Trinity Lutheran Church – Elkhart, Indiana – Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ – June 11th
Presider: Pastor Spencer Mielke
Gospel: John 6:51-58
Initial Thoughts: My first Lutheran service! Very exciting! (This is what excites a SuperCatholic like me these days). My friends Spencer and Christopher are Pastors here at Trinity and having never attended a Lutheran service before, I was invited to come on my way home from Notre Dame/Vita Institute.
During the mass, I really only noticed differences from a Roman Catholic service during the liturgy itself, such as:
The Creed had different wording. I’m pretty sure this is the one we said:
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made, Being of one substance with the Father, by Whom all things were made; Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life; Who proceeds from the Father and the Son, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, Who spoke by the prophets. And I believe one holy Christian and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins, and I look for the resurrection of the dead and life of the world to come. Amen.
The Confession of Sins had different wording as we knelt to pray it together:
All-Powerful God, merciful Father, I, a poor, pitiful sinner, confess to You all my sins and unrighteousness. By them I have continually offended You and fairly deserved Your punishment, both now and eternally. But from my heart I am sorry for them, and I sincerely repent of them, and I pray You, in Your limitless mercy for the sake of the holy, innocent, bitter sufferings and death of Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, be gracious and merciful to me, a poor, sinful being.
No need to open a worship aid/missal to follow along because the words were projected onto the screens they had up which was a great help to those of us who were not the “regulars.” 🙂
Homily Reflection: You can hear the whole thing right here under June 18th. He had projected the icon of Rublev’s Trinity on the screen as he referred to the previous week’s celebration of the Feast of the Trinity.
And then went into why we celebrate the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ this weekend, two central doctrines of our faith.
We are invited into this eternal exchange of love, this communion of persons, this family.
And what will it look like? It’s a communion of saints – this is our destiny. Spencer shared this image during the homily at this point:
We are made for communion! But unfortunately, we live in so much dis-union. Division among our fellow countrymen, our friends, our families. That’s what sin does, it tramples on unity.
We have no way to fix our mess and come back to God, and God knows this so what does He do. He comes back to us through The Incarnation.
The 2nd person in the Trinity came down from heaven for us. In the Flesh and the Blood of Jesus of Nazareth IS GOD!
My favorite part EVER comes around the 9:35 mark in the homily that you can hear for yourself. It’s entitled The Body and Blood of Christ – The Center of Our Lives!
There’s a reason why Jesus’ arms on the cross are spread wide open to us. This is that 2nd person of the Trinity, in that exchange of love, opening His life and His heart to you and to me and inviting us in to that sacrifice. Because you see THAT flesh and blood, as sinless as it is, comes into contact with YOUR flesh and blood, and MY flesh and blood, as sinful as it is, and obliterates that sin and makes us holy and brings us back into that scene.
Holy Moments: Pastor Spencer’s homily concluded by having us sing Down in Adoration Falling which is such a beautiful hymn and very appropriate for the feast. It was just such a pleasure to hear him preach as I’ve never heard a sermon by him or my friend Chris. And now that I have the link to their website, I’m going to gladly feed my homily addiction by listening every chance I am able to.
I was able to meet Spencer’s wife ever so briefly and I was able to spend a lot of time with Chris and his wife Rachel and their three adorable children. It’s always great to reunite with my TOB friends and now that I know that Elkhart Indiana isn’t too far of a drive for me, I will definitely make a point to visit again to get some Lutheran love!
Feast of Corpus Christi Mass – St. Francis Convent – Mishawaka, Indiana – Sisters of Perpetual Adoration
Prior to making the drive to Elkhart, I first went to Mishawaka to visit the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. They invited all of us who were a part of the Vita Institute (see previous blog post) to come join them for Morning prayer and then stay for mass and the Corpus Christi procession on their grounds. I’ve never taken part in a procession like that so it was a welcome treat. (They have better pictures on their website from past processions) and much better photos of the worship space itself like this one:
as opposed to mine that I snapped just about 10 minutes prior to Morning Prayer:
I didn’t get a chance to stop into their Adoration Chapel but here is a beautiful photo of it:
These lovely holy women dedicate their lives for the Kingdom of God. And they spend hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament praying for all of us. We carry the Eucharist into the world and bring the fruits of our adoration to all our activities. Thus, our whole life becomes a single act of adoration and praise of God.
I was so grateful to have met 3 of these Sisters as they attended the Vita Institute and then to pray and worship with them as a great treat. They are praying for me and they will pray for you too. In fact, you can submit your prayer request to them here.
Christ the King – Ann Arbor, Michigan – 5:30pm – Friday June 23rd
From their website:
We are a personal parish of the Diocese of Lansing under Bishop Earl Boyea. As a personal parish, we do not have a territory that we are responsible for like most parishes. Instead we are officially called to minister to Catholics who are seeking a deeper presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Our liturgies and overall ministry are oriented to encourage growth in the Holy Spirit and the charismatic gifts that He wishes to provide.
Our spiritual life as a parish is characterized by four elements. We are charismatic, contemplative, Eucharistic, and Marian.
Initial Thoughts: Until I read the website just now, I had no idea they were a diocese of Lansing and not Detroit. But after reading the description of their history, that made more sense. This church sits on land directly located adjacent to the property of Domino’s Farms, the corporate headquarters of Domino’s Pizza, whose founder is Tom Monaghan. This guy! He’s a devout Catholic AND founded a pizza chain? How did I not know this? What a great man of God. Read more about him here and here.
As for the church itself, I stopped in to their perpetual adoration chapel first before heading to the mass. I was told to check out the staircase that leads up to the Sanctuary – The word “Sanctus” is engraved in each of the 3 steps.
Note the Icons of all 4 Evangelists behind the Sanctuary. Stunning!
Homily Reflection: I’m just going to skip over this part and say 2 things:
1. The presider was a visiting priest.
2. We don’t come to mass to hear a great homily, we come for the Eucharist. (That’s my charitable way of saying I didn’t enjoy the homily). Forgive me.
Holy Moments: Seeing my friend AnnMarie lector and not even knowing this was her parish and HER not knowing I was coming to attend. Surprise! And also spying Catholic “superstar” Dr. Mary Healy sitting in the pews. I had the awesome privilege of meeting her at the Seminary the next day. I’m pretty sure I scared her as I babbled on about how her book (Men and Women are From Eden) helped me teach TOB to my non-Catholic friends and how I love her writing style, etc. I admit it, I fawned over her. 🙂
Considering CTK is known for it’s Charismatic liturgy I should probably go back on a Sunday to write a better blog for the DMP. Stay tuned…
Our Lady of Good Counsel – Plymouth, Michigan – Saturday June 24th – 8:30am – Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
Presider: Fr. John Simoneau
Initial Thoughts: This is my 4th trip to Plymouth to visit this “second home” of mine. I visited last fall and blogged about the Alpha experience I had there and have been addicted ever since. As anyone who attends this mega-church will tell you, it’s unique in that they really try and make you feel as if you are the most important person to walk through their doors. I’ve had 4 people, 2 of whom had met me for about all of 10 minutes, offer their spare bedrooms for me to stay if I ever needed to for as long as I needed to as I try and find a job up there. Radical hospitality? Yeah, pretty sure OLGC gets that part.
Their mission is to offer every person in their community (and even if you’re a visitor, you’re a member of their community!) a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. From their website: We exist to offer every person in our community a life-changing encounter with the person of Jesus so that we can grow evermore as His intentional disciples so that we can offer an evermore credible witness to the difference Jesus alone can make.
So yes, it’s obvious. I have a thing for OLGC. 🙂
Homily Reflection: I didn’t actually take notes on Fr. John’s homily, thinking “I’ll remember to write down some quick notes afterwards.” That totally didn’t happen. #SuperCatholicFail. In the meantime, OLGC posts most of the Sunday homilies on their YouTube Channel or Fr. John Riccardo’s podcast library.
Holy Moments: I’m clearly biased because as soon as I get out of my car in the parking lot and make my way to the grotto or the Garden of Gethsemane before heading into the church itself, it feels like a giant holy moment. There’s reverence here. There’s hospitality here. There’s peace here. Maybe because Plymouth itself just feels like Main Street USA, Americana, apple pie and all that good stuff. Maybe it’s the fact that OLGC is a Marian parish. Or maybe it’s just simply that people here in this community exude something that says, “We’re here to help you and meet you wherever you are at in your journey. Tell us how we can do that.”
Next week I’m going to attempt to write a blog about my 3 dear sisters in Christ and their Consecration of Virginity ceremony that took place on Saturday June 24th in Detroit. They are the first 3 women in the Archdiocese of Detroit to consecrate themselves to Jesus as a part of this Rite and it’s something I am discerning as well. There’s plenty of confusion about it, however, from secular to Catholics alike, and I hope my little blog will serve as a good source of information to clear up some of this confusion.