Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pentecost: St. Ann's in Slayton, MN

My family and I enjoyed our fist weekend of camping near Slayton, MN this weekend. We attended the 5:15 PM vigil Mass for Pentecost. I really enjoy Mass at St. Ann's because they have somehow managed to hang on to Tradition. They have a tabernacle behind their altar that is covered in a veil (it was red this week to match the liturgical color), they also use a chalice veil (it was also red this week). On their free standing altar they have six candles. There was three servers (a boy and two girls) wearing white server robes and one (I am assuming this was a seminarian) dressed in a black cassock and white surplice.

They make good used of their organ during the songs, and while they did have a cantor she allowed everyone to sing and did not try to be the star of he show. After the opening song the servers brought Father the asprgellium and liturgical salt. Yes, that's right. He blessed the water in the traditional manner, with salt. This is the first time that I have ever seen salt used in the blessing of holy water.

After the sprinkling rite, which was done during the Gloria, Father chanted the opening prayer. He really has a excellent chanting voice. The Liturgy of the Word seemed a bit rushed, however, this might be because they used one lector who went from one thing right to the next. The Psalm response was led by the cantor, but the actual psalm was recited my the lector. The focus was on the words not the musical performance. Bravo.

Father read the Gospel (I was hoping that he would chant that too). Father read the actual reading assigned to the Vigil of Pentecost which ended with a rather confusing passage about the Holy Spirit not existing. At the beginning of his homily Father clarified that the Gospel writer did not mean that that the Holy Spirit did not exist until Pentecost, but that they had not yet received the Holy Spirit. Good catch Father!

After the creed was recited Father led the "Prayers of the Faithful". He added several intentions for mothers as it was Mother's Day weekend. He then gave the mother present a special blessing.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist was wonderful and followed the liturgical books. After he prepared the altar the seminarian (I'm assuming he is a seminarian) ducked out into the sacristy and brought out the thurible and boat. Father added incense and then blessed it. He then incensed the gifts and the altar.

Father chanted the preface and used Eucharistic Prayer #1, which as I have stated before is my favorite. Everyone chanted the Our Father. Surprisingly, everyone held hands during the Our Father. Even to the point of reaching around behind them and holding hands with the pew behind them. The Sign of Peace was offered.

Communion was distributed by Father and three EMHC (one of them the seminarian).

After Communion father recited the closing prayer and then chanted the dismissal.

To sum this Mass experience up in one word...wonderful! I predict that they will be seeing a lot of my family there this camping season.

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