Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Photos of a New Priest’s First Mass

For obvious reasons, we have had almost no photoposts in the last few months, but now that restrictions are easing up in some places, and especially with ordination season upon us, hopefully we’ll be able to have them more often, and take some much-needed encouragement from them. Here is something which I am sure all of our readers will find especially heartening to see: this past Sunday, Fr James Dvorak of the diocese of Victoria, Texas, celebrated a Solemn High Mass of Thanksgiving for his priestly ordination in the traditional rite. He was assisted by seminary classmates who will themselves soon be ordained to the priesthood in their respective dioceses: Dcn Michael Cellars of Charleston as deacon of the Mass, Dcn Joe Hernandez of Brownsville as subdeacon, and Dcn Miguel Flores of Austin as master of ceremonies. Fr Tommy Chen, vocation director of the diocese of Victoria, served as the assistant priest. The last two photos show Fr Dvorak giving his mother the manuterge used to absorb the chrism from the ordination rite, and his father the stole he wore the first time he heard Confessions. I am sure our readers are all familiar with the tradition by which the mother of a priest is buried with the manuterge, as a symbol that when she approaches heaven, she will say to the Lord that she gave Him her son to serve as a priest. The tradition of giving the stole to a priest’s father is apparently quite recent, but certainly no less beautiful and fitting for that.

Our thanks to Dcn Armando Alejandro for sharing these pictures with us, and we very happily offer our congratulations to Fr Dvorak, to his family and friends, and to the diocese of Victoria - ad multos annos!
The Vidi aquam
Prayers before the altar; note that the assistant priest, whose job is to help the newly ordained priest through his first Mass, stands at the right, and the deacon moves to the left side next to the subdeacon. (At such a Mass, the assistant priest takes over several of the duties normally given to the MC.)
At the Gloria
Genuflecting at Veni, Sancte Spiritus before the Sequence and the Gospel.
By long-standing custom, a priest does not himself preach at his own first Mass.
“Et incarnatus est...”
Exchange of the Peace between the deacon and the assistant priest. 

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: