In the past week we've had a Trinitarian experience - 3 very holy events to attend. Last week I mentioned that we attended the funeral Mass for Bishop Kaffer. A very beautiful tribute to a very holy man.
On Saturday, we once again found ourselves back in the Cathedral for the diocesan ordination Mass. Three men were ordained into the church and, having never been to an ordination before, I have to say it was a very beautiful and moving experience. A friend of mine said he was thinking about how the young men must have felt the night before and that it probably was a lot like how we all felt the day before we got married - nervous, excited and a bit fearful of what it would be like.
At one point during the ordination ceremony, after the men were actually ordained, the Bishop presented each new priest with a chalice filled with wine and a paten with a host on it and said to them, "Understand what you do and imitate what you celebrate". What a beautiful saying for a priest to remember. It was too bad that there weren't as many priests at the ordination as there had been at the funeral, for I think it would be a good reminder to them of what their own ordination had been like and it might help to rekindle any flames that might be dying out (you know, kind of like how a good anniversary celebration with your spouse does the same thing :)
Unfortunately, due to the length of the Mass and the fact that we had another event to go to, we did not get our new priest blessing. However, we often go to the parish where one of the priests is now "stationed" and so I intend on finding him and asking him for it soon!
During both Masses at the Cathedral, the choir was outstanding. They sang a rendition of the Alleluia that I have never heard before. It is called the Salisbury Alleluia. If you've never heard it before, either, it is very dramatic. I was hoping to find someone's rendition of it to put up here but unfortunately I could only find one and it didn't do it justice. Anyhow, during this Alleluia, the Deacon, escorted by seminanrians with candles, processed around the front of the altar and up the steps to the ambo. By the time he got there, you really felt the awe of what he was about to proclaim. With the dramatic music and the deacon holding up the Gospels, you really felt like the Word of God was present. I must pass on the advise given to me: If you've not been to an ordination before, I would highly encourage you to go!
The third event was last night. Two of our daughters received the Sacrament of Confirmation by a Bishop who performed it according to the Latin Rite. While I could not understand any of it, the ceremony was very beautiful. You could just feel the reverence of the Bishop and his love for the church. There were 28 girls and boys that came from three different states to be a part of this awesome experience. I am so glad that we had the chance to participate in this very intimate and holy gathering. Welcome into the fullness of the church, our two new Soldiers of Christ: Joan and Mary-Agnes. (Notice their oily foreheads. The girls said the Bishop made the sign of the cross and then rubbed the oil in with quite a bit of enthusiasm!)
Through all of the events of this past week, I got the sense that God has been showing me the beauty of the Catholic Church. I know that sometimes we get bogged down by the problems we encounter in it, but if we take a moment to search it out, the beauty, the splendor and the majesty of our beloved Church is still there.