People have been mentioning their Corpus Christi processions under my WDTPRS entries.
Here is an entry specifically for your processions.
Yesterday I was at St. Mary’s in Norwalk, CT where, coincidently, I found also my friend Fr. Uwe Michael Lang.
Fr. Markey is pastor at St. Mary’s. We have seen him before in these electronic pages.
The parish church is getting a renovation, by stages. The sanctuary has been spiffed up and it looks splendid. They have more work to do on the nave.
For Corpus Christi (external celebration on Sunday) there was a Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form. The ceremonies were very smooth and you could tell that the servers were well-trained and comfortable with them. There are certain points during a Solemn Mass when you can tell if they really know what they are doing: the sanctuary takes on the aspect of one of those wonderful clocks in a German town square with smoothly moving figures.
It was good to see the range of ages among the servers. Some of the little shavers had just made their First Holy Communions. They alternated between the sort of solemn that only the very young are able to convey and moments of wandering attention. Solemn won in the end. The range of ages in the sanctuary assure that they will have well-trained servers in the future. The young one learn from the older boys and they absorb the manner and attitude required near the Lord’s altar.
The music was polyphony and Gregorian chant. The Mass setting was Palestrina’s Missa Lauda Sion, which was entirely appropriate. There were a number of children involved. I am not a great proponent of mixed Gregorian chant groups (males and females singing at the same time), and would prefer separate but equal choirs. When a women’s schola sings Gregorian chant, the effect is stunning. But everyone sang very well and greatly contributed to the reverence of the rite.
The procession was quite long, winding down to the town center and then back to the church. During the procession there were prayers in English and Spanish, as well as hymns and, thanks for Fr. Markey with a blowhorn readings citing the Council of Trent about the usefulness of processions to combat heresy. Very festive.
After the procession I stopped in briefly at the informal reception and met some very nice folks, including readers of this blog.
It was a fine Sunday.
St. Mary’s in Norwalk is a happy, healthy Catholic parish with a strong liturgical life and a sound, dedicate pastor. They are revitalizing their Catholic identity brick by brick in Norwalk.