Alas in my plentiful lack of free time during Holy Week, I was not able to post any of the fine photos made available to be by the kindness of a parishoner, of the ceremonies at St. Agnes Church in St. Paul, MN. This is my "home parish", in the sense that it is where I entered the Catholic Church. I return when I can to St. Agnes for the great feasts, even though I have the option of being in Rome most of the time. What happens at St. Agnes is amazing.
At any rate, here is a shot from one of the regular parish Masses on Palm Sunday during which the undersigned is blessing the palms already distributed. This was not the principle Mass at 10:00 am, mind you. That Mass was in Latin, with Gregorian chant and polyphony, with a fine procession around the church as the ancient chants were sung. The Mass in the photo was at noon and was in English. You will note the images are covered. The large statues in purple are of Sts. Peter and Paul. Because it is Palm Sunday some of the drapes have been changed to red.
On each day of the Triduum, all of the service called Tenebrae is sung in Latin, from the Liber Usualis. As each psalm is concluded a candle on the hearse is extinguished.
In each nocturn of Matins there are readings followed by responsories, which are the most beautiful of all the collection of Gregorian chant we have, in my opinion. For the first nocturn on each of the three days, the readings are chanted from the Lamentations of Jeremiah. Here is an audio clip of the first Lamentation on Good Friday followed by its responsory. This is an mp3, about 7.7 megs.
I don’t yet have photos from this year’s Holy Thursday Mass, but here are some of the undersigned from last year.
No female feet anywhere in sight…
Some torch bearers…
"Pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum…"
"Ecce, Agnus Dei!"
At St. Agnes Holy Communion is received kneeling and on the tongue. The congregation uses the Communion rail and only… only … priests and deacons distribute. The Church seats about 1500 people and Communion moves along very smoothly. Here, however, an altar boys receives in the customary fashion.
The procession to the altar of respose, while the Pange lingua is sung by the congregation in Latin.
After the Blessed Sacrament is reposed, the altar is stripped as the schola cantorum chants the Miserere in low recto tono.
People visit the altar of repose until the church is closed at midnight. Until midnight confessions are heard.
The ceremonies are all Novus Ordo. I will post more as I am able.