Saturday, September 26, 2015


I find myself busier than ever these days.

I had an order for an antependium from St. Birgitta's, and decided that perhaps I could deliver it in person and demonstrate the proper way to put it on the altar. I have a friend in that area, and could stay with her overnight; plus, she would be my chauffeur, as am, frankly, scared to death to drive in Portland!

So I made the arrangements with my friend and with the people at St. Birgitta's, and then asked for an appointment with the pastor of another parish in that area who had expressed some interest in an antependium for his altar. 

It was a fruitful trip in many ways - business-wise as well as spiritually. 

Business-wise, I received more orders; St. Birgitta's wants the full set of antependia and tabernacle veils in all of the liturgical colors, and they want a set of linens for the altar as well. St. Stephen's wants to start with an antependia for their high altar, and a veil for their very, very large tabernacle. I'm a little apprehensive about the high altar, as the mounting of the antependium will be very different from what I've done in the past, but I'm taking the challenge.

I was pleased with the St. Birgitta antependium. Here's the before-and-after:

I wish I had taken a photo with the altar set up for high Mass in the extraordinary form. My friend and I did attend the Sunday EF Mass there; it was at 9:30am - prime time!!! And the pastor told me that the traditional Latin Mass has continued to be said there for the last 45 years, uninterrupted by Vatican II shenanigans. The pastor himself sang the priest parts beautifully, and a male cantor sang the chants; it was all very beautiful! It was my friend's first time at an EF Mass, and I'm sure that will bear fruit as well.

The pastors at St. Stephen's also offer the EF Mass, but they have the typical high altar plus stand-alone altar set-up which you see in many older churches. I have a strong aversion to altars that look like dining room tables with floral arrangements in front of them!  

Although the interior of this church is really quite nice, with statues, and huge Stations of the Cross that are beautifully crafted, and some nice stained glass windows, I just find that the presence of that table in the center takes away from the awe and reverence one might experience otherwise. The pastors hinted that they would like to remove it, and that they are looking at some renovations for the sanctuary. Hurray!

Here's a close-up of the high altar:

There are a number of problems with the arrangement of a stand-alone altar set in front of a high altar. I think it's sad that many beautiful high altars are obscured from view by the stand-alone dining table. Even with a nice traditional antependium on the high altar, the effect will be minimized. One step at a time, I suppose. 

I really liked St. Birgitta's grounds. The church itself reminds me of our mission churches in my own diocese, with dark wood paneling that makes everything muted in the church itself. Well, some day perhaps there will be major renovations (or at least painting!) of these little churches. There was a large area next to the church with grass and a grove of trees. Vegetation is so different over on the West side! Here are two little shrines  they have set up there:

It was a different sort of weekend for me, since I was staying at my friend's house, and our schedule was so busy that my prayer times were minimal. But it was nice to visit with my friend and spend that time with her, and also have a chance to introduce her to the EF Mass. And it was nice to visit 3 different parishes all in one day! That's barely possible where I live, with the distances between parishes. 

I have my eye on one more parish over there - the one my friend and her family generally attend. They have a new parochial vicar who seems quite tradition-minded, so maybe he will be able to transform their altar. Sorry for the blurriness, but you see the altar - again, a dining room table with a floral arrangement in front. And no veil on the tabernacle! That always amazes me:

And hopefully, the Archbishop has already instructed them that the "resurrexifix" has to go. That cannot even be theologically correct!

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!

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