Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Inaugural Mass - Friday, November 15th, 2013

Friday, November 15th 2013 at 6:10pm, was a historic date and time for the city and county of St. Barbara. We, the Sodality of Garcia Diego, held our first Mass in the Casa Loyola Chapel in downtown Santa Barbara. The Mass was presided by Father Andrew B. Garcia, S.J., the Associate Pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church.

We began, singing to our God, whose help in ages past and whose hope for years to come, shepherds us in our journey. We chanted the Kyrie, Santus/Benedictus, & Agnus Dei. In between, Father Andrew gave a great homily beginning with St. Albert the Great (1193/1206 – November 15, 1280), the educator of St. Thomas Aquinas. He was a unique and special bishop, very smart and humble. Father continued his homily on the idea of apocalypse. As we come closer to the season of Advent, and the birth of Christ, the readings become more apocalyptic and urgent. Apocalypse at its meaning is knowledge, the unveiling of that which is hidden. Hidden knowledge is unveiling God in his glory of triumph of good over evil. Finally, wisdom and knowledge are two different things. To be knowledgeable is not necessarily to be wise. Wisdom is part of active faith. I have barely dipped my toe into Father's homily, but I must stop here!

During communion, we chanted the Ave Verum as we received the body and blood of our Lord, and Father Andrew concluded the Mass with a solemn blessing. During the closing hymn, With Thy Holy Benediction, we continued to pray to Christ that he guide us in our journey, pour blessings upon us, that we may be pure, and to never cease in gladness, to glorify the Lord. The closing hymn held what could be some of the most perfect prayer through lyrics:

1. We pray thee, heav'nly Father, to hear us in thy love, and pour upon thy children the unction from above; That so in love abiding, from all defilement free, we may in pureness offer a sacrifice to thee. With thy holy benediction upon our souls outpoured, may we never cease, in gladness, to glorify the Lord. 
2. Be thou our guide and helper, O Jesus Christ, we pray; So may we well approach thee, if thou wilt be the way: Thou, very truth, hast promised to help us in our strife, food of the weary pilgrim, eternal source of life. With thy holy benediction upon our souls outpoured, may we never cease, in gladness, to glorify the Lord. 

I was incredibly impressed at our level of singing/chanting. Never hold back when it comes to proclaiming God's truth through music. May we keep it up, as it keeps up the spirit of the group as we move forward together. 

A good time was had by all at Harry's Plaza Cafe after the Mass. 

God Bless you all,

Director of Liturgy and Music

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