See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christ Mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul



Details.
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Fr. Adams was the celebrant for the Mass at mid-day. He is one of the finest young priests I have ever met. Really. He is awesome.
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The Rector, Fr. Joseph Johnson is too. The Cathedral has taken on a new aura... there seems to be an 'odor of sanctity' unlike ever before. I'm not exaggerating.
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I arrived early for Mass, entering the Cathedral by the side door. I looked towards the back and noticed hundreds of lights draping Our Lady of Victory Chapel. As I moved closer, the display became more intriguing. Finally, standing in front of St. Joseph's chapel, I looked across, the impression was heavenly, it reminded me of Christmas in Rome, or Naples. The entire chapel was draped and festooned with antique gold and white sheer fabric. Magnificent runs of what appeared to be silk illusion, with lights sprinkled through the cascades. (I apologize that I do not have any photos yet.)
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The crowds of families obstructed my view of the actual creche. Finally I got near enough to sneak into the side of the chapel, hidden behind the great columns and lighted birch tree branches the size of trees. The roof of the creche was laden with a large cascade of white and red Peruvian roses falling from the gable down each side. The same roses were arranged in huge bouquets on either side of the creche. In the background loomed the beautiful marble statue of Our Lady of Victory, and above her crown was the star of Bethlehem, while the extravagantly tented fabric streamed down to enclose the entire tableaux.
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I do not even do it justice trying to describe it here - it must be seen in person. If you live in the Twin City area, you should make the pilgrimage to venerate the Holy Infant in this sumptuous setting which so glorifies the Incarnation. It is the finest Nativity I have ever seen in this region.
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A visit to the St. Joseph chapel is rewarded with lovely displays of flowers and roses - designed and donated by the same person who donated her time, money, and talent to construct the beautiful presepe for Our Lady's chapel... the very talented designer, Anne Marie Hanson. God reward her for such a lovely Christmas gift to the Cathedral. By her generosity, those who visit the chapel get a little glimpse of heaven in these dark days, while her art lifts the poor in spirit above the worries and cares of the world.
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The sanctuary itself is magnificently decorated as well, all in red, with more lights adding sparkle to the festal processional banners. Yet there is another detail, perhaps taken for granted by many. The Father Rector has taken care that all of the altars throughout the immense Cathedral are properly covered in altar cloths, and for Christmas, every altar is illuminated with candles, three on either side of the tabernacle, glowing and warming a pilgrim's heart.
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I have never experienced the Cathedral in such a manner before... It is such a holy place. That's all I really wanted to say.

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Visit the Cathedral website: http://www.cathedralsaintpaul.org/

7 comments:

  1. Geez Terry, Merry 2nd day of Christmas...

    I couldn't find your St. Blogs the other day (I read your explanation below) - then had found AR was invite only...

    Thanks for fixing it!

    You're like the Phantom of the Blog World! xD

    Lotsa hugs & blessings, whether you want them or not! :)

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  2. Thanks, Ray! Er, Ter!

    The Cathedral is worth a visit anytime. It's quite spectacular.

    They also need donations for repairs, so any one reading this, please send the Cathedral some money if you can!

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  3. We can only hope my brother wandered down there and was moved to something that resembled piety instead of "screaming" invective at the Church.

    Did you get pictures?????? I hope - I hope!

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  4. We went to the Cathedral about 10 years ago. I had always wanted to go when we lived in Wi and visited St. Paul. All the way up the hill my 12 year old son kept repeating in a mournful voice. "Church is goin got last forever.." I finally asked him why. His reply "Communion is going to take forever in this church." He was pleasantly surprised. It is a beautiful church.

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  5. Alejandra Hall7:25 PM

    Merry Christmas, Terry!

    We became associate members of the Cathedral last year because we were spending a lot of time there!
    The confession times are really convenient for us and Fr. Cozzens is an excellent confessor, so is Fr. Johnson (have not tried Fr. Adams yet).
    We try to divide our time equally between St. Agnes and the Cathedral but lately we have been spending too much time there. The Mass is celebrated very reverently since Fr. Johnson was named Rector.

    (Tried to send you a Merry Christmas wish earlier but got a funny message saying you needed to invite me or sthing like that)

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  6. Anonymous7:43 PM

    Merry Christmas, Terry ... from Florida ...
    Thank you for the description of the Mass ... we went to the midnight Mass at the Cathedral in St. Augustine ... very nice there too.

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  7. Terry- I remembered this post and stopped at the Cathedral when I was in the area today. It was as magnificent as you described! Even though the roses near the altar of Our Lady were starting to fade a little, their scent was still intoxicating. Made me think of Saint Therese.
    I did not have my camera along--- did you happen to get any photos of the creche? I fear that with Epiphany being tomorrow the decor will be gone soon so I probably will not have a chance to photograph it.

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