My 8-year old valiantly struggled to stay awake for Mass at midnight last night. But, the church was warm and cozy, the words of the Te Deum (in English) were rhythmic enough to make it hard for him to keep those heavy eyelids open during the end of the prayers during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. He soon succumbed to his tired body and was sound asleep at the end of a pew, resting on a jacket and sweater. There was no complaint about going straight to bed when we arrived home (around 2 a.m.).
Reposition of the Blessed Sacrament was more formal than the weekly reposition that normally occurs on Sunday morning, just prior to the 10 am Mass. Last night, Father wore beautiful vestments and wore a Cope for elevation of the monstrance and the actual reposition. It was the first time for the younger altar servers to assist with a Cope, but you could tell they were pleased to be a part of the solemn occasion.
Bishop Vann, Fr. Bob, and four altar servers processed into the church, incense billowing, miter and staff prominent in such a small place. Although there is an (untuned) piano in the church, I have never heard it used. At the English Masses, no instrumentation is used, even during the hymns from missalettes. It followed that pattern last night. It was quite pleasant to have a group of people in the pews singing so enthusiastically with all the Mass ordinaries and hymns. We also got very good participation from them on the Ave Maria. It was an honor to be able to sing when the bishop came to San Mateo.
This morning, I am awake and thinking about getting ready soon. I was asked by a friend, who is director at another parish in the city, to sing with them for the noon Mass today. We'll be singing the Communion proper Exsulta filia Sion. It isn't one I have had the opportunity to sing at Mass before... I'm looking forward to it, although I am still a wee bit weary. It is the proper Communon chant for Christmas Mass at dawn and also the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Perhaps next year the schola can learn it.
Several forum friends and past Chant Intensive attendees will soon be heading out to San Diego for the Winter Chant Intensive with Scott Turkington. It would have been very nice to be able to go, but just not possible this time of year. In the weeks prior to Christmas we got several updates on how people from the Summer Chant Intensive were doing in their cities... I'll post some excerpts in the coming days. Good things are happening in the world of Sacred Music.