.

Christmas Season Orchestral Masses at Grotto

Priest Profiles: Fr. Albert Lauer. The first in a several part series devoted to the book "Priest" by Michael S. Rose. This book is a must for any seminarian or young person considering priesthood or religious life. The ten good men profiled in the book provide excellent role models with strong priestly identity.

Te Deum Laudamus! Home