Sunday, August 10, 2008

Blessed Sacrament Dominican Solemn Mass (First Photos)

As readers know, on August 8, 2008, the Dominican Parish of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Seattle, Washington, celebrated its Centennial Anniversary with a Solemn Mass in the traditional Dominican Rite. Through the kindness of readers we now have some images of this Mass as well as a video. The celebrant was Fr. Daniel Syverstad, O.P., Pastor of Blessed Sacrament, functioning as deacon was Fr. Anthony Patalano, O.P., Pastor of Most Holy Rosary, Portland OR, and as subdeacon Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P., S.T.M., Professor of Religious Studies and History at the University of Virginia. The Tudor Choir under the direction of Mr. Doug Fullington sang the Missa Gloriose Confessor Domini by Juan Esquivel, based on a motet by Francisco Guerrero between 1605 and 1609. The music was newly edited for this occasion. The Propers were sung from the
Dominican Gradual

Plans for this Mass had been going on for several months, and the response and attendance was far beyond anything that had been expected. Here follow some pictures.

The Church of the Blessed Sacrament, a neo-Gothic edifice begun in 1910 can be seen against the evening sky if the University District, which the parish serves. The spire on the tower is easily visible from Interstate Five.

Here is a view of the interior, showing the congregation. The church, which holds 700, began to fill over an hour before the Mass and there were at least another 200 standing in the aisles, transcepts, and vestibule.

Here is a good view of the High Altar. The interior of the church, which was never completed, is in bare brick, but the sanctuary and side altars, and main altar are decorated with walnut wainscoting, the work of Fr. Christopher Moschini, O.P., pastor of the parish in the late 1960s. He was a skilled craftsman, and the carving and decoration are all his own work. He would have been in seventh heaven had he lived to attend this Mass. Fr. Moschini was deacon at the first Dominican Rite Solemn Mass I ever witnessed, at St. Albert the Great Priory, Oakland CA, in 1978. The six great candles, neo-Gothic to match . the church, were a donation by a parishioner in honor of the Centenary. In this view, the subdeacon can be seen completing a part of the preparation of the altar. You can just make out the apparal on the bottom of his alb.

The ten assisting Dominican friars were seated as in choir on the extension of the sanctuary added in the early 1970s. Here you can see the five on the Gospel Side. In the back, in a special stall in the sanctuary is Fr. Michael Sweeney, O.P., President of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley CA, which serves the Western Dominican Province House of Studies in Oakland. He was the guest preacher. In front from the left are Bro. John Marie Bingham, Bro. Augustine Marie Reisenauer, Fr. Albert Paretsky, and Fr. Thomas Kraft. They have their hoods raised as is traditional when listening to the chanting of the Epistle.

Here we see the deacon, Fr. Anthony Patalano, chanting the Gospel, facing liturgical north--the direction of darkness--and thus spreading the light of the Gospel. behind him is the subdeacon,while the acolytes hold candles and the crucifer the processional cross. The carrying of the cross at the Gospel is part of the Dominican Rite and reminds those present of the mystery of the Crucified Savior that the Scriptures proclaim.

Here we see Fr. Sweeney preaching. His sermon paralleled the Church of the baptized as the agency for accomplishing the unfinished Salvation of the World with the task of the Dominican Order to preach the Gospel to people who have yet to hear it, and both with the challenge to parishioners presented by the still unfinished church of the Blessed Sacrament. He charged us as baptized Catholics, Friars Preachers, and parishioners, to take responsibility for Christ's mission, each according to our state of life.

This is one of the two new Pax Instruments presented to Blessed Sacrament Parish in honor of the Anniversary. They were a gift from Fr. Anthony-M. Patalano, O.P., and Holy Rosary Parish in Portland. The instruments duplicate of those made in honor of Holy Rosary's Centennial in 1995. It shows, as you can see, the Man of Sorrows. This instrument was that used, after the Fraction to communicate the Christ's Peace from the altar to the friars. You can see this rite beginning at about 40 seconds into the next item. There the deacon presents the Pax to the subdeacon to kiss, who then presents it to the ministers. Finally, the crucifer can be seen taking it to the friars in choir.

Here is a video taken by one of those present in which you can hear the Tudor Choir chanting the Agnus Dei by Esquivel while the ministers perform their functions from the Fraction to the Communion Preparation Rite.

I will post more images as they become available. Thanks to Major Autem His Est Caritas for these photos and the video; and thanks to our reader, Mr. Lawrence Lam, who was the thurifer for the Mass, for the photo of the Pax.

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