Saturday, September 17, 2016

Votive Mass of San Gennaro Saturday

The month-long feast of San Gennaro in New York City's Little Italy is an iconic representation of the cultures Catholic immigrants brought from their native lands to the New World. Unfortunately, this very "Catholic" celebration has seen its religious roots eroded over the last several decades to the point most people know it only as a secular celebration of Neopolitan origin.

Saturday, September 24, a solemn Votive Mass in the Extraordinary Form will be celebrated at 10 a.m. in honor of the saint at the Church of the Most Precious Blood, 113 Baxter Street at Mulberry Street in New York City. 
Sponsored by the St. Hugh of Cluny Society, the Rev. Richard Gennaro Cipolla, pastor of St. Mary's Church Norwalk, will be the celebrant, and David Hughes, Director of Music at St. Mary's will direct the choir.
Mozart's Missa Brevis in F, will provide the Mass Ordinary, while motets by Palestrina (Justorum Animae) and Mozart (Venite populi) will be sung at the Offertory and Communion, respectively.
Two of Mozart's church sonata's will serve as prelude and postlude.
Known as St. Januarius in English, his feast day is celebrated on September 19. Bishop of Benevento, San Gennaro was executed in the persecution under Diocletian for visiting Christians in prison. He was tortured and beheaded. His head and body were wrapped, and his blood was collected by faithful servants, enough to fill two glass phials 
Four decades later, when his remains were transferred to the catacombs in Naples in solemn procession, the first liquification of the blood occurred. Three times a year the blood liquifies: the first Sunday in May, his feast day on September 19, and December 16, when his intercession was asked against a threatened eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.
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