Sunday, July 29, 2012

Rejoice with St. Wendelin

Sunday in Cleveland, and another Parish church has an Homecoming Mass with a full house, in this case 600+. Along the utility poles on Columbus Avenue banners were festooned, a Slovak flag with text.
An half hour before scheduled Mass and people are entering. The church is finally opened.
The holy water fount was filled to-day with freshly blessed water. The old church bell cast in 1903 sits with a long handled mallet. A Mass begins with a call from a bell. For years, a parishioner had swung the mallet. He died since it was last formally used, his son rang it to-day. The bell was applauded by the congregation. Bells, candles, holy water, altar lamps are sacramentals (blessed objects and such that increase religious devotion, and have a sense of holiness).
a rood group, rood means cross
St. Wendelin is not a cathedral, but a very brick solid parish church. A parish is a community, and one mark is people enjoy each other's company and linger on. St. Wendelin is such an one.
After the Hosanna, people kneel. This particular Divine Mercy gonfalone has been a part of three church Homecomings, and before that many street prayer vigils (primarily at St. Casimir) and other demonstrations.
The preferable term is 'altar lamp', some say 'tabernacle light'. The new pastor, Fr. Robert Kropac does the lighting after Communion. Jesus' presence is again in the tabernacle. The lighting was also applauded.

Fr. Kropac spoke friendly and comfortably to his new parish. A couple of his former parishioners from St. Henry were in the first row to greet him before Mass. To-morrow, he begins his assignment with St. Peter's, but most of the congregation has left the building. Wendelin's parishioners are wondering how will this balance out? especially for the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Paschal Vigil).
Command the children of Israel that they bring thee the purest oil of the olives, and beaten with a pestle: that a lamp may burn always, In the tabernacle of the testimony, without the veil that hangs before the testimony. And Aaron and his sons shall order it, that it may give light before the Lord until the morning. It shall be a perpetual observance throughout their successions among the children of Israel. — Exodus xxvii. 20-1. DRC
The Mass ends with a procession, as it began.
After Mass the new bells pealed for a long and happy duration.

It has been a hot July in Cleveland. People at St. Casimir, two weeks ago, were in high heat and humidity, and people were fanning themselves constantly. Here, at Wendelin, the air was far less close, but at one moment it got warm and the simultaneous fanning began, but soon subsided. The fan is a souvenir of the day, and reminder for next week. I have only seen such fans in African-American congregations (often advertising funeral homes) before. No, fans are not sacramentals.

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