Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception!
Amy Welborn used to have, on her old blog, a "What did you see/hear" feature in which she would open up her blog's comments for people to share their experiences at Mass--not in a "catalog of negativity" sense, but in what I'd call more of a "snapshot of American Catholic experience" sense.
Since she hasn't done that feature in a while, I'm going to borrow...okay, blatantly steal...it for today. I wouldn't ordinarily do this, though; we're usually at one parish and singing in the choir which makes it less likely that I'd notice anything in particular unless it were really out of the ordinary.
We attended Mass last night at a church about 40 minutes (as it turned out) away in traffic, as I mentioned yesterday. I was a little surprised by some things: for instance, the music was provided by one woman singing unaccompanied; now, she was clearly a well-trained singer and was more than up to the task--her rendition of Schubert's Ave Maria was lovely--but only a couple of hymns were sung, and only one Mass part, the chanted Agnus Dei in Latin. I think this is an example of the continuing misunderstanding of how we're supposed to think of sacred music: the music of the Mass (Mass parts, etc.) is more important than music at Mass (hymns, and so on) but we tend to get this exactly backward in this country. However, it would be a lot for a single cantor to lead the whole of the Latin Chant Mass parts alone (particularly the Gloria, which can make even singers quite comfortable and familiar with it stumble on occasion), so perhaps the situation was more one of the lack of availability of the choir than anything else.
Overall, though, the Mass was lovely, the homily a good one (Father quoted Tennyson's poem, which is always a good thing!), and nothing particularly earth-shaking happened. Except, perhaps, for the Obligatory Parade of EMHC's--I honestly thought, as we waited and waited and waited for all of them to receive Holy Communion so they could help distribute the Blessed Sacrament to the rest of us, that it would have taken far less time for Father and the deacon simply to have handled it all (except, of course, the Precious Blood would not have been offered).
Still, compared to some people's experiences, I have nothing whatever to complain about, and plenty of gratitude that this vigil Mass was even available.
Now--how about you? What did you see/hear at Mass today or last night?