Unlike our adversary, the Devil, I'm taking a couple of Sundays off but that doesn't mean you don't go to Mass, far from it. So I roused the slumbering team, ironed a shirt and headed out to the local RC church in Dallas. Why there? Because it was around the corner and I wanted to check it out.
St. Cecilia's was set-up as a Swedish congregation back in the day and was an interesting church, with an attractively painted Sanctuary and Stations of the Cross. I know this because I went to Mass there years ago and was surprised at the European aspect of the place. Then it burned down and they built a new church, modern basilica style, sort of thing.
|As it Was|
It's an airy space, all tones of white with beige brick and an arresting brass tabernacle up against the east wall behind the small freestanding altar. But what was the Mass like? Just what you'd expect. A high-pitched woman cantorite banged away on an amplified piano and led the congregation in song. Not that anyone sang, because the setting was unsingable. You know the tune, you hear it burbling away in the background at retreat center bookshops.
The liturgy was standard too. The Priest sat off to the side of the tabernacle in an outsize chair, or "throne," accompanied by an elderly Deacon and a youth in a cassock alb who held the Missal for the Celebrant. He moved to the altar at the Offertory and took it from there. All well and good and, like the music, exactly what you'd expect. Reverent enough, no clowns, no dancing, but not really liturgical either. Move from the Chair to the Altar, and there you have the stunning simplicity of liturgical reform. Well done, experts of the 1970s, for doing your part to destroy over a thousand years of worshiping tradition.
|A Catholic Mass|
Still, I shouldn't complain, the Mass was said, the church was full, the people were faithful and the team left St. Cecilia's edified and uplifted by Word and Sacrament at this onetime outpost of Sweden in Dallas.