Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Ok, for the liturgical purists, Corpus Christi was actually last Thursday, but here in the United States, as well as in most of the world, the feast is transferred to the Sunday. In places, such as Vatican City, where it is a Holy Day of Obligation the feast is celebrated on the Thursday after the Feast of the Holy Trinity.
After getting a short rest after two Masses and a meeting, I attended Vespers and Benediction at St. Anthony Parish in New Bedford. The church is truly one of the most beautiful in the United States. I must rank it only a little below the churches in Rome.
Back to Vespers: The liturgy was celebrated by Msgr. Gerard O'Connor, who has returned to the diocese following 10 years working in the Congregation for the Clergy in Vatican City. This was the first time I ever attended a service conducted primarily in Latin and I must say that I was very impressed by the beauty of the service. In fact, it was one of the most beautiful services I have ever attended.
Outside the church, there was a street festival for Day of Portugal and the sounds of the revelry seeped into the church. However, the sacred music in the church drowned out the profane music outside. It reminded me that when we fill our hearts, minds and lives with God, the secular world will not seep in.
While the street outside was filled with hundreds of people, there were only about 20 people in the church. We were definitely in the minority, but once we entered the church, it was as though we were in a different world. Between the exquisite music, the spectacular church, and the Eucharist in the monstrance on the altar it was the closest to liturgical perfection I have ever experienced.
You can watch a slideshow of pictures of this beautiful church on the St. Anthony's website.
If the pastor in the slideshow looks familiar to some of you, there is good reason. Fr. Roger Landry is the priest behind the excellent homily website called Catholic Preaching.
Now that I have rambled on long enough, I want to say that before today I was very apprehensive about the issuance of the much awaited Moto Proprio allowing the Tridentine Mass. I am still apprehensive about it, but my fears are much relieved. After I left the church today, I was filled with a sense of peace that I haven't felt in a very long time. One of these days I will attend a Tridentine Mass and I am sure I will love it too.