Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ascension Thursday

It's a rainy Ascension Thursday and we are observing a Sunday schedule, which means that Morning Prayer is a little later and solemnly observed, and more time is provided for a solemn celebration of the Mass.  The chant was particularly beautiful this morning, as Dr. Hunt added a couple professional soloists to our superb schola.   The entrance antiphon for this morning, sung beautifully in Latin, still echoes in my mind:

Ant. ad introitum                  Act 1, 11
Viri Galilæi, quid admirámini aspiciéntes in cælum? Quemádmodum vidístis eum ascendéntem in cælum, ita véniet, alléluia.
Men of Galilee, why gaze in wonder at the heavens? This Jesus whom you saw ascending into heaven will return as you saw him go, alleluia.

Appropriately, I suppose, on this day in which we recall the Lord's return to heaven, our minds and hearts are also dwelling on the departure of two of our most beloved faculty members.  Father Merdinger celebrated the Mass this morning, and by this time next week he will begin a well deserved retirement from the role of full time Spiritual Director. Likewise, Bishop-elect Barber departs tomorrow for Oakland where he will begin preparations for his ordination on May 25th.  

Our hearts are saddened as they leave, but are grateful for the time God gave us to spend with them, during which we have all been drawn closer to Christ by their example.  God bless them for their faithfulness to Christ and to his Church!

Father Merdinger, Monsignor Moroney and Bishop=Elect Barber share a lighter moment before Mass begins.

Father Merdinger preaches the homily for Ascension Thursday