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Here Dorothy Day tells the story of the requiem Mass offered five years after her mentor and friend Peter Maurin’s death. It was the 10:00 Mass at the parish near the Catholic Worker building, held after a 9:00 Mass at which children had received their first communion. You can read her story of Maurin’s death here.
Inside the Church with all the light and joy of the children hovering over it, the Mass was just starting. There were still flowers on the altar and an arch of green studded with carnations over the altar rail made the air fragrant. All around the enthroned white and gold statue of our Lady of Fatima were salmon pink gladiolas with long green stalks not yet budded out; below the altar were banked azaleas.
Lights - Smell - Wax - Incense - Roses
A hundred or more vigil lights blazed and sent forth the hot sweet smell of wax to mingle with the incense. There were red roses before St. Therese and flowers before St. Anne and a watery sun seeped through the stained glass windows and competed with the candles.
There was only a handful of mourners up near the front of the Church, but the organ boomed forth and the voices of three men thundered the Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison with glorious confidence, and three priests and four altar boys offered up the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with solemn dignity.
Moments - Life - Grandeur - Recognition - Man
All the great moments of life are here clothed with grandeur, recognition of man’s dignity, his worth in the sight of God who loved him so much as to die for him. First Communion coming to young ones at a time when the desires of the flesh begin to grow, opening up their hearts to a love strong as death, showing them what love really means. St. Therese called her first Holy Communion...
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