The blessing of the chalk. Photo courtesy of Diana Yuan Yuan
Some photographs of the Christmas Midnight mass of St. Mary’s Church, Norwalk, CT. Fr. Richard Cipolla was the celebrant. (Above) The church was filled near to capacity for the occasion.
Praying the rosary before the creche led by Fr. Cipolla.
Fr. Jeffrey Keyes chanted the proclamation of the birth of Christ.
(Above and Below) The procession with the image of the Christ Child.
(Above and below) Mr. David Hughes led the assembled musical forces. For a description of the music performed on this night see our post HERE.
It was almost deserted on Greenwich Avenue at 6:30 this morning, but the lights were on in many of the stores as employees readied things for a busy Christmas shopping day. Inside St. Mary’s a different kind of preparation was taking place, where many people knelt in the quiet, candlelit church waiting for the Rorate Mass to begin. Father Cyprian La Pastina was the celebrant of this solemn Mass. A large group of young men assisted as acolytes. The propers and ordinaries were sung in Gregorian chant. As the mass progressed the light of dawn began to show through the windows.
From the parish website: “This is a special Mass celebrated in honor of Our Lady on Saturdays in Advent. The title comes from the Introit (Entrance) of the Mass which translated means, “Drop down ye heavens from above” reminding us that the Lord came down from heaven and was born of the Virgin. What makes this Mass so unusual is that it is celebrated in the early morning by candlelight. The celebration is timed so that the sun begins to rise by the time of the consecration of the bread and wine to remind us of the constant coming of Christ into this world each time Holy Mass is celebrated.”
The following report is by Eddy Toribio. The photos are thanks to Mr. Anthony Dacosta and Ms. Cecilia Tan.
As we all know, there is something always going on at Holy Innocents (NYC) – the very active and vibrant parish that rarely sleeps!
This past Saturday, December 6th, 2015, as part (and conclusion) of the monthly first Friday all night vigil (with devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary), the parish had its first Rorate Mass in honor of Our Lady in candlelight (no electric lights were used at all).
The Mass was a Solemn Mass at 5 AM with beautiful Gregorian Chant and the help of a good number of servers for five in the morning! Additionally, and as always, the faithful and committed parishioners responded very positively. There were 95 people in attendance for this very beautiful traditional Mass – again, at five in the morning!
Last night the annual requiem mass sponsored by the Catholic Artists Society, the New York Purgatorial Society, the Society of St Hugh of Cluny and the Roman Forum was celebrated in the impressive surroundings of the Dominican Church of St Catherine of Siena. This year the solemn requiem mass was celebrated in the Dominican rite. Alas, St Catherine’s – architecturally one of the most extraordinary churches on the island of Manhattan – is from this year onward no longer an independent parish.
This Requiem mass, celebrated in the middle of November – a more sombre time of the year conducive to reflection and recollection – was an extraordinary spiritual and musical experience. The solemn ceremony perfectly expressed our awareness of our own mortality while interceding for the souls of those departed before us.
The Durufle requiem of 1947, performed so wonderfully last night, is one of the most marvelous settings of the requiem mass. Its character is uniquely elegiac, coming as it did just after the last World War and the “suicide of the West.” This mass is one last great summary of the entire history of Western music: based on chant but reflecting influences of Faure and Wagner. But, even in 1947, who could have imagined that within 25 years one of the greatest artifacts – viewed purely aesthetically – of that Western culture, this very requiem mass and its music, would be repudiated by the Church. Or so it seemed – but as the congregation was able to experience last night, in the wake of Summorum Pontificum, the Traditional Requiem is very much still with us.
It was heartening to see such a large congregation fill the vast space of this church.
The Dominican Rite: Procession with the chalice to the celebrant employing the humeral veil – before the Gospel.
(Above) Mr James Wetzel, Choirmaster
(Above) The Schola Dominicana of St. Catherine
(Above) Mr Michael Hey, organist.
The Very Reverend Walter C. Wagner, OP, Pastor of the Parish of St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Catherine of Siena
The Reverend Innocent Smith OP, Celebrant and Homilist
The Reverend Sean Connolly, Deacon
The Reverend Sebastian White, OP, Subdeacon
Mr. Steven Pack, Head of altar Servers
The Schola Dominicana of St. Catherine
Miss Elisa Sutherland and Mr. Dominic Inferrera, soloists
Mr. Michael Hey, Organist
Mr. James D. Wetzel, Choirmaster
Mr. Donald Cherry, Vestments and poster.