Monday, September 16, 2013

Fact: Next "big" Mass at St. Ann's will be Michaelmas, Sept. 29

Gentle Readers...

It looks like the Missa Cantata with the St. Ann Schola & Choir for the Sunday, Sept. 29th, Feast of St. Michael the Archangel (aka Michaelmas) is confirmed.

Please pass the word... and let's fill St. Ann's for this 12.30pm Mass.

Sancte Michael Archangele... ora pro nobis!   

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fact: Liturgical Woodstock

Gentle Readers... today's post is a sobering reminder of how wonderful it is to have St. Ann's in Charlotte available to us.

My Labor Day weekend worship experience....

While away on vacation, I drove 19 miles to try a different parish to see if I could avoid putting myself through another Memorial Day experience, but not only did I cross as state-line, but I must have driven through a time warp back to 1968.

I sort of knew I was in trouble when I walked in there was the large, communal bath tub, err, baptismal font in the middle of the doorway... a lovely older women in a tie-dye dress welcomed everyone and announced that since it was summertime, that that we would only be reciting the Gloria  (little did I know at the time this was probably a good thing!)  I'm guessing the guitarist was on summer holiday as well.

I searched in vain to find the Tabernacle to reverence it before entering my pew but to no avail other than I think it was the little square thing hidden behind the altar covered in a polyester green tablecloth, but I was not sure since there was no Sanctuary torch.

Ms. Tie Dye then announced that our "Gathering anthem" would be "Let there be Peace on Earth"... which seemed innocent enough, but there was to be a theme... for our "Presentation anthem" was a song I have never heard before, but it was in the "Peace" category of the hymnal and was a lovely dittie about God saving us from "bombs dropping" and "release us from the labor of our work and its injustice" to which was add that Catholic classic for "Communion anthem"... "We Shall Overcome"... which was actual in the hymnal!

Now, in fairness, there were two Communion anthems, the first one which was sung after the 18!!  Extraordinary Ministers of Communion mounted the Altar (and help themselves to the ciborium and chalices on the Altar so that they could commune simultaneously with the Celebrant) was "Let us break bread together on our knees".... However, the irony that seemed lost on everyone in this parish is that the entire congregations STANDS! the the momemt when the Council of 18 Elders mounts the Altar and REMAINED STANDING during the entire communion rite.  Talk about disconnected from reality... "let us break bread together on our knees unless we are actually standing"!

The Celebrant, dressed under his Chasuble, in a lovely kaki pants, black shoes, and no Roman collar was very conscious that it was "summer" and so did not waste much time on his Homily which was limited to "Jesus wants us to be humble and the rich CEOs need to take care of the poor in their company".  Literally, end of sermon.. on to the Creed, the Apostle's Creed! (it is summertime after all).  In addition to condensing the homily, he could not be bothered with Eucharistic Prayer I, so  EPII was used, but was shortened by eliminating his genuflections after the consecration.

At the end of communion, the 18 Elders placed all of their sacred vessels on an airline food cart and one of them wheeled it down one aisle, around the corner, to the back of the Altar, up the handicap ramp, and to the cube covered in the green polyester tablecloth confirming my earlier suspicion that it was the Tabernacle.

Mercifully, Father stood to offer the post communion prayer and end my suffering (or so I thought), but as he stood, a glow and joy that I had now seen all though the Mass came upon his face and said... "Alright, it's Birthday time!... who as a birthday today?"  for the next 10 minutes, he ran throughout  the congregation shaking their hands and everybody clapped each one!  Finally, it ended and he returned to the Sanctuary, turned and said..."And now... any Anniversaries!"  followed by another 8 minutes of greeting and applause.  (we had now just spent more time celebrating ourselves than the entire readings, homily, and eucharistic prayer of the Mass combined).  For once I was envious, instead of judgmental, of those who left after communion... Oh if I had only known!

Fortunately, we ran out of things to celebrate, and the TieDye cantor mounted her podium to announce that we would have TWO "Sending Forth anthems".... "America the Beautiful" and "God Bless America"...  which were ended with thunderous applause.

I quietly said my thanksgiving prayers... (at least I think I did, I couldn't really hear myself amongst the great clamor of greeting congregants)... and made my way home, longing again for the peace, grace, and solitude of St. Ann's.

As I left Mass I looked for the Communist Party USA signup table, but I couldn't find it, perhaps since "it was summertime" they were not signing up new members.

Lastly, as I was pulling out of the parking lot, a car cut me off causing me to swerve to miss it...  on its bumper was the sticker ... "Pro-Obama Pro-Choice"!  sort of summed up my whole morning experience.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Grapevine: More Special Masses coming to St. Ann in Charlotte

Dear Readers,

I know, I know, it has been a while... but the summer flew by, and like all native Italians, I take the month of August off!  :-)

That said, now that I am back, the Grapevine is very active within the Park Rd. Curia and some wonderful things coming up.

But firstly, what wonderful things I personally missed by taking my August month off...
  • Missa Cantata Nuptial Mass (Aug. 3)
  • Missa Solemnis for the Vigil of the Assumption (Aug. 14)
  • Missa Solemnis for the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Aug. 22)

And now, what I am hearing is coming...
  • Missa Cantata Feast of St. Michael (Sept. 29,12.30pm)
  • Missa Cantata Feast of Christ the King (Oct. 27, 12.30pm)
  • Missa Cantata Requiem for All Souls (Nov. 2, Noon)
  • Missa Cantata Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8, 12.30pm)
  • Missa Solemnis Vigil of the Nativity (Dec. 24, 6.00pm)

The frequency with which St. Ann's is now offering these Masses is so great as to soon be making my little blog irrelevant in announcing these Masses, as St. Ann is almost fully transformed into a full "dual-form" parish will all the traditional calendar feasts being celebrated with full solemnity.

What a blessing this parish is in the heart of the Southeast!