Monday, August 17, 2009

2009 Feast of the Assumption at Assumption Grotto - Evening Mass with Archbishop Vigneron and Candlelight Procession

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This is the third, and final photo post of the Feast of the Assumption at Assumption Grotto in 2009. Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron was the main celebrant for the Latin Novus Ordo (post-Vatican II Mass) which was celebrated ad orientem at the old wall altar.

For those unfamiliar with this posture of the celebrant, where he faces the wall altar, it is most associated with the extraordinary form of the Mass (1962 Missal). However, it is also a valid posture in the ordinary form of the Mass (post-Vatican II). At Assumption Grotto, all Masses are celebrated at the wall altar - a preference of priests and laity alike at the parish.

There is a spiritual side to this that may seem difficult to comprehend for people accustomed to the priest facing the people, or versus populum. When people ask me how we at Grotto could like this posture, I explain it this way:

We seek not the face of the priest in the Mass, but the face of Almighty God!

From a personal standpoint, the ad orientem posture enables me to follow the priest who, in persona Christi, leads us in prayer. There is a contemplative dimension to the Mass and I have found that this posture allows for deeper focus on the Mystery taking place.

I can tell you that Grotto-goers found it heart-warming that our Archbishop would celebrate the newer form of the Mass using a posture and other valid options familiar to us - like Latin. Archbishop Vigneron can celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass (1962 Missal), but it was not practical to have a Pontifical High Mass this time. The invitation was sent out with very little notice and time to prepare - for the parish and the archbishop. We are hopeful that he will eventually celebrate such a Mass in the future at our parish. Some bishops have started offering Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form and perhaps that opportunity will happen here in Detroit in due time.

We start with the procession into the Church.

As you will see in pictures here, the Church was at max capacity, with people standing outside the front doors. It reached 90 degrees after weeks of unseasonably cool weather. It was very hot in the building, but it is something we just deal with. Many braved that heat to honor Our Lady along with fully vested archbishop and priests, Knights in full color, and altar boys in multiple layers.

Our choir and a 17 member orchestra peformed Mozart's coronation Mass under the direction of our Pastor, Rev. Eduard Perrone, in what was probably the hottest place in the building - the choir loft. I couldn't help thinking about our brethren in other parts of the world who are in climates hotter than ours without air conditioners, and our ancestors who never had such luxuries. Many rightly offered their suffering as prayers.

Below (left to right) is transitional deacon, John Dumas, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, Deacon James Gennette, Fr. John Bustamante, Fr. Paul Ward, Fr. Lee Acervo, and the newly ordained Fr. Charles White IV who celebrated his first Mass (Solemn High) at Assumption Grotto on Pentecost this year. Not pictured was another newly ordained priest on the other side of the sanctuary, Fr. Michael Wilkes, along with Fr. Matthew Hincks, ORC and Fr. John Britto, ORC.

Transitional Deacon - John Dumas - reads the Gospel.

I regret that I do not have the homily, written or in audio. I was going to ask for a copy of it, but it was unscripted to the best of my knowledge. The archbishop was very passionate and I regret not having a way to audio record it with reasonable quality. I do know the people of Real Catholic TV were there attempting to get good audio along with the video. We will have to wait to see if it turned out.

Fr. Charles Fox, the archbishop's secretary, stands in the background.

Would you like to see more pictures from this feast day? You can check out my first two photo posts from earlier in the day. Also click the smugmug links to see all 180 photos from the day in slideshow format (hint: click "fast" in the upper left area after starting the slideshow), or use other options for viewing them.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!