On the road yesterday for a special Mass at a friend’s parish. I was happy to be invited to play at West Des Moines’ St Francis of Assisi Church. I don’t get out to play too much in other people’s parishes, so I enjoy the change of scene. After two years in my present parish, it is a little strange to go to places that don’t sing all the verses of songs and hymns. The young miss noted other customs: the processional cross accompanying the gift bearers, some altar server procedures. (We don’t have altar servers at all in my parish.)
There were a large number of Communion ministers, but the procession there still lasted two medium-long songs–maybe nine or ten minutes. I think this church’s capacity must be close to a thousand.
The post-Communion ritual was unique in that after a period of silence, the people all prayed the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis. Unfortunately, there was a six-minute announcement from a lay missionary (unfortunate in length and preachiness, not the cause) and only then did the people stand for the post-Communion prayer, which really became a “closing prayer.”
I’ve never liked the interpolation of “stuff” before the post-Communion prayer. That said, I really liked that the whole parish had memorized a prayer attributed to their patron saint. It got me thinking that maybe we should ponder this for our parish. Which of the texts attributed to Saint Thomas Aquinas would be good for a university parish, do you think? And for your parishes, what prayer of what saint would work for you?