Yikes! On Monday night we celebrated the Solemn High Requiem in the EF Form for All Souls. Little did we know that the powers of light and darkness loomed heavily upon St. Joseph Church. As the names of those who died from our parish was chanted in litany form, I dimmed the lights of the Church. As the Introit began, I raised the lights to their fullness. The darkness cannot overcome the light, or can it?
The next morning, Tuesday November 3rd, during the celebration of the 8:00 AM daily OF Mass, as the Liturgy of the Word began the electricity in the church ended! Only the sunlight illuminated the interior of the Church. A small fire at a crucial power box at the rear of the church outside did away with all the electricity and light in the Church. Only sunlight and candles illuminated the ensuing darkness.
If this had happened on Monday night when there was absolutely no sunlight, but praise God, only a full moon, there would have been no way for our choir to sing the complex Requiem they had rehearsed for so long as they would not have been able to see their music sheets and the organ could not have accompanied them. The nearly 300 parishioners who had come to the first Solemn High Requiem in the Extraordinary Form in more than 45 years would have been in total darkness except for the candles on the altar, the six candles surrounding the catafalque and the votive candles burning the truth about Christ the Light which no darkness can extinguish. The Mass would have had to be completed in the "low" form. But praise God, the electricity fueled the lights for this Mass though the wires were a burning!
The electricity was not returned to the Church until about 3:00 AM this morning. Thank you Macon Power! Nonetheless, I still celebrated our Tuesday's Extraordinary Form Low Mass at 5:00 PM last night. We had about 20 people there, more than some small missions get on Sunday. With the time change, the sun was setting and in the church it was twilight. So I placed two extra candles on the altar so that I could see the Roman Missal texts and Mass began. We celebrated another Mass for the dead and of course black vestments were used. Because only candle light powered our vision, it was just like celebrating Mass in the catacombs! Our scroll with the names of all the faithful departed from this past year inscribe on it along with the book of the dead at our Blessed Mothers' Chapel increased the ambiance of being in the catacombs in those first three centuries of the Church secretly praying the Mass out of sight from those who would not permit it in the daylight.
Jesus Christ is the light of the world, a light no darkness can extinguish. While the electrical light hung by a thread on Monday night, Jesus' light will never fail.