Once again, I had the esteemed pleasure and privilege to serve a Solemn Latin Mass with my compatriots in serving, and under the organization of the St. Patrick's Gregorian Choir. This past Friday, June 27, 2014, together we came to be part of a Solemn Latin Mass/Missa Solemnis for this Feast Day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which occurs both in the Novus Ordo and Extraordinary Form liturgical calendars on this day. I was the boat bearer, but nonetheless happy to serve alongside St. Pat's choir in the Latin Mass.
To begin with, we had a practice on the Sunday prior, after the 7pm Novus Ordo Mass celebrated reverently by Fr. Steven Szakaczki, SLTM's Latin Mass Chaplain, a priest I know to be a true alter Christi in his vocation to our Lord. Afterwards, with almost all servers present (save one for work reasons), we went through the basic duration of the serving parts for the Mass. It was great to do this with old serving comrades, and even two new young siblings to the foray, one whose first time it was doing this Mass. Needless to say practice went well and our MC, Paul Mundra, guided us effectively.
And so the day finally arrived this past Friday for our Mass. Besides Fr. Szakaczki as our Subdeacon, two familiar faces showed up to complete our clergy roles for this evening. The first was Fr. Russell Asch, coming from his current (soon to be former) assignment at St. Patrick's Markham, and he was our Deacon. The second was a kindred soul hailing all the way from Campbellford Ontario, Fr. Jean-Marie Pilon, under the newly installed +Kirkpatrick in the Archdiocese of Peterborough. Fr. Pilon was our Celebrant this evening.
Our preparations were done in good time. As per my usual reporting, here's some of the setup pictures for the altar, as when in liturgy, we do NOT take pictures on the altar:
Credence Table with Chalice and its Veil.
The Altar with cards set up. Basic metal framed cards that were used in prior St. Pat's Masses eventually replaced the cardboard laminated cards.
The Sedilia and accompanying seats for our clergy. This pic of the three is my favourite. Isn't it beautiful and majestic how the light shines through the windows onto the chairs? It's like it's telling us something ...
7:00pm rolled around, and lo we proceeded out to carry out the greatest form of prayer in the world, the Catholic Mass, the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. With Fr. Pilon as our celebrant, it was he who gave us the homily at Mass. Here is what I could remember from Fr. Pilon`s Homily, albeit not quite verbatim, and I know I skipped over connecting parts:
- There is an expression told to people, to ``have a heart.``
- For people, this advice is hard to swallow as many people are bearing their own personal sins.
- When we turn to our personal sins, we often express the sin of anger. The sin of anger does not allow us to be with God, and we often make God the source of our anger for whatever our struggles are at that part of our Life.
- In being angry at God, we do not want to allow Him into our lives at that point when we are sinning.
- However, God should not be the source of our anger. If anything, God is the opposite of anger. If anything, he is the steadfast and most ultimate source of Love in our lives.
- God gave us our Lord Jesus Christ, his ultimate sign of His Love for us, from the depths of His very Heart.
- Man, alas, shallow and concerned in His sin, rejected God in the form of the Word Made Flesh, spat on Him, whipped Him, beat Him, and even crucified Him on the Cross.
- But that was not enough for sinful man. Man even had to go so far as to literally, pierce his beating heart, while upon the Cross.
- That person who did so, was the soldier, Longinus. In Longinus, he represents in us when we commit the most egregious sins of them all, Mortal Sins. It is these sins that, freely, expel us through that open wound, out of the loving heart of Christ. Some of you might have already pierced His heart in doing so already. Some of you might do so in future. Some people, continually pierce His heart by staying in Mortal Sin and committing such sin.
- However, do not think or be angry that God, via our Lord does not love us, or does not understand us. When we feel that we are broken, our Lord knows of our brokenness. When we feel that he cannot understand us, He in his Divine Love knows the whole of human sin and darkness. When we feel that we are not loved, He Loves us perfectly. He Loves us via his pulsing, beating, heart, the very heart that we have stabbed in the form of Loginus` spear.
- It is out of that Heart that he has come to give us repentance and mercy and His Undying Love for us. So much that there have been brought forth devotions to His Heart, and he has shown certain Saints how to do so. To Mary Margaret Alcaquoqe, we were given the devotion of the First Fridays in Honour of His Sacred Heart. To St. Faustina Kowalska, we were given the modern day devotion of Divine Mercy, (which as pictured here in St Lawrence the Martyr to my left), pours forth abundant rays representing his Divine Mercy and Love, straight from His Heart.
- But further more, one can find the overwhelming Love and Mercy of our Lord here in His Sacraments. You will find His Love and his Heart here in the Mass, in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist.
- Importantly, it is in the Confessional in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where His Heart pours out his mercy and forgiveness for those sins, even mortal, in the confessional. Here he renews you and you may be part of His Love, emanating from his Sacred, pulsing, Heart. So avail yourselves to be a part of the Divine Love of His Sacred Heart.
In addition, considering another Latin Mass group was holding their own TLM in the west end of Toronto, and it was the beginning of the "long weekend" for some people who could take of work yesterday, we still managed to have a good solid turnout of 100-130 people for our Latin Mass, when SLTM looks like visually it could hold about 500-600 people in its pews. To me, that's a great turnout!
Regardless, it was fine indeed, a good serving experience, and the future looks promising. St. Patrick's next Mass will likely be its anniversary Mass, that of the Feast of Christ the King on the last Sunday in October, so Sunday October 26th, 2014. However, there might be a Mass later in the summer somewhere .... and .... there might be something in the works for me as a server. Not 100% sure, but when I have more full details on St. Pat's next Mass, you will definitely hear it from me and I'll add it to the Summer Listings for 2014!
Hope you enjoy this report, and of course, if you have any other reports or things to add, like pictures, e-mail my blog at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just remember, read my blog rules and no communications of slanderous, calumnious, or detracting nature. Course, I really hope someone took pictures from the pews of the Mass.
Pax Tibi Christi! Julian Barkin.