Thursday, January 02, 2014

A Very Special Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

January 1st is a holy day of obligation, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  As Catholics, we always kick off the New Year with Mass!  I like to make a blueberry crumble for dessert on this day, and we usually eat a dish called Rosemary Chicken for dinner.  So we attended Mass at 11:00 this morning and then later...

...the blueberry crumble!

So, why are we eating the blueberry crumble in front of the TV?  Well, that is the "very special" part!

A couple weeks ago, we found out that my brother Tim, a seminarian, would be serving Mass for the Holy Father in the Vatican on January 1st with his class from the Pontifical College Josephinum!  What an honor for his class to have while on their trip to Rome!

But... an even bigger surprise was when we woke up to Tim's Facebook message that stated, "Wow. Serving for the Holy Father this morning was truly amazing. All the pilgrims in Saint Peter's were inspiring. We waited in the chapel of Michelangelo's Pieta (behind the glass) and then he came in and greeted each of us. I had the honor of holding his mitre during the Mass."

So, not only would he be helping to serve at the Mass, but actually doing a specific job - holding the Pope's mitre!!!  that's the pointy hat, for all you non-Catholics out there.  The Pope wears it only during specific parts of the Mass, so it actually is a real job, having to bring it up and take it back again.  Tim didn't actually place it on Pope Francis's head - he handed it off to the person who did that part.  

So, we watched the video of the Mass by streaming it on EWTN.  Tim was pretty much right behind the Holy Father during both the processional and recessional!  Here is a photo I snapped of the TV with my camera (yes, lame, I know):

He is the one on the left, behind Pope Francis, next to one of those guys who look like the secret service.  When they recessed out of the basilica after Mass, Only about six people turned and followed the Pope off to the side while all the other seminarians, priests, and bishops filed out another way.  He really got to play a special part so close to the Pope!

The girls were impressed to see their Uncle Tim, Cecilia's godfather, right behind the Pope!!  And of course, they were excited about the blueberry crumble!

Lucy was just thrilled to be eating in the den!  She was pretty upset when she'd thought we were going to eat dinner there first and found out otherwise... but she was able to actually pick out her Uncle Tim when we paused the video and asked her to point to him.  She correctly picked out both Tim and Pope Francis during the recessional!

Here are some screen shots that Chris captured from the video stream:

During the processional, Tim entered the church following the Holy Father - he is the one in all white - the black of his cassock is covered up by the white cloth thingy he had to hold the mitre - I assume he will tell us what this is called and the reason for using it.

Another view of his back... can you imagine following the Pope right up to the altar???

Right behind and to the left of Pope Francis in this image

At the edge of the photo in this one

In the above photo, he is the one all the way to the right side.  There are two seminarians there, and you will notice in the next image that Tim has moved forward and is about to go in front of the altar at the top right corner of it to hand off the mitre:

This is the front view of the same thing - him coming around the altar to get or give the mitre:

And in this one, if you look at all the men in the sanctuary, he is the one second farthest to the left of the image:
In this one above, Tim is on the left side of the sanctuary, coming forward with the mitre.  He is the one with the white surplus over the black cassock, right behind the guy dressed all in white.

The recessional: again, behind Pope Francis and to the left side

And here are some professional photos taken of the day... First, Tim meeting the Pope!

Here he is after the recessional - the one at the far right with the yellow-fringed thingy which I assume he had in order to hold the mitre without touching it?

How exciting for us to get to watch my brother serve for the Holy Father!!!

Happy and Blessed New Year, everyone!

1 comment:

mel said...

wooow! That's so cool! What an honor for him to get to do that! How fun for the girls to get to see it. I wish we knew a priest or two on a more personal level, but we never have,'s such a blessing I think for kids to get to know priests and nuns, and inspires vocations for them a lot of the time. When I was a kid, we got that from our Catholic school, taught by nuns...that doesn't happen much anymore.