Surprise at Mass this morning

…that would warm the hearts of many on Catholic Answers.

I travel to my Byzantine parish on Sundays, but I attend daily Mass sometimes at a nearby parish. I wasn’t able to attend at all last week, so this morning was my first Mass there since Advent began. I was very surprised to find a prie dieu in place at the front of each communion line, and in the pews were sheets with Latin for the Agnus Dei and several other parts of the Mass. A few people usually kneel for Communion at the early morning Mass that I attend, but this morning many more than usual knelt to receive. The pastor is a dynamic young priest who has brought something very special to this parish. On solemnities (such as today), he uses a Benedictine altar arrangement. In his first months there, he moved the tabernacle to the center and replaced a risen Christ statue with a beautiful crucifix. The church is modern construction, semi-round and slightly sloping (built in early 1980s) without a center aisle. I used to think of it as an ugly church and it still isn’t my favorite style, but I’ve learned that a solemn, reverent Mass makes any space sacred and beautiful. I am so appreciative of this young pastor who has made (is making) these changes with pastoral sensitivity, but still returning to his parish the treasures of the Roman Rite.

I love hearing this! I wish my parish which is also slightly sloping and kind of semi-circular would follow y’alls lead and go more traditional.

God bless!

Many churches here on Staten Island have returned the Tabernacle to the center and replaced the statue of the risen Christ with a Crucifix. Also, they have returned to the Benedictine arrangement of the altar. I feel it brings a solemenity back to the church and Mass.

I grew up in Benedictine churches, never thought I would miss it so much.

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