Thursday, March 08, 2007

Photos of the Institute of Christ the King's Mass at the Cathedral Basilica

On Wednesday, March 7th, 2007, the traditional feast day of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest held the first Tridentine Latin Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis since (so I was told) the year 1970.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri - Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest celebrating Mass in commemoration of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri - Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest celebrating Mass in commemoration of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri - Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest celebrating Mass in commemoration of Saint Thomas Aquinas - Father Karl W. Lenhardt preaches the homily

Father Karl W. Lenhardt preaches the homily from the Cathedral's ornate pulpit. He gave thanks and appreciation to our Archbishop, the rector and the parishioners of the Cathedral, among others, for the opportunity to offer Mass here.

Father Lenhardt preached on Matthew 5:13-19, from the Sermon on the Mount.

13 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men. 14 You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. 16 So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. 17 Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. 18 For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
His homily strongly emphasized that we come to knowledge through our senses. Teachers impart knowledge via our senses, and so a church and its liturgy ought to do the same. Also, he pointed out that "we are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, so that we can see more than they," quoting Bernard of Chartres, alluding to the the organic development of the traditional liturgy.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri - Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest celebrating Mass in commemoration of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri - Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest celebrating Mass in commemoration of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri - Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest celebrating Mass in commemoration of Saint Thomas Aquinas


Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri - Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest celebrating Mass in commemoration of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Note: I normally don't like to photograph the Mass, since that could be disruptive to others and also distracting to my own worship. I'd rather photograph things than people, since I'm not good at photographing people, and especially since very many people don't like to see themselves in photos. This was a special occasion, though, and I'm sure some people may want to see these.

11 comments:

  1. Notes on the photos: to avoid disruption by using a tripod,these photos were taken with a high light amplification setting on my digital camera (ISO 800), and so the pictures have a lot of grain and noise in them. I did extensive noise reduction to the pictures in Photoshop, but that ended up muting much of the color detail in the mosaics, as well as adding blur.

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  2. Mark,

    That's my son (in the picture with the Monsignor in choir) right in the front row, with glasses, scoping out the mosaics instead of looking at homilist. ;-)

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  3. Timman:

    OH NO!

    I was wondering whether or not to post that picture, but that was my only photo of that side of the sanctuary. Better that your son is looking around rather than looking bored.

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  4. Thanks for the pictures!
    Funny thing about homilies...I was there and heard the same homily as you but I totally got something else out of it. I suppose you never know what the Holy Spirit is doing!

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  5. Catherine,

    You are most welcome.

    During Father Lenhardt's homily, some sort of allergy gave me a severe coughing fit, so I had to go outside for a while, so I did miss part of his sermon.

    I suppose we often just hear what interests us personally. What do you recall from his homily?

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  6. Excellent pictures! And don't be too hard on the kid. I know, from frequent personal experience, that it's quite possible to be paying full attention to the homily while looking at the Resurrection window in the transept or the painting of St. Venantius up over the nave arches. I doo it all the time.

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  7. I also look around a lot.

    Actually, that was one of the reasons for the iconoclasm in our Catholic churches in recent decades: they don't want people to become distracted from active participation in the Mass by looking at artwork. Even the recent U.S. Bishops' documents on church design mention distraction as a reason for reducing the amount of art in a church.

    However, the beautiful art at least keeps my mind active: I may be looking around, but I'm still listening. In an iconoclastic church, my mind sometimes wanders, and I end up in a daydream, which I think is far worse than being distracted by visual art.

    Actually, keeping people alert is one reason why Catholic churches traditionally have hard wooden benches for seating. Make people too comfortable, and they might snooze. But if you really want to keep people alert, you would remove all of the pews and have people stand during Mass! (Having of course a few chairs available for the sick and elderly.) Standing is the really traditional way of attending Mass. Pews are a Protestant invention: you have to sit down in order to listen to three hour sermons. Actually, I've been to enough crowded Masses where a good percentage of the people have to stand and then kneel on the hard stone floor, and I actually prefer that to sitting in a pew.

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  8. Greetings from the UK.

    In fact, he's not the only one fascinated by the beautiful mosaics - look at the chap behind him to his left.

    Beauthful pictures and, I'm sure, it was a beautiful Mass.

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  9. Thank you for the beautiful photos - it was very uplifintg to see such a spectacular cathedral.
    Sadly we have been taught to sacrifice our God given artistic gifts for mediocrity. So many in the hierarchy want us to think of God's Holy Temple as being equal to any utilitarian and secular building.
    Transcendence as part of the christian reality is now reduced to saying such as "Things go better with Jesus - and/or Coke."

    Thank you for your great work!

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  10. Magnificent ! I have discovered your photographies from a blog located in Poland !

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