Divine Providence works in mysterious ways, and after my sad post of my experience at a less than sacred Mass in honor of the Most Holy Memorial Day at a parish that I was visiting, I had the opportunity to assist on Thursday at the Missa Cantata for Corpus Christi at St. Ann in Charlotte.
It was the "healing" that my soul needed after being so scandalized just four days earlier. The Mass was in a single word... Awesome!
Everything about this Mass was just so perfectly sacred and focused on the worship of God. Much of this is simply inherent in the Mass in the Extraordinary form itself with the ad orientem posture and reverential rubrics.
Since a Eucharistic procession was to follow the Mass, as well as a Forty Hours Adoration, the one thing that was different was that immediately after Communion, the Sanctissima was placed in the Monstrance and the rubrics changed... the priest servers were careful as the Mass concluded with the last few prayers not to have their backs to the Blessed Sacrament and double genuflects were the norm. The Real Presence was just so obvious...
And the Servers... I lost count after 15 of them, all just so reverent and precise in their movements, and it was a bit complicated at the end of the Mass as the Altar cards were removed, Father Reid's Chasuble was removed and replaced with the Cope, the incensation of the Sanctissima, and the formation of the Eucharistic procession... but they performed their office so well... and watching these Boys walk in procession... with their torches or handle candles, the boy ringing the bells before the Blessed Sacrament while the Thurifer walk backwards to incense the Blessed Sacrament. It was just so moving.
Truly setting the atmosphere was the music. The music for this Missa Cantata was, if can be imagined, was a step up from the normally excellent job that the St. Ann Schola cantorum and Choir do. It was just so heavenly. The Gregorian chant seemed to float over the congregation and the sacred polyphony just lifted the soul upward... and it focused so well everyone's attention.
If there was any downside, it was that the were so few souls in the congregation to be uplifted and to be able to assist at a Mass that is sacred... but even with the lack of earthly souls, we know that all of Heaven was present, and I am sure they were well pleased.
Lastly, I closed my last post with the observation that the folks leaving the Holy Trinity Mass last Sunday in that other parish knew it was Memorial Day, but did they know it was the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. I had no such thoughts leaving this Mass... for every element of this Mass made very clear that this was the great Feast of Body and Blood of Our Lord.
O Sacrament most holy, O Sacrament divine. All praise and all thanksgiving, be every moment thine!
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