Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mass in Nantucket

This is the Catholic Church in Nantucket, three blocks from where we are staying. It didn't take more than a few seconds to notice that every building, even the Church, is sided in shingles that are allowed to gray naturally, in keeping with the historic bylaws of the island.

Just look at this house, and you will see that it, too, is sided with shingles that give it that natural aged look, so sought after by the locals.

Gotta try really hard not to use buildings for landmarks here, because they are all the same colour! Actually, they allow seven different colours for trim and clapboard siding, but most people just seem to prefer shingles.

Now here is a sign I can relate to! This is posted right inside the church, in the doors of the main entrance.

The back of the church has several statues. I'm not familiar with which saint this one depicts.

The Church has a choir loft, but I'm not sure if it is used any more. There is a choir area to the left of the sanctuary, in keeping with true Vatican II style.

The Tabernacle is off to the side of the sanctuary, but at least it's at the front of the Church, and not shoved off into a side chapel somewhere. Still, though it made me think that poor Jesus is relegated to second place, especially when I saw that the EMHC were used to offer the Eucharist to the people while one of the two priests gave out the Precious Blood. True, there were probably eighty people at daily Mass, more than I have ever seen, with two EMHC serving alongside of two priests, but is that really an extraordinary situation? Not having the EMHC may have delayed Mass by about two minutes, and since most people here are on vacation with no schedules, I found it difficult to rationalize their use at all.

We used the dreaded OCP hymnals called "Breaking Bread," something we don't see in my neck of the woods in Canada. Now that I have been exposed to these mundane songs that don't really qualify as hymns, I can really sympathize with those who have to suffer through them. It's very tempting to just close the hymnal and pray for better use of liturgical music, and in fact, I did just that.

One good thiing is that the church is open until 7 PM at night, for anyone who wants to go in and pray before the Tabernacle. I plan on doing just that for every day I am here.


Anonymous said...

I am guessing the statue is St. Anthony.

Mary-Therese said...

Oooh... so sorry you had to endure the OCP! Our parish uses it and I did in fact have to sing weekly from it when I cantored for nearly a year. I've since 'retired' and am so grateful that I can do as you did... choose not to sing but rather pray for a return to beauty in our liturgical music.

The picture of the statue you posted looks a good deal like St. Anthony...

Patrick said...

Is that statue not a depiction of St. Anthony of Padua?

Therese said...

My husband and I just found out that our church is open every day. We are going to start going regularly to pray in front of the tabernacle (off in the side room) and pray for our parish.

paramedicgirl said...

Thanks everyone! I also thought it might be St. Anthony, but the only other statue I have ever seen of St. Anthony looks quite a bit different. Does anyone know why he always depicted holding the Child Jesus?

AquinaSavio: said...

Tradition has said that the Infant Jesus appeared to St. Anthony. The Church does not know this for sure, but apparently it has been widely accepted since he is always depicted holding Jesus.

BTW, I'm really sorry to hear that you don't like the Breaking Bread "hymnals." I think they are wonderful. :P

318@NICE said...

I was just wondering what is the theological significance of having the Tabernacle off to the side and not on the altar.
At the chapel I attend (where we do the Latin rite only) the tabernacle which contains the body of Christ (his body, soul, and divinity) is placed right on the center of the altar and in front of it the relic stone of the saints. Our altar is set up this way because at Mass, Christ is the center of our worship and the Priest faces Christ with this back to us because he is mediating for us. And the relic stone is in the altar itself as the book of Revelation teaches that the martyrs are under the altar.

But why is the tabernacle in the NO moved to the side and not the center of the worship?
I know that in the NO the priest faces the people the whole time and stands behind the altar like the Protestant Churches do. Is it that the priest is to be the center of worship in the new order?

Just wondering. Personally, I like the altar set up of the Latin rite, because for me its theologically correct and comes from the Scriptures.

If anyone knows the theological significance of the NO altar set up, please let me know, for my education.

Divine Mercy said...

the statue is saint anthony. we have one like it in our church. as for the shingled look, i kind of like it:) its quaint, and nice. kinda reminds me of the old country style look you see with the older homes.

paramedicgirl said...

Trevor, I know you're just kidding about liking the OCP hymnals! I have heard lots of griping on CAF about them, and now I know why. Yesterday, being the feast day for St. John the Baptist, we sang "Come to the Water" - twice. Yes, twice.

Dave, I think the theological reason for shoving Jesus off to the side is so that the presider doesn't have to compete with Him.

AquinaSavio: said...

Lol...yes, I was kidding. ;)

Therese said...

When the tabernacle is of on the side or in a different room it makes it look as if we are embarassed to have Jesus in our church. We have to have him there but he is such an embarassment that he will have to go over to the side.