08 April 2004

Mass of the Lord's Supper
St. Francis Xavier Parish, Spokane WA

Processional hymn: Lord, Who at Thy First Eucharist (tune: Unde et Memores)
Kyrie: Missa Simplex (in English)
Gloria: Gloria II for Feasts and Solemnities, by Carrol Thomas Andrews
Psalm: Psalm 145 (unknown, suspect it is from By Flowing Waters)
Washing of the Feet: Mandatum Novum (Taize)
Offertory: Ubi Caritas
Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation, Doxology: Mass of Creation
Agnus Dei: Mass XVIII
Communion: "Taste and see how good the Lord is." (chant-type of unknown origin, suspect it is from By Flowing Waters)
Transfer of the Holy Eucharist: Pange Lingua (alternating verses in Latin and English)

Celebrant: Pastor, Fr. Dan Barnett

The Mass was nice. The church is smallish and pretty, build of concrete block but in a traditional cruciform shape. It has a lovely arched, wooden ceiling, and the choir sang from the loft in the back. The carpeting under the altar is a vibrant red, and the wonderful gold altar cloth stood out nicely against it. The priest is young, 35-40ish, but as another one of the choir ladies pointed out, he could pass for 25. He had quite nice vestments and was wearing a cassock under them. He was assisted by five altar servers and a deacon in a dalmatic.
I really like singing in a "normal parish." Singing at what is technically a parish-sponsored Mass but what looks more like a university-sponsored Mass is both taxing and too easy. The hardships and joys are different from those of a parish. We don't hear about how we need to raise money to fix the roof or maintain the organ or pay the religious ed teachers. We don't usually have babies crying, or the elderly man in the wheelchair's occasional coughs to interrupt us. The chapel is so small that there is no need for electronic amplification. There are never any weddings, baptisms, confirmations, or funerals. We have a rotation of five or six priests who say chant Mass, and never see any of them outside that time unless one happens to be a Jesuit whose class we are taking.
It was nice to be in a place which has a sort of settled routine and a sense of community. There were young families and single people and elderly folks who greeted each other as they came in. They know their priest and deacon, and they know each other. I miss that.

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