Monday, June 12, 2023

Photos of Solemn Pentecost Mass Offered by Newly Ordained FSSP Priest (Part 1)

Fr. Isaac Lind, FSSP, one of the priests ordained on Friday, May 26, celebrated his first Sunday Mass two days later, on Pentecost, in the Fraternity’s chapel in Lincoln, Nebraska. St. Francis of Assisi is truly a Gothic gem of a church; it was once a chapel (!) for a Franciscan hospital, which explains its stained glass windows, but that’s a topic for another post. Fr. Lind’s first Mass, on the vigil of Pentecost, was offered at a Carmelite monastery where two of his sisters are nuns; joining him for the solemn Mass was his older brother, a monk of Clear Creek monastery. The Lind family is doing some heavy lifting vocationally! (Of your charity, please say a prayer for all of them.)

The subdeacon of the Mass was a fellow member of the FSSP; in the sanctuary were yet other seminarians; and in the choir loft, still more seminarians, joining the dozen or so regular singers (including yours truly). What an monumental occasion, from Veni Creator at the start to Te Deum at the end!

Thanks to fellow chapel associate and resident photographer Ron Lawson, I had a magnificent portfolio to choose from. I have picked my favorites and will offer some commentary. There are many perspectives on the ceremonies here that would be difficult to see from most places, or to see at all, and once again we can and should be thankful for the “ministry of photography” that has spread the healthy contagion of tradition all over the world. As Matt Menendez famously said at the New York Sacra Liturgia Conference, contrasting the first generation of trads with today’s, “They had the trauma; we have the internet.”

1. Vesting in the sacristy. Always a busy place before Solemn Mass!

2. Fr. Lind vesting for the procession.
3. Entering the church, between the holy water angels.
4. A packed house, including a bunch of FOCUS missionaries who happened to be in town. (Yep, “the kids are old rite!”)
5. In the place where I (on the left) spend most of my time in church on Sundays... together with some future choristers.
6. The priest sprinkles the people with holy water during the Vidi aquam.
7. After the Vidi aquam, the priest doffs his cope and dons the chasuble, assisted by the deacon & subdeacon (as indeed he is assisted by the two of them throughout the Mass).
8. Prayers at the foot of the altar.
9. Incensation of the altar.
10. At the Gloria; the MC is holding a card with the chant intonation. (We sang Mass II.)
11. At five moments in the Gloria, the ministers bow their heads. If they wear a hat, the hat is removed. The priest’s brother, as a monk, keeps his hood up, which is customarily what monks do when seated and listening.
12. The chanting of the epistle by the subdeacon. I love how the crucifix further back in the church found its way into the photo.
13. The priest blesses the subdeacon after he has finished reading.
14. The priest now reads the Alleluias and the Sequence, while the schola chants them.
15. During the Pentecost octave, all kneel for the Veni, Sancte Spiritus verse prior to the Sequence of the same name.
16. The priest blesses the deacon in preparation for his chanting of the Gospel. Since the priest acts in persona Christi, you might say that here Christ is sending his servant to proclaim His words.
17. The Gospel is chanted facing north. The book is held by the subdeacon and accompanied by candles and incense, as were the Roman/Byzantine emperors in ancient times (which appears to be the origin of the liturgical use).
18. In the choir loft -- a good spot for watching solemn Mass unfold! (That’s where a lot of my articles germinate... and sometimes get jotted down on bulletins during homilies... oops, I wasn’t supposed to admit that.)
19. After the Gospel is proclaimed, the subdeacon brings the book to the priest to kiss the Gospel, and then the deacon incenses the priest, who represents Christ, the Word of God. The way readings are done in the old Mass always turns one’s attention back to Christ.
20. At the Creed. The deacon and subdeacon in a Solemn Mass recite the Ordinary of the Mass together with the priest, while the schola and congregation are singing the Creed.

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