Friday, November 25, 2016

Requiem Mass? Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, in a couple hours we need 6 candlesticks...

The Requiem Mass in the Extraordinary Form requires a few different things that the funeral Mass in the Ordinary Form.  Thinks like black vestments and a black pall, a catafalque, and six candle stands that surround the catafalque are items beyond what is used in any other Mass in the Extraordinary Form, and even a priest who offers it occasionally is less likely to have these things.

So when a member of our chapter decided to honor her mother with a Requiem Mass, we set to work locating the items we did not already have, and figuring out how to make do with what we did not have.

We did pretty good finding everything, but by 10AM on the day of the Requiem Mass, we still did not have confirmed that we had located candle stands we could borrow. I had a physical therapy appointment at 11AM and was ready to trust in God's providence that they would "appear", much as everything else had. 

Wiser counsel (read: spouse) prevailed, and after being dropped off at PT, Pam went to Hobby Lobby and, with their counsel, acquired piece/parts. After picking me up we went to Home Depot and picked up some more parts. We had lunch, and at 3PM with my future son-in-law's help and grandson's critical supervision began assembling. An hour and a half later they were complete, and with an extra hour of drying time in the house, they were ready to stack in the trunk of the car!

So if you are scouring the internet trying to figure out how to make the six candle stands for the catafalque for a Requiem Mass, know that it is possible in a pinch to put something together for a modest cost that may not be the prettiest, but won't distract by being hideous or by being absent.

we started with a 10" square pine base. the base is routered on the edge to give it a nicer look. these were from Hobby Lobby. to the base we attached a 4"block. those were cut at Home Depot from an 8 foot 4x4 - which meant we had to purchase the whole thing, but hey... Montana (my mentioned soon to be relative) measured, drilled, and double screwed the block to the base.

Meanwhile, I used a belt sander to more or less smooth off the roughness from the bases, blocks, and tops. I didn't mention the tops. they are 4" squares of pine, also from Hobby Lobby, that match the base pieces.

As assembly proceeded, sanding continued. we weren't bad as an assembly line!

Pam didn't get a picture of attaching the main part to the base. we used a doubly ended screw. After drilling the block and screwing it half way in, we drilled the main part and screwed it onto the block. Ah, the main part. that was the fun bit. They are stair balusters from Home Depot. They had oak and hickory in stock, but the hickory was under $7 while the oak were about $10 so we went with the hickory. The candle cups at the top were also from Hobby Lobby. they are simple turned wood, and even have a hole in the center. We used a #10 2" wood screw to screw the cups through the predrilled holes in the top and spindle.

The sales clerk at Home Depot talked Pam into purchasing spray paint designed for a wood stove. There was expressed a fear of vapors flashing and starting a fire!

BTW, the Roman Rite bus is still in the driveway; the battery (6 years old) finally gave up the ghost... but she'll bump start rolling down the driveway backwards and I'll take her in soon for a battery and other winter service that is due.

It was only about 50 degrees outside, and the dry unprimed wood soaked up the paint very quickly. Yes I know, shame on me but time was of the essence. A light coat of paint covered well and was dry to the touch within minutes. 

 We brought them inside and put them on the dining room table (we have a high ceiling), turned a box-fan on them, and set the house heat higher. An hour later we were dressed, the new candle stands were in the trunk, and off to Mass we went! the finished result:

The pall was borrowed. It was beautiful. I haven't confirmed it but I'm pretty sure it's this one from Poland.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Bridge and St Albert the Great.

       SUMMATION of the Blessed Margaret of Castello Chapter meeting, Saturday, November 19, 2016 at St. Mark's Catholic Church in Boise.   The readings for the meeting were from "The Bridge" section of The Dialog from St. Catherine of Siena and a short biography of St Albert the Great, his feast having been celebrated this past November, 15, 2016.

     "The Bridge" per The Dialog, is the span between earth and Heaven, Jesus Christ being the Bridge.   This teaching from God the Father through St. Catherine is worth reading and reflecting on in prayers; as it bears the testimony and reflection of the Holy Scriptures.  God the Father calls each of us when He tells St. Catherine that "[y]ou who have the gift of reason were made not for yourselves but for me, to serve me with all your heart and all your love."

     The call to faith and to reason is resounded in the study of St. Albert the Great who lived in the 12th Century.  As a key originator of the scientific method  St. Albert was a "universal Doctor" or teacher not only of the queen of all sciences, theology, but also the study of all physical sciences. As St Albert taught, reason is a gift from God--to understand the natural and physical world and. Faith is given to us to learn of divine and eternal things.  God may be discovered through the light of reason; but to ultimately know Him and the Knowledge of God is in Faith.

     If people see Faith as opposed to reason, rationalism arises. It admits to no objective truth. All is relative in time. Human life becomes cheap, men and women become objects to be manipulated, and the immoral killing of innocent persons becomes the norm. Expediency is the measure of ethics and politics.

     On the other hand, if people abandon reason, and look to faith alone, feelings and experiences become the measure of truth. Mysticism and superstition arise.  Erroneous understanding of salvation  becomes evident. The universal Faith that guides the World is abandoned and each person becomes the priest and prophet of his or her own church.

    The Holy Scriptures tell us to worship God the Father, in spirit and in truth. This love of truth is to come to know a loving God, and it enables us to bear with our neighbors in truth and most certainly in Love.

     Lay Dominicans strive to comprehend the wonders of the created order but also the truths of the Faith; to grasp the goodness and beauty of God--on the path with their neighbor to Holiness.

     Please comment.

John Keenan, OPL
Formation Director
Blessed Margaret of Castello Chapter.