rss feed for a newsreader
rss feed for podcasting

Low Sunday

The Gloria Returns!

Here is just the organ piece (Marsh Fanfare) from the video above, minus the bells.

After Good Friday Mass of the Presanctified

Good Friday Tenebrae, during the Canticle of Zachary, just before the final light is hidden

Less the 24 Hours Later at the Bishop’s Blessing at the end of Holy Saturday Mass

Clouds of incense fill the air, as the bishop chants the preface on Easter Sunday.

Bp. Dolan’s 2015 Lenten Retreat on The Joy of St. Francis


Daily Sermons
April 3 – Bp. Dolan – The Death of St. Francis
April 4 – Bp. Dolan – St. Francis’ Canticle of the Sun
April 6 – Bp. Dolan – Easter Monday
April 7 – Bp. Dolan – Easter Tuesday
April 10 – Fr. McGuire – Easter Friday

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Blessed Low Sunday to you! It is important that the low follow the high, to allow a little rest and restoration after all of our exertions, joys and sorrows of the past fortnight. We have heard and seen many wonderful things, but do not forget the blessing—your blessing of this Sunday—that you have not seen, and yet have believed. Blessed are you!

I thought I would offer a little report on our Holy Week, a kind of Holy Week Journal.

Palm Sunday was just about perfect, though it was cold. Beauty did beautifully, and walked nicely at the head of our procession with “the children of the Hebrews”. (That would be us.) As we stood at the door, out in the cold, we certainly symbolized the Church Militant, didn’t we? It was hard to hear the angels and saints within, but still we stood and shivered and sang our Gloria Laus with all our might. It’s a relief when the crucifer knocks thrice, and unseen heavenly ushers open the gates of Heaven to us, and even more so as we enter the warm church, streaming with sunshine, and fragrant with incense, while the choir sings Schubert’s triumphant Ingrediente Domino. For some reason, I thought of the Mormon’s Celestial Room, a kind of fancy hotel lobby in their temples meant to suggest heaven, where initiates go to sit for awhile after they have concluded their Masonic and gnostic ceremonies. Our church is much more evocative of the real thing, I must say.

Then began the solemn sad Mass of the Passion. Perhaps it was the sunlight, but I was struck at how quiet everything was for a High Mass, one of the most silent and prayerful I can remember. It is worth remembering, this beautiful start to our Holy Week.

Early Holy Week saw the Simpson sisters and Rose and her crew and others come to help with everything from the Altar of Repose to curtains, candlesticks, and ironing. I was a bit concerned this year as Katie is still recovering from her fracture, but I needn’t have worried, God always provides, and many of you always come through. The McFathers and Darlene managed the sacristy in great measure, and everything fell into place.

Holy Thursday saw a good attendance, with some out of town guests, for the morning Mass and early afternoon Maundy. The weather alternated storms and sun, quite liturgical. Adoration at the Easter Sepulchre was a bit dodgy, but we made it, with help even from strangers. Ditto for the so beautiful Tenebrae…a very small attendance, which is sad, but then again it is a sad service, the candles symbolizing Our Lord being abandoned by one disciple after another, until there is only His Mother.

Good Friday always draws a good crowd, especially so this year. It is a heavy series of services (Stations, Mass of the Presanctified, Adoration of the Cross, a sermon on death), dramatic, touching, mystical and mournful, this year all in the rainy humid dark. Still, when it is past three most people are still there, as if reluctant to leave Calvary, even though Our Lord is buried, the sepulcher sealed. John Vande Ryt comes still to be MC for this one service each year, and does it very well. Otherwise he is a policeman, and it is fitting that they should be represented on the altar, along with lawyers and boys and old men and high priests and young ones.

That night Tenebrae picks up a little towards the end and earthquake, as children and volunteers gather for the big push to get everything turned around and set up for the Easter Vigil in the morning. Nobody stays up too late for this anymore, as in the old days. Many hands make light work, and the stage is set for Saturday’s vigil at the Sepulcher as we await the Resurrection.

The week ends as we started it, outside the church in the cold, though this time without the donkey. The Fire is blessed, the procession is formed, and we follow Christ’s light into the church, pausing thrice to thank God and adore on bended knee. Thus the long vigil begins, ending hours later all in white and gold and organ and bells for the Resurrection of Our Lord. Alleluia!

The faithful were rewarded with a proper, and abundant, Easter Brunch, the Children with an Easter Egg Hunt afterwards in the April sunshine. We all rejoiced together in a Lent well concluded, a Holy Week of true faith and adoration. Almost four hundred attended the three Easter Masses the next morning. First we sang the last of our Matins, in the final cold dark of early morning, to begin this day, which the Lord hath made. This year it was beautifully, beautifully sung with help from the schola, yet so quietly. Later Father Cekada’s new organ would ring out in triumphant peals.

How proud we were of the ladies and young ladies of the choir, who gave so much and sounded so good, especially in the Easter High Mass. The same must be said of our servers, and so many who helped in so many ways. God reward you all with an extra measure of Easter Peace!
—Bishop Dolan