Corpus Christi High Mass and Procession with Our Eucharistic King

What a glorious day it was! We mission chapel folks had to continually pinch ourselves and ask, “Is this really happening here in rural Chelsea, Oklahoma? O, Lord, I am not worthy!”

We present this photo essay of our celebration of the great festival of Corpus Christi with sincere gratitude to Frs. Stephen Sandquist and Carlos Borja; seminarians Rev. Carlos Zepeda, Frater Aloysius Hartmann, Mr. Caleb Armour, and Phillip Lawrence; minor seminarian Evan Estrada; and Mater Dei Academy boys Joseph Wagner and Donald Pulliam,

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The seminarians and boys arrived a couple of hours early to set up the outdoor altar and have choir practice. In this photo, Rev. Zepeda is directing, and from left to right are seminarians Phillip Lawrence, Frater Aloysius, and Mr. Armour.

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“And Aaron was separated to minister in the holy of holies, he and his sons for ever, and to burn incense before the Lord, according to his ceremonies, and to bless his name for ever.” (1 Chron. 23:13)

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“Who then can be able to build him a worthy house? if heaven, and the heavens of heavens cannot contain him: who am I that I should be able to build him a house? but to this end only, that incense may be burnt before him.” (2 Chron. 2:6)”

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A rare glimpse of Jesus in front of His open Tabernacle Prison.

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O Jesu Christ, Remember

O Jesu Christ, remember,
When Thou shalt come again,
Upon the clouds of Heaven,
With all Thy shining train;—

When every eye shall see Thee
In Deity reveal’d,
Who now upon this altar
In silence art conceal’d;—

Remember then, O Saviour,
I supplicate of Thee,
That here I bow’d before Thee,
Upon my bended knee;

That here I own’d Thy Presence,
And did not Thee deny;
And glorified Thy greatness,
Though hid from human eye.

Accept, divine Redeemer,
The homage of my praise;
Be Thou the light and honour,
And glory of my days.

Be Thou my consolation
When death is drawing nigh;
Be Thou my only treasure
Through all eternity.

Hymn text by Fr. Edward Caswall

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Adeleigh, Evelyn, and Rosemary Breaux served as flower girls. After Mass, Rev. Zepeda arranged the remaining rose petals around the little outdoor statue of Our Lady of Fatima that you can see in the left center of this photo.

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Here Evelyn and Rosemary have entered the shade of the pavilion adjacent to the chapel. Imagine if as in bygone days, we could process through the villages and towns with great crowds of fervent Catholics!

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Fr. Sandquist found our canopy in storage at Mater Dei Convent. It could be of late 1940s, early 1950s vintage and a true glory in its day. It is heavy, made from moire taffeta. The top is solid red, and the underside is ivory and embroidered with the IHS in the center. The fabric is frayed along the long sides from the framework rubbing. It was missing its poles, hardware, and side supports. But elevated once more in our Lord’s service, it was gorgeous and edifying, and created all the pageantry that this great festival’s procession required. Thanks to Herb Haught for procuring new poles and creating a new framework to attach to them.

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Blessed be God. Blessed be His Holy Name. Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man. Blessed be the Name of Jesus. Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart. Blessed be His Most Precious Blood. Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete. Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most Holy. Blessed be her Holy and Immaculate Conception. Blessed be her Glorious Assumption. Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother. Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse. Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints. Amen.

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Pray and sacrifice for priests. They pray and sacrifice so much for us.

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“Humbly I adore Thee, hidden Deity, Which beneath these figures art concealed from me; Wholly in submission Thee my spirit hails, For in contemplating Thee it wholly fails.” Adoro Te Devote, St. Thomas Aquinas, Translation by E. Frey.

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Many thanks to our canopy bearers, Mr. Michael Hartsock, Mr. Steve Breaux, Mr. Ben Brouse, and Mr. Ron Green.

We enjoyed a lovely meal together in the hall after the liturgical festivities. Crockpot Alley arrayed its aromatic wares of savory entrees and sides. The dessert table overflowed with sweet and creamy delights. Fr. Borja and the seminarians were in no hurry to leave, and the quiet joy of feasting, rightly-ordered, reigned.

Thank you to everyone who brought food and to all those in the background whose generosity helps make these days possible.

Corpus Christi: Let Our Praises Resound

We are busily preparing for our celebration of Corpus Christi this Sunday. We will have our first Corpus Christi procession, and seven seminarians will prepare the outdoor altar under our pavilion and will also sing for the High Mass. Afterward, we are having a potluck in the hall. Fr. Borja will be celebrating Mass for us; it will be good to see him again. It’s been at least a year since he visited. Harley 7026 f. 13 Corpus Christi procession

Here is a beautiful hymn from the office of Matins for Corpus Christi:

Let our joys blend with this sacred Solemnity: and let our praises resound from our inmost heart; let old things give way; let all be new, both hearts, and words, and works!

We are celebrating that night’s Last Supper, when, as faith tells, Christ gave to his brethren, the Lamb and unleavened bread, as the law, given to the ancient fathers, prescribed.

After giving them the figurative Lamb, and when the repast was over, we confess with faith, that our Lord, with his own hands, gave his Body to his disciples: and so gave It, that the entire was given to all, and the entire to each.

They were frail, and he gave them his Body as food: they were sad, and he gave them his Blood, for their drink; saying: Take the Cup I deliver unto you! Do ye all drink thereof!

Thus did he institute this Sacrifice, whose ministry he willed should be entrusted to Priests alone; who were so to partake of it themselves, as to give it to others.

The Bread of Angels becomes the Bread of men; the Bread of heaven puts an end to the types; O wonderful thing! he that is poor, and servant, and lowly, eateth the Lord!

We beseech thee, O Triune Deity, do thou so visit us, as we worship thee; lead us by thy ways to the term we aim at,—to the light, wherein thou dwellest.

Amen.

Rogation Monday

litany-of-saintsSome excerpts from Dom Gueranger’s Liturgical Year:

WE need so much penance, and we do so little! If we are truly in earnest, we shall be most fervent in doing the little that is left us to do.

The object of the Rogation days is to appease the anger of God, and avert the chastisements which the sins of the world so justly deserve; moreover, to draw down the divine blessing on the fruits of the earth. The litany of the saints is sung during the procession, which is followed by a special Mass said in the stational church, or if there be no Station appointed, in the church whence the procession first started.

The litany of the saints is one of the most efficacious of prayers. The Church makes use of it on all solemn occasions, as a means of rendering God propitious through the intercession of the whole court of heaven. They who are prevented from assisting at the procession, should recite the litany in union with holy Church: they will thus share in the graces attached to the Rogation days; they will be joining in the supplications now being made throughout the entire world; they will be proving themselves to be Catholics.

Let us pray

O God, whose property it is always to have mercy and to spare: receive our petitions: that we, and all thy servants, who are bound by the chain of sin, may, by the compassion of thy goodness, mercifully be absolved.

Hear, we beseech thee, O Lord, the prayers of thy suppliants, and pardon us our sins, who confess them to thee; that of thy bounty, thou mayst grant us pardon and peace.

Out of thy clemency, O Lord, show us thy unspeakable mercy; that so thou mayst both acquit us of our sins, and deliver us from the punishment we deserve for them. 

O God, who by sin art offended, and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of thy people, who make supplications to thee; and turn away the scourges of thy anger, which we deserve for our sins.

O almighty and eternal God, have mercy on thy servant N., our chief Bishop, and direct him, according to thy clemency, in the way of everlasting salvation; that, by thy grace, he may desire those things that are agreeable to thee, and perform them with all his strength…

Rogation Days this Week

Rogation Days Q and A
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week are the Rogation Days that precede Ascension Thursday. Historically the Catholic Church has encouraged the faithful to undertake processions on these days, asking God to bless the fields, so that farmers may have good harvests. In modern times we have tended to lose that connection. However, current events are bringing the farmer’s work back to the forefront of our concerns. There are readings and prayers for each day. You may find them and more on the history and explanation of the Rogation Days here.

Six Seminarians Wow Our Weekend

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.