I did not realize how much I really love our new parish in St. Paul of St. Agnes Church until we came home after a long vacation to see family and went again to Mass in the small daily Mass chapel. While traveling we went with our parents and siblings to the parishes that we went to when we still lived at our respective homes. There was the familiarity of the place and the way liturgy was celebrated at each church, and in a way they felt like home. But they were missing the aspects tradition in the liturgy that characterized the Church for years.
We went to the 8 AM Mass with our three children for the first time. Father processed in with the male altar servers and started the Mass. He read the readings and gave a solid homily. And then he turned his back to the people, or is it that he turned to face the tabernacle and the crucifix. He led us in prayer (in English for daily Mass) as he prayed the offertory and then the Eucharistic prayer. As L would call it, “Body of Christ”, was on the altar and then he turned to offer the sign of peace and then continued on with the liturgy. The congregation all knelt at a communion rail and received on the tongue. As that morning Mass progressed I realized that good “saying the black and doing the red liturgy” really leads me to God and teaches me how to love Him. The proper worship due to God is that which has been passed down to us by Tradition, and it is in the liturgy that we love Him. I guess I have a “liturgical love language” towards God.
Today was the orchestral Mass at St. Agnes which was Antonin Dvorak’s Mass in D. I got to nurse F during the Kyrie in the small Marian side chapel:
I wonder if she will retain the memory of the Kyrie and the painting of Our Lady and baby Jesus that she was gazing at when she finished nursing. It was a Latin Novus Ordo Mass (new Mass as opposed to Latin Extraordinary Form). It was beautiful, between the music with the chanted propers and orchestral Mass parts and the “dance” of the priest, deacons, and servers on the altar as they prepared for the Eucharist and then the Sacrament was there. There is something special that has been preserved at St. Agnes in its liturgies, and I am so glad that we get to be a part of it now. As I am learning proper worship of God there, I am finding that the proper liturgical worship I learn there allows me to worship God no matter what the church I am in.
P.S. Just as I was publishing this L stood up next to me and sang: “Hosanna in the highest! Hosanna in the highest! Hooray!”