Saturday, May 21, 2016

Day 3 (Continued), 4 and 5

Saturday was a long, blessed day. When we left the Poor Clares in Hanceville, we drove 30 minutes South to see another long-awaited sight. It was less impressive than the monastery (and, for some reason, I expected to see simple) but still great to see "in person".
Picture from EWTN

Our "private time" in the chapel ;0) JK. It helps to go just before it closes.
So, so cool. We watch the rosary for life once in a while and now it's so neat to know we were sitting right there in the same pews. It's also very cool to be in a chapel where the goings-on are televised. Look closely to see the cameras and lighting on the wall. I'm kind of glad we weren't there for Mass. I think I would be really distracted.

The Stations were also some of the most moving and different I'd ever seen. This is a pretty crummy picture but you can see the soldier pulling Jesus's arm, trying to get him upright to move on after He had fallen.

We didn't get into the studio but that was for the best. From the picture, you can see that one of the travelers was eager to get to a new state.

So, Georgia it was. We slept a good sleep and got up for a later Mass (10:30) with DH's family. Let's just say, even with sleep it didn't work all that well. Remember a few days ago when I said Nashville was a Southern Church where the Catholics went conservative? Marietta was definitely the other side.

I know this is a dark picture but it's the only one I could find online. See the jumbo trons on the left and right? That, and the lack of hymnals (the slots were there, just no books...none) was enough to send #1 into a weeping fit (she was kind of judgmental and hysterical all at once..."where are the hymnals and WHY are there giant screens on the wall?") I applaud her for calling out something so wrong, even if she broached it in an impolite manner. (when you are looking at the screens, you have no chance of concentrating on what is happening at the altar...they are big and's like a rock concert except they're not televising the main event).

It turns out the giant screens are to project lovely background photos and lyrics to the Christian rock songs that are played in place of traditional hymns. (Honestly, it was Pentecost and until "Come Holy Ghost" for the recessional, I was clueless.) Father yelled at everyone during the homily about "people are supposed to participate, Catholics should sing". All I could think was, "well, then, play some Catholic hymns". Of course, my K-Love adoring husband was singing along cheerfully. Traitor.

Two other noteworthy differences and I'll move on. The picture above isn't any special fact, it could have been taken on any given Sunday. During the Consecration, they turn out all the lights (and the jumbo trons)...except the spotlights on the altar. I kid you not. I guess it's so people know something important is happening. That's all I can say about that.

Finally, before the final blessing, Father asked us to sit down. He then proceeded to go around the church, asking who the visitors were and where they were from. DH, knowing how beyond ready to go I was at this point, shouts out "Pittsburgh" from the back (I guess I was acting badly so he was having fun). The hooting and hollering that ensued was reminiscent of a Steelers win. No words. I just told the kids some places do Catholic differently and this, in no way, is my preference. I know it's just the Holy Spirit messing with me on His big day. He knows my struggle with my home parish. He also knows that show sent me running North as quickly as possible.

So, with an 80th birthday celebration
and two more Holy Doors
Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta

St. Mary's in Greenville, SC
we are gratefully back home. What an amazing trip. Beginning at St. Mary, Queen of the Apostles and ending at St. Mary's had no little part in the graces given, I'm quite sure. Our Lady has been traveling along on all of our trips and she so kind to bring us to her Son and her Spouse as often as our sin-clouded minds can bear. How grateful we are. How blessed we are.

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