When I lived upstate New York, Thanksgiving Mass looked a lot like an obligatory holy day. I remember about twenty-five years ago, when I was in grad school, and the parish assistant called me at 8:30AM to say the pastor had forgotten to arrange with the organist for liturgical music. Could I put something together for ten o’clock Mass?
In my professional life, no parish would ever draw three-hundred people for the fourth Thursday of November. One place didn’t even offer Mass. In another, an ecumenical tradition in the town drew the numbers on Sunday night. In another, it was Wednesday night. In another place, Wednesday night Mass outdrew Thursday morning, mirroring Christmas churchgoing practice.
At my parish, nearly all the students are home for the whole week on break. Still, we had a few more people than we usually draw for daily Mass–it was about seventy, I think. Small choir of three. I try to stick with American music on a day like Thanksgiving, but I did suggest “Lord of All Hopefulness” for the concluding song.
Any good experiences of liturgical Thanksgiving? Either yesterday or in a previous year? I’ll remember this one for being my last MR1 Mass. At least officially.