Friday, June 12, 2009

What they don't show you on the Cathedral tour

Video of Archbishop Carlson's installation is now online, and I found myself in it! The camera panned across the bell tables twice; near the end of the Gloria and during "Lift High the Cross" at the recessional. I also enjoyed actually seeing what was happening down below while we played our music. Carlson appeared to have tears in his eyes as the Papal bull was read; it was so touching to see how seriously he was undertaking his work here and how the other bishops supported him.

I also noticed that Carlson often mopped his brow with a handkerchief - I was feeling the same way! The choir balcony was a good 15 degrees warmer than below, and our long robes didn't help either. Overheating during mass: another example of the profound irony of liturgy and the Incarnation. Even during the most sublime, profound worship possible, frail human nature interrupts.

Being backstage at the Cathedral gives plenty of glances into ecclesiastical irony. The behind the scenes areas are very different from the glorious mosaics visitors always see. Here's the staircase choir members take to the balcony.

Inside a tower is the only place you'll see brick here.

Drab, cobweby archways contrast with the glittering domes beyond.

This wall is "all" I can see while playing bells. From the left we have:
The Vincentian panel, withBl. Frederic Ozanam and STL SVDP founder Brian Mullanphy.
St. Isaac Joques and Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha, whose upstate NY shrine I have visited
A priest, a minister, and a rabbi representing the Vatican II declaration on religious freedom
Joseph Cardinal Ritter
Sisters and schoolchildren representing the 1947 St. Louis "Racial Justice Decree" and integrations of schools
Bl. Rose Phillipine Duschene, who educated and prayed in rural Missouri

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