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November 03, 2006



I am up in Canada. They have gotten rid of most of the Holy days of obligation here so All Saints day was pretty much normal for the downtown noon mass. My home parish in the suburbs did something special on all Souls day. My 3 year old got to carry a candle in. There is a book that record all the names of the dead we wanted prayed for. That evening my 9 year old went to first confession. It wasn't really connected with the All Souls day at all. They avoided any reference to hell and purgatory in the entire preparation for first reconciliation. Still it was well done. My son and daughter seemed to get it.


This All Saints I went to Our Lady of Walsingham Anglican Use Catholic parish, in Houston. It's Catholic, but they have a special permission to use a modified Book of Common Prayer. The priest said the mass ad orientem, I mean, away from the congregation, there were plenty of bells and smells, all readings were sung. Pretty much everything but the homily was sung. The church itself was extremely well decorated. And yet... In the midst of all this everything-I-could-hope-for-ness, I felt something lacking. Perhaps I just wasn't really familiar with the Anglican Use liturgy, but I felt like I was in a museum piece, kinda like a liturgical "frontier days" field trip.
That said, it was very beautiful, I hope to go again, soon.

paul zummo

For All Saints I went to Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda (parish of a certain Chief Justice of SCOTUS). It was the morning Mass, and thus largely attended by the students of the parish school - so it was a Mass that made me flashback to my own grammar school days. The music was sort of bland, piano "We are Church" music, but they only played small bits of each hymn, as though they knew the music was not top notch.

For what was basically a children's service, the Priest did not dumb down the Mass. His homily was energetic, though I think he did ham it up a little bit for the kids. But it was certainly a message aimed for adults, its core message being that the Saints are our friends. They are all there willing to listen to our prayers and help us. That's the attitude that we should have when we pray - that they are our friends who are there to listen, like any good friend in a time of need. It was simple, and yet very poignant.

One interesting note. It might have to do with the time Mass was said, but there were no altar servers. I only find it curious because this is a Church that has a parish school right next to it. Surprising that none of the said children were asked to serve.

Anyway, it was my first time there, and for a suburban American Church, it didn't leave me feeling cold. It actually felt like a Church, and the Mass felt like a Mass, not a Protestant worship service.

Kevin Jones

All Saints' Vigil Mass, Spirit of Christ, Arvada, Colorado.

The music was blandly hippy-dippy, not quite happy-clappy, more focused on entertainment and self-affirmation than liturgy and sanctification.

An excellent homily by a deacon who, despite his somewhat halting delivery, went through each of the beatitudes individually with suggestions for living each out. He drove home the point that if we are living the Beatitudes, we won't have to look for persecution, persecution will find us.

He said in so many words "Love hurts." Beautiful.

RP Burke

Noon-hour working persons' Mass at our cathedral, celebrated by the rector, assisted by one of the deacons, a lector, a cantor and organist, two extraordinary ministers and a server. A large crowd but not full.

Lector was, well, terrible. About halfway through the first reading, from Revelation, she stopped and said out loud, "I've lost my place." Stammered through until she found her place and finished. Whew. Same lector for reading no. 2, from 1 John, and she read the second sentence three times. Not twice: three times. Pretty embarrassing.

Homily was, by the celebrant's open admission, intended to be brief to get us time to grab a lunch and back to work. His message was to point out how the saints have preceded us in the procession of the faithful that we are now in. He evoked the image of the tapestries of the saints in the new Los Angeles cathedral, which he visited on a recent trip. It was also one of his favorite feasts (as it is indeed mine). Yes, it was that short, and a good thing too.

Communion only under the species of bread, again I'm sure in the interest of time.

Music was classical in origin. Opening was the litany of the saints, chant version, sung unaccompanied with the cantor (starting pitch was a handbell). Proulx's Community Mass for the Eucharistic Acclamations (the new term) or ordinary (the old term). Vaughan Williams's great "For All the Saints" at the end, but with a modernized text that was not effective.


Cathedral of Christ the King, Lexington KY, All Saints Day 5:30pm

Not our parish, but one of our favorite priests was saying Mass, so we went to the Cathedral. Father Brawner basically rocks...he's newly ordained and just....cool. And holy :) Mass was fantastic...the Cathedral has been working on a Schola and they were there for the music...some of the selections were very classic, and some were...not..but even the silly songs sounded alright because the choir does sound nice.

Father chanted THE WHOLE MASS which is always a huge treat, and his vestments were this beautiful gold brocade with red trim...Awesome. Looked great in the fading light coming in through the stained glass. His homily was always excellent, he pointed out that many people see devotion to the saints as "pietic" or "old theology," but that this thinking is wrongheaded. He encouraged everyone to have a patron saint who they are in communinication with, and to call upon the saints frequently. He named the saints pictured on the stained glass windows, and drove home the point that we are always surrouned by the saints and that we must be very thankful to God for such a gift. One of those Masses that I will probably always remember, because it was so reverent and holy. Love it when that happens :)


I post the music at my church on my blog, for All Saints there was a school Mass and then later the Parish Mass with the choir. All Souls we had a schola come in and lead the propers from the funeral Mass and I had my choir help lead the ordinaries. That was fantastic, if underattended.


All-school Mass at the school where I teach.

The music was predictably awful. Two years ago, the choir sang a Litany of the Saints while a PowerPoint slideshow of icons, holy cards, and photos of statues of the saints played. People remarked for months how lovely and prayerful it was, but we never did it again. Instead, this year we had people who had lost a loved one in the past year light votive candles from the Paschal candle and place them on a table in front of the altar.

This year's music was basically the generic LifeTeen praise 'n' worship dreck. No Litany, and the only saint hymn we sang was the opening "Sing with all the Saints in Glory." Which, incidentally, was the only song that a majority of people sang.

The homily was all about how we're all saints and all our beloved dead are saints. I would have liked, particularly at a school where 25% of the student body and 45% of the faculty are not Catholic (and many of the Catholic students are not regular Mass attendees), for a little more explanation of why we honor the saints and why All Saints' Day is not All Souls' Day -- the homilist really conflated the two. He did have some good things to say about how the saints were radical converts to the Gospel, and as such, their lives reflected the Beatitudes. But he also went on for a few minutes about how the firefighters and police officers of 9/11/01 and the first responders of Hurricane Katrina were saints, which isn't in line with the Church's understanding of sainthood.

Anyway, I was disappointed.


St. John Neumann, Gaithersburg, MD - All Soul's Day

Our parish had a Requiem Mass last night for all parishoners who have died in the past year.

Most impressively, ALL the music was from Fauré's Requiem in D minor. We have a nice choir which can actually sing this well. At times, this led to long pauses in the Mass, as the priest had to wait for the music to finish, but it was well worth it!


Each year our parish places a big book in the Narthex for the whole month of Nov. Everyone can write the names of people who have died & they're remembered at each of the Masses in Nov. The book is always full by the end of the month. Its a wonderful tradition.

Tim F.

Cathedral of Christ the King Atlanta
Noon Mass.

Music - Organ (loud), Hymns I didn’t know but that’s not surprising being post-VII Catholic. Cantor in loft but guy in red robe in front to let us know when to respond during the psalm.

Several, maybe 4 adult men servers in traditional black and white

Priest opened with reference to Saints in Heaven and said he was sure we would be there as well. Huh? I thought.

His homily started out with him holding up a carved pumpkin that was decorated as a Saint by one of the students at the parish school. There were many in the front of the church along the alter rail. He referred to the ugly pumpkin and asked if saints had flaws as the pumpkin did. He spoke of several saints and how they were human like us but persevered. He made up for his questionable introductory remark about being sure we would be in Heaven by saying “with God’s grace we would see Heaven with the Saints” or something to that effect. Pretty good homily

Family of 9 ( seven children I think I counted) brought up the offertory gifts.

Latin Angus Dei

The Cathedral was pretty full (not Sunday morning packed full), where as at a usual noon daily Mass there might be 70 – 100 people there.


I think I recall you saying you are in Atlanta. What school are you at if you don't mind saying?

mary martha

St. John Cantius Chicago Tridentine Mass

All Saints Day was lovely. The music was outstanding as it often is:

Missa Iste Sanctus - Francisco Guerrero (
Justorum Animae - Roland Lassus
Timete Dominum - Michael Haydn
Clair de lune, Op. 53, No. 5 - Louis Vierne
Final (Organ Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 65) - Felix Mendelssohn

The Sermon by Fr. K was great. All about how everything we do in living our lives should be in furtherance of our effort to become saints. The quote from St. Augustine was featured "Too late have I loved you, O Ancient Beauty. Too late!"

After Mass a group of us went out to eat and that quote and the homilies message came up several times (a sign of a successful homily).

All Souls Day

The Mass was PACKED. I imagine that the AMAZING music has something to do with it:

Requiem in D minor, K. 626 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)

Insanae et Vanae Curae - Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809)

Sine Nomine Choir and Orchestra

That's right... Mozarts Requiem performed by a choir and orchestra. It was AMAZING.

Black vestments, reverent liturgy and a great homily. It was awesome.

You can see videos of a past All Souls Day Mass at the Cantius website...



Our parish had a Requiem Mass for All Souls last evening, with our professional choir singing a Requiem by Alfred Descenclos (1963). There were about 200 people there, many of whom are regulars at our parish's weekly Latin Mass. Great homily about the reality of death. Lots of incense. Very few children. The Mass included the Dies Irae sequence.


Sermon wasn't too memorable; basically a reminder that there are a lot more saints up there than the ones officially canonized. Music was affecting: entrance song- "Faith of Our Fathers", exit song-For All the Saints".

Fr. Totton

I know Fr. Brawner - I am sure he is a great priest - though I always knew him as an underclassman - This post may be a catalyst - I should call him!

Northwest Missouri -

Vigil Mass with organ accompaniment on all Hallows Eve, School Mass in the morning, then
we had a solemn Mass on All Saints in the evening - four servers - cross candles and incense (after Mass was over I returned to the church to see the incense smoke still lingering in the remaining lights). Some parishioners were surprised to see the biretta and a roman chasuble (though they saw the front of it for the most part!)

Music was appropriate - standard hymns ("For all the Saints") and Litany of the Saints (a capella) for Holy Communion.


All Saint's Day: Nothing out of the ordinary. "For All the Saints" to start and "Blest Are They" to end. There was an interesting Litany -- instead of naming intentions, people were invited to offer the name of a beloved saint, and everyone replied: "Pray for us."

All Soul's Day: Can we say "atrocious." The homilist actually began with an off-color joke and then proceeded to talk about Sartre and evolution! What?!


The Wednesday 5:15 was packed - lots of families meeting one another after work or school - some dads and moms in suits, some kids still in school uniforms - students from the nearby University - retirees.

Introduced the new music director - He played the organ like a pro and sang with a cantor, who we were told would soon be entering full communion with the Church from Orthodoxy. (Man - tough break for them - this gal can really sing). The two of them managed to get the whole place actually singing with vigor. I don't know squat about music, but even I could tell that these folks knew what they were doing. We sang traditional hymns and chanted the litany of the saints. People sang LOUDLY, and to my untrained ear, well. It was pretty amazing.

(Saw the most beautiful pair of very newly born twins - one in pink, one in blue - brings tears to my eyes just thinking of them and their sweet family)

We're using our newly installed kneelers - it has created a more reverent sense of what is happening in our presence - and with that a deeper sense of, dare I say it, community.

Left with a great sense of gratitude to God -for the Church, the Saints, our Dominican priests, the people who packed that building, those babies. My hypercritical self was just overwhelmed.

Jeff Culbreath

Where: St. Therese of Lisieux Roman Catholic Chapel, Chico, California.

When: Feast of All Saints

Liturgy: Traditional Latin Mass (1962)

Priest: Fr. Frank Poncelet

Homily: On the designations given by the Church to holy men and women (Servant of God, Venerable, etc.). A story about the life of Dr. Tom Dooley, Servant of God, and a miracle personally experienced by the priest due to his intercession.


I attended a different church than I usually attend because my church did not have an evening Mass. My spiritual director just happened to be celebrating, and he gave an excellent homily, disputing the common assumption that we're all saintly and noting the particular holiness of the saints. I hope he'll get a bit more input at this particular parish.


All Souls Day, Ascension and St. Agnes (Episcopal/Anglo-Catholic), Washington, DC

Sang the Victoria Requiem, the Absolve Domine & Libera me chants, and a setting of "In paradisum" by the organist/choirmaster.

Couldn't hear the homily well - no microphones, and I'm a singer so I'm back up in the choir loft.


I bust a gut to get to my All Saints Mass on Wednesday evening (North East UK) from work. The Church was nearly empty and our eccentric priest said he wasn't keen on the 'top' saints as he described them, preferring 'Tom, Dick and Harriet', whom, I guess, he seemed to be suggesting were the ones venerated on All Saints Day, maybe he's right. Our parish is a bit of a lottery, sometimes we're lucky and we get the 'good priest' other times we get the above 'Saint basher'. His liturgy is always spot on though, which is weird.

Glad I went though because I'd hate to miss a Holy Day of Obligation and I always enjoy Mass.

All Souls, different church, same attendence level,very by the book and low key. At 44 I was the youngest! (possibly apart for 1 lady who may have been younger). The older you are I guess, the more Souls you might have to pray for.

Joe Marier


Roamin' Roman

Lest mary martha think she's alone... I too attended a glorious All Souls' Day Mass, Mozart's Requiem, with full orchestra and Chorale.

It certainly wasn't at the parish I work (suburbs...), and it wasn't at my home parish (Cathedral - though I bet they had a nice one too), but at the famous (infamous?) St. Agnes parish in St. Paul MN.

The All Souls' Day Mass is an annual tradition, with packed pews. Glorious. I missed it last year since I was in Rome (*waaah*, I know :) so I made it a point to go this year. Everything I remembered and more!

This year, of course, there were quite a few differences, at least in clergy... (for the record, Fr. Altier is doing fine, and is more active now than ever!) Fr. Ubel was the main celebrant, as the new pastor, assisted by the new associate Fr. Kasel (and his brother, a few years behind him in seminary, was serving), and a few other priests I didn't know. There were at least two deacons, one of which is a good friend of mine who was just transferred to St. Agnes from the Cathedral. And, par for the course at this parish, at least 16 altar boys in varying ages, in the black and white. No wonder they have had up to 11 seminarians from the parish at one time! Fr. Ubel's homily was excellent, of course, talking about the Last Things, death, judgment, heaven and hell ("very relevant subject, being that not one of us can avoid them") and tying in Dunne's poetry anthropomorphizing Death, concluding with the zinger that, after Christ's resurrection, it is only Death who now dies (as in, whether it's heaven or hell, death itself is no more!). A beautiful homily on the Christian Hope, while not losing sight of the fact that Christ's triumph over death is in some ways a two-edged sword - depending on whether one chooses to live in communion with Him or not.

As for the music, I must have learned some more Latin while I was in Rome, because I barely had to look at the little Mass leaflet to find our place in the Dies Irae - and I loved Mozart's setting of this sequence even more this time around! What a glorious story in music that is, whether or not you understand every word! It's up there with Handel's Messiah in my book. I badly want a CD of it now!! (Any ideas on good ones?)

Also of note, I was pleasantly surprised to see, in the pews, a whole bunch of Jesuit novices from the local novitiate! Weird. Great, but weird. Since the SJs have care of one of the oldest churches in the Cities, St. Luke's (one that could be one of the prettiest too... if they can un-wreckovate it), I would love to see them learn something from the St. Agnes liturgy and apply it at home. Here's to hoping...

Oh, as for All Saints' Day, I also went to St. Agnes for that one too. It was a nice quiet Latin Mass (rather like many of the ones I went to in Rome) with a small choir.

It's always funny to me how we make a huge deal out of All Saints' Day - giving it Holy Day status - and then, on the more important day of All Souls' (in my opinion, seeing that those are the ones who NEED prayers!) it's just a feast. But then, we go all out on celebrations for All Hallows' Eve, and all out for the Masses on All Souls' Day - so I guess it all evens out anyway. :)


All Saint's Day - Our Lady of Good Counsel, Kansas City, MO.

No music; there never is for the daily masses. Concluded with a cappella "Holy God We Praise Thy Name," which, because it is sung so often at that parish, everyone seemed to know by heart.

Homily was excellent as usual, even though the Monsignor seems to be starting to feel his age. Talked about the three Churches by name - Militant, Triumphant, and Suffering. Also used our NFL football franchise as an analogy (the saints in heaven are cheering for us, the players). Pretty cool analogy for a sports fan like me.

Ended with prayer for the defeat of Amendment 2 and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, which is said at the conclusion of every Mass there.

I really miss that parish. I have a feeling I'll be back there as a registered parishioner soon.


Early morning Mass Nov. 1 at the local Carmelite convent-- have to get the kiddies to Mass, then to school...

The Jesuit celebrant (the SJ's from the local university rotate through taking care of Mass for the nuns) seemed to deliberately conflate All Saints' Day with All Souls'-- reminding us all that our loved ones are all in heaven, all praying for us. Good grief. No discussion of any actual canonized saints, and no suggestion that, this being the month of November, we pray for our beloved dead, as opposed to presuming they will be doing same for us...

One up side-- I spotted one of my kids' teachers at the Mass. Didn't even know she was Catholic...


St. John Cantius Church, Chicago, Illinois

I attended here more as a matter of convenience than anything else - I had to work a bit late, so the 7:30 P.M. service was just right. As posted above by Mary Martha, the Mass was excellent, and a good sermon was preached.Had to explain my late arrival at home to my non-Catholic spouse who was in a not-understanding-Catholic-ways mood.


Blessed Kateri, Santa Clarita, Ca.

4:30 on Wednesday. It was a children focused Mass because of religious education classes. Our Monsignor is getting up in age and morphing into a beloved uncle that tells the same stories, occationally forgets things, and literally glows when the kids come up to him. Our parish, in competing with Halloween, has the children dress up as their favorite saint, which is usually a step up in the dress code. i hate saying this, but I like going to Mass on non Sundays because I feel like I am with the "true believers". They are teaching moments and you are forced to break the routine of the week in communion with other Catholics.

My issue with All Saints Day is it really exposes how badly we have catachized saints vs. Saints (vs. All Souls, for that matter) in general. My third grade son came home and told me they were taught that day at R.E. that Blessed Kateri (parish patron) was in purgatory until she "perfoms" another miracle. His instructor is a very nice, holy lady, but come on.


Providence College 4:30 All Saiths Day mass.

I took 3 of the 4 kids to this mass as a PC student tutors my eldest in math. The mass was pretty much full in their beautiful releatvely new chapel.


The homily was three sentences long. No music. However, the sense of reverence amongst the students was palpable. I was so pleased that my chilldren witnessed the hundreds of students going to mass where their parents weren't "making them go". I have been encountering a bit of that! :(

Joe Gloor

A very welcome comment by the Pastor at last Sunday's Mass was to the effect that Wednesday is a Holy Day of Obligation which means that if we don't see you on Wednesday we need to see you in the confessional before we see you receiving Communion next week.
On Wednesday the priest described how if you ask people if they could be a saint they usually will tell you no (but possibly a martyr if they were killed quickly) but that we are all called to be saints.

All human souls in Heaven are saints or martyrs. So we should all be hoping that we become one or the other, no?


St. Michael's, Fernandina Beach, FL
Morning mass- No Music, no singing--ahh, beautiful silence. The retired,wonderful priest-in-residence, Fr. Neil Cornelli was celebrating the 69th anniversary of his ordination!


7pm Mass
Fort Wayne, IN

We had a large crowd, pretty much equal to a Saturday evening service. Unlike our normal Saturday services, the music before service was wonderful... just our fine music director, singing a latin chant without any piano or organ... she filled the room with her voice. Our current priest-on-loan provided a suitable service, talking about how everyone one of is a saint-in-the-making -- but I miss the fire of our previous priest, especially around voting time.


Filling in the gaps on CTK, Atlanta.

The processional was "For All The Saints," a rousing victorious song pinched from the Anglicans, tune by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

The recessional was "Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones," another majestic victorious song pinched from the Anglicans (I think).

The lady organist played both tunes waaay too slow, making them dirges rather than songs of majesty and victory.

Fr. M used the pumpkin saints (pumpkin dolled up by the school children to be a famous saint) as a prop to make his point that saints are not born perfect; only Mary was born without sin.

For All Souls Day, they sang the Rutter Requiem at an evening Mass.

Eric the Read

All Saints' Day Mass, St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton, Fort Collins, CO

I think I picked the wrong day to bring my Evangelical Episcopalian friend to Mass with me, or at least the wrong church (it's not my home parish). St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton is the epitome of all the worst aspects of modern church design. There weren't even any pews for heaven's sake! Just a bunch of chairs arranged in pew-like formations on the floor, without even any kneelers. Apparently, we were supposed to pick up the missals on our way in, but I missed that, and ended up humming most of the songs (this is one time I'll concede my preference for hymnody left me hanging).

The homily started off oddly, but ended up being very good. The priest, whose name eludes me for the moment, spent a great deal of time talking about his travel woes, and about how his luggage got lost during a recent trip to Italy, and how when he visited the Basilica of St. Anthony and prayed for his help, the luggage showed up the next morning.

After that somewhat rambling and uninspired beginning, though (I mean, did we really need to hear about how many people fiddled with the computer until he got the proper boarding pass?), he pointed out something I'd never known (or noticed) before: that in the early days of the Church, people were recognized as saints before their death, and that in art, they were portrayed with square haloes, instead of round ones, if they were alive at the time of the original work. He urged us to look for the saints among us today, and to listen to the Holy Spirit within us that urges us towards sainthood. I was very moved by the end of his homily.

A few other weirdnesses:

* No collection. Come on, at least give the people an opportunity to sacrifice!
* Again with the no pews: I found it hard to be properly reverent after Communion just sitting in a chair. There wasn't enough room between the rows to kneel either; it was a very cramped arrangement.
* The church faced west, but at least with the chairs, if they wanted to celebrate a Mass ad orientem, all they have to do is turn the chairs around. :-\


St. Edward the Confessor, Bowie MD.

All Saints--4 Masses:
1. CCD Vigil--Used children's Mass Parts and Children's Lectionary. The children were to come dressed as saints and those who did participated in the procession and recession. Father also had them each introduce their saint before his homily. They also sang a Litany of Saints that they'd been practicing in CCD. The homily was about the history of Halloween and All Saints Day.
2. Evening Vigil--not very well attended as it was during the trick-or-treating time. Hymns were For All the Saints, Blest are They, Be Not Afraid, and Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones. (I didn't go to this one, so I don't know what the homily was.)
3. 9 AM Cantor Mass--same hymns as at the evening vigil. A more grown-up version of the homily that was at the CCD Vigil.
4. 7:30 PM Choir Mass--the same hymns, but it was a very formal Mass with incense, bells, etc. The place was packed, there was no more parking.

All Souls--two Masses:
1. 9 AM--basically our normal weekday Mass with additional prayers.
2. 7:30 PM--Reading of names of parishoners and parishoner family members who had died over the past year. One candle lit for each name by the bereavement ministry. I don't remember what hymns we sang other than Amazing Grace. The homily was a real tear-jerker, because Father Foley began by telling us about a funeral he'd done 10 years ago at Arlington Cemetary where the youngest member of the family (a 3-year-old boy) kept trying to get to the grave so he could 'see where grandpa was' and had to be restrained from doing so. The now 13-year-old died on Halloween in a fire this year. His funeral is today (Friday 11/3). Pretty much all the women around me were crying for the whole homily, which was about where to find answers to the question, "Why did you take my husband/wife/son/father, Lord?"


that in the early days of the Church, people were recognized as saints before their death, and that in art, they were portrayed with square haloes, instead of round ones, if they were alive at the time of the original work.

Very interesting - I know that glorification occured organically from the people, in the early church (and now in the Orthodox tradition) but I didn't know about the square halo, thank you.

I am Orthodox, All Saint's Day is the Sunday after Pentecost.

I enjoyed the "tour around the parishes" though.

Joe Marier

Might as well give a bit more detail...

St. Johns, Mclean, VA. All Souls. They did the Declensos Requiem, and did it quite well.

My wife and I had to leave early because the amount of incense was giving her an asthma attack. I'm a fan of incense, but in a church-in-the-round with a low ceiling, it becomes pretty intense.

Sandra Miesel

For All Saints' Day, I went to the chapel of the Little Sisters of the Poor where the celebrant was their chaplain, a most devout man. We sang "For All the Saints" as an opener and "Panis Angelicus" was played (not sung) at the offertory. I don't recall what else was sung but alas the music is always played dirge-slow and the elderly residents don't sing much (especially not Latin).Fr. spoke briefly to encourage us to become saints like the Blessed.

For All Souls' I attened mass at the cemetery chapel. The celebrant was the Vicar of the Diocese in black vestments. (Hadn't seen that in at least 10 years!) Opened with "Holy, Holy, Holy" and closed with "How Great Thou Art." We all sang the Sanctus and Agnus Dei in English. Candles were lit in the pews and the names were read of those who died and were buried there in the past year. We were invited to write the down names of other loved ones to be placed in front of the altar for the month of November. The sermon was orthodox, about the three sections of the Church and our need to pray for the dead.

My own parish has a book of remembrance in the narthex and does an elaborate Day of the Dead display.


I went to the 5:30 Mass last night at our parish (in a northeast Nebraska community). Reading about some of the stranger goings-on (such as the above mentioned Halloween party Mass) makes me grateful for our parish. A holy-day Mass during the week is pretty low key for us, we don't do incense and the whole nine yards. But we do things properly, follow the GIRM. The deacon gave a very nice homily (and I'm not saying that just because he is my husband). He spoke of the necessity of grace and the work of the Holy Spirit in our sanctification.
We had a skeleton crew up in the choir loft. There were 2 men and 3 ladies. Our leader played guitar for the Mass parts, and I played two traditional hymns on the organ. They had to do without an alto voice for those, because I'm not one of those talented people who can play and sing at the same time. What Amy said, about having a sense of Church, I also felt. That's one of many reasons why I feel at home in our parish.

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