Last Sunday my family visited Mater Dei. Most of you who know me know that I love liturgy. I absolutely love to experience different forms and Rites. I even enjoy experiencing worship practices of non liturgical churches.
Mater Dei offers 3 services on Sunday. Two are low Mass, and one sung Mass. Which is the middle one. The plan was to visit the sung Mass. Due to time and circumstance we were unable to make the earlier Mass time.
We arrived about thirty minutes early. Just to make sure we were situated and familiar with bathroom locations. The church was busy with a pancake breakfast being offered. Lots of people everywhere. We slipped in, and I am sure looked out of place. We made our way around and found the bathroom in the building next to the chapel. Everyone seemed warm and friendly.
So back to the the chapel. We entered opened the door and entered the nave. We slowly made our way to one of the back pews on the Epistle side. We get situated and look at the missal. Prepared my hear and self for Mass.
The nave is packed, and Mass is about to begin. I was taken back a bit by just the number of children and young families. This is not something I am use to seeing. Not even in the larger Episcopal parishes I have visited. The priest comes out and Mass begins.
Initially I tried to keep up using the missal, but being as far back as I was hearing the priest was next to impossible. I am familiar with the traditional Latin Mass, and the structure of a low Mass. No music except a hymn at the end. A few prayers were offered by all who were in participation. The rest was said by the priest with the responses by the server.
I expected this with attending a low Mass, but my family was not. Honestly I initially had mixed feelings about it. As Anglicans we frown of such liturgical practices. It is a reminder of a darker time of English Christianity.
Mary-Grace did really well for the first 20 or so minutes. She started to squirm as many 2 year olds do. Part way through the homily Kari took her out of the chapel and made her way to banishment. Yes the crying room. For some time I kept looking for their return.
As the priest continued with the liturgy I found myself in a prayerful state. It seemed so natural. I began to pray and offer various prayers. I entered into a very beautiful place of worship. Something I had not intended to happen.
Kari also found the whole experience favorable. While in the cry room she saw others in various states of prayer. All were being respectful to what was going on at the altar. A little one made friends straight away with Kari. She and him whispered to each other. As usual her charitable and tender nature came out.
We slipped out after the Mass was over. Not really taking a moment to talk to greet anyone. Neither of us are good with new settings. The talk in the car was very positive. We discussed fathers homily and the Fatima apparition. I was very convicted by the message the priest gave.
I am still reflecting and reading on the TLM. In time I will share more thoughts regarding the practice, and liturgy. I am sure this will not be our one and only visit to Mater Dei.
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