I admit I didn't know how many high school students would want to spend the first night of their three day weekend visiting Churches. I told folks they could meet me on the front steps of Saint Anselm Abbey Church at 7:15pm and we'd go from there. Twenty amazing students showed up and five more met us along the way. I was thrilled.
We went into the Abbey Church for the celebration of Compline (Night Prayer). The monks had their Mass of the Lord's Supper at 4:30pm which I was able to attend. It was perhaps one of the last times I was able to hear Abbot Matthew, OSB preach as he is retiring in June. He gave a brilliant homily on leadership and I emailed him asking for a copy.
When we arrived for Compline the Church still smelled like the incense and the smoke still filled the air. Compline is very brief - about 10 minutes - and is the last of many prayers the monks chant during the day. Following Compline we prayed for a few moments before the Blessed Sacrament. It was so quiet and peaceful....until one of our students' cell phones went off! It wasn't just a normal ringtone but some hip hop song. The monks didn't even flinch though thank goodness.
Following Saint Anselm we went to Saint Pius X Parish. Their Mass was still going on so we stood in the back as folks received Communion. I was glad the kids were able to see the transfer of the Eucharist from the altar to the place of repose, the "grand finale" of this Mass. From here we went to Saint Anthony Parish, then Saint Joseph Cathedral, and finally Saint Catherine Parish. After Saint Catherine's I treated all the kids to ice cream at the Puritan Backroom. I hadn't eaten dinner yet so I passed on ice cream and got some buffalo tenders (what else?) after the kids left. It wasn't Good Friday yet so I was able to have some final treats before the Great Fast.
I think we have a great new tradition here at Trinity. My alma mater, BC High, does a walk on Good Friday which I think we could try too. Then maybe something big on Holy Saturday?? Stay tuned...