Tuesday, June 10, 2014

FSSP First Mass at the Serra Chapel in California

The website of the Brothers of the Little Oratory in San Diego has some beautiful photographs of the first Solemn High Mass of Fr. Robert Dow, F.S.S.P., celebrated this past Sunday, the feast of Pentecost. The Mass was sung at the Serra Chapel of the Mission San Juan Capistrano, in southern California. (This is the the only building in the chain of Spanish missions in California in which it can be conclusively proven that Bl. Junipero Serra actually said Mass.) The Brothers of the Little Oratory provided Gregorian chant propers for the Mass, and the ordinary was a genuine 18th century Mass by Juan Bautista Sancho in an edition by Craig Russell, played on original instruments by professional members of the early music community. First blessings were offered in the courtyard next to the ruins of the stone church, which was destroyed by a massive earthquake in the early 19th century. NLM offers congratulations to Fr. Dow and to the F.S.S.P., ad multos annos! (Photos by Mr. Ron Clemente, one of the Brothers.)

The reredos, estimated to be over four hundred years old, was originally imported form Barcelona in 1806 for Los Angeles Cathedral, but was never used. Donated to the mission by Archbishop Cantwell, it was installed sometime between 1922 and 1924. It is made of over three hundred and ninety-five individual pieces of cherry wood, and gilt with gold. Although it has been re-layered through the years, most of its original gilding remains intact.

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