I mentioned in another thread that I went to the New Basilica tonight but wanted to comment further without highjacking the OPs thread. The Basilica is the same church Pope JP ll said Mass a few years ago when he was in St. Louis. It’s the most gorgeous church or building of any kind that I’ve ever seen. Mass was the way I remember Mass being when I was a kid. It was very formal, serious and much more traditional than Mass at my parish, though it was said in English. Most of the songs this evening were songs we sing at my parish but were barely recognizable because they were sung so differently, like when I see a Mass on EWTN. At my parish they sound more contemporary, none of the singers at my church wear choir robes but sing in regular clothing and some seem to be vying for Entertainer of the Year. Everyone involved in the Mass tonight took it seriously and it showed.
I was lucky enough to get there it in time for the Benediction which was held after Adoration, which I missed. I didn’t realize the Bendiction was at 4:30 but when I arrived, I could smell the incense and a few minutes later, as I kneeled down to pray, I heard the most beautiful singing and voices in prayer so I went to see where it was coming from. The Benediction was in another part of the church and I felt so lucky that I was able to be part of it!
During Mass, I noticed that some people wore jeans, even at a church as ornate and beautiful as this one. I don’t know how many of those were from the area and how many were tourists. I met a couple outside before Mass and they were tourists from Chicago, taking pictures, lol. When I got inside, I saw a lot of people taking pictures and looking around in awe so I assume that some of them were tourists, too.
I saw one woman wearing a mantilla and I think two others wearing hats. The rest of the women wore nothing on their heads. A sign before entering said, among other things, for men to remove their hats prior to entering the church.
The altar boys were involved in Holy Communion which was distributed to us, standing up. The altar servers came down to assist the priest and used a paten(sp), which I haven’t seen since I was a kid. Altar boys at my church do not come down to the people and assist the priest during Communion. I was one of the first to receive tonight and I received a broken piece, almost triagular shaped, instead of a round wafer. Does anyone know if that was part of the original Host the priest breaks at the altar, part of the Host he consumed? I later noticed that others were given the round wafer Hosts I’m familiar with but assumed that those who received first along with me also received a broken host.
After Mass I lit a candle for my mom, dad and aunt who passed away over the years.
I kept thinking about joining this parish but IMO it would be kind of silly since my own parish is walking distance from my house.