Last October we were blessed by a visit from a group of CMRI seminarians who all have music degrees from their Austrian homeland: Niko, Franz, and Leopold. Fr. Zepeda says they are exceptionally good at singing chant, so we are thrilled that they will be singing and playing the organ for Holy Week. They will be joined by their fellow seminarian, James Broadman, from Ohio. We welcome them all!
The Holy Week schedule is posted on the Monthly Bulletin page and includes links to the chants so that those so inclined may practice.
On Friday night, Fr. Sandquist brought down six first and second-year seminarians from CMRI’s recently-acquired Iowa location to help us prepare for Candlemas and a High Mass for the Feast of the Purification, as well as lend their muscles to a chapel workday: Joe (Nebraska), Dominic (MN), Adam (MI), William (MI), Caleb (Scotland), and Frederic (France).
Saturday morning was dedicated to removing the Christmas decorations and Nativity, followed by server and choir practice. Then sheetrock projects began as the ladies boxed up the large Nativity figures. That complete, the women organized an assembly line to pull nails from salvaged oak baseboards. After the de-nailed boards were stained, seminarians whisked them off to be cut and then nailed in place while others taped so that a second coat could be applied. Fr. Sandquist took to his hands and knees to finish the staining–the baseboards and, he ruefully noted afterward, his hands. Between all the sheetrock dust, the blue tape, and everything being pulled away from the walls, including the altar, it looked like we couldn’t possibly be ready for mass on Sunday, but of course it all came back together with many hands making light work.
Sunday’s Candlemas ceremony and high mass were simply glorious. We couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous day for our procession either. It was 69 degrees with sunny, blue skies. The seminarians were thrilled with the fantastic weather after enduring a tough winter in Iowa. All the practice paid off, and everything went smoothly. The choir finished with a stunning Stella Matutina. Afterward Adam asked if it was too loud, and I assured him that it was exquisite, and the volume was perfect. Truly, we congregants zoomed heavenward in a musical chariot powered by their strong male voices, sonorous with Marian devotion.
Below is a photo gallery from the Asperges, Candlemas ceremony, and procession:
Below is a photo gallery from the Mass for the Purification, with the final two photos depicting the new location of the statues of Sts. Peter and Paul and a zoomed-in look at the altar with the newly-acquired Jesus and Mary statues.
This Sunday Fr. Sandquist will do the blessing of the candles ceremony and then, with four seminarians, lead us on a procession. It is our chapel’s very first one, and so it is quite exciting!
Here the Priest recites Five Orations, each ending thus: Per omnia saecula saeculorum. R: Amen. Then the Priest blesses the candles with holy water and incense. During the distribution of the candles, the Choir sings the following Antiphon, which is repeated after each Verse of the Canticle Nunc dimittis:
During the Procession, Chanters and Choir alternate in singing the Verses of the following Antiphons. If time warrants, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin also may be sung.
When we return, all giddy, we will have the high mass.
Then the Mass is celebrated. During the Gospel, and from the beginning of the Canon to the Communion, the faithful hold the lighted candles in their hands.