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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Not that I'm superstitious or anything, but happy anniversary, St. Anne's!

April 30, 2000, was the Second Sunday of Easter. On that day, Cardinal George came to Barrington, and our new church, the third (or fourth?) one to serve the Barrington Catholic community in it's 125-
Main entrance, Easter 2002
year history, was dedicated. So today is our anniversary. Our 13th anniversary. What do you get for the 13th anniversary? A chain saw and hockey mask?

The Wikipedia article on the parish is fascinating - and take a look at this picture. That's the original church from the first decade of the 20th century. The house on the right, next to it, is the house Terry and I lived in from 1996 until 2009, though it was added onto over the years. Where the church is in this picture is now the main parish parking lot.

Ambo, altar, and triptych along the center axis of the new
church, taken from the baptismal font and main doors.
The church that was in place when I arrived in 1994 had been the parish church since 1950. Seating about 400 people, it had a small Möller pipe organ in a choir loft, lovely resonance, and no air conditioning. Most of the community (about 60% on a regular Sunday, more during the summer) met to worship in the gym across the street, which had the attraction of a/c. Courtney and Clem, with others, had worked over the years to create a good worship ambience in the gym, setting the seating up antiphonally in the monastic style along a central axis bounded by the altar at one end and the ambo at the other, with a baptismal font in the center. This seating arrangement took hold of the parish's self-image, and became the arrangement when the design for the new church was planned.

Daily mass chapel, winter, 2009. Probably Memorial
Day weekend.
Another big influence on the design was the desire of the pastor and the parish to have a blend of "the old and the new" in the architecture of the building. Stone, glass, and statuary from the old church and the convent, torn down to create green space for the project, was used throughout the new building and in the reconstruction of the old church into a 180-seat daily mass chapel. This beautiful room at the north end of the church complex houses the tabernacle and reconciliation room, and is where daily mass is held, along with some weddings and most funerals. Musically, it is a dream to play in, stone walls and high ceiling providing recording-class reverb and encouraging participation by its warm enclosure.

All new artwork included this stunning
icon triptych behind the main altar
Back to the dedication day: we tried to do things right, really. My colleagues in our liturgy office, Courtney Murtaugh and Clem Aseron, along sacristan Georgene Farman and our worship commission, prepared and sent in the script and program to spec weeks in advance, and with no comment or argument, went forward with printing the program. We had added a few personalized touches. One was a few acclamations sprinkled through the dedication prayer. I remember that one, because Cardinal George made a point of coming to me 15 minutes before the ball dropped and saying we couldn't do that, it was illegal. He was unphased by my carefully worded whining and deferential wailing that his staff had had the entire script verbatim for two months with no problems communicated to us. I don't remember. We came to an understanding of some kind, one that involved threats of thumbscrews and the catherine wheel, and the Swiss Guard playing the drum solo from "In a Gadda da Vida" on  my head with axe handles.

Baptistery, cruciform  immersion font (covered),
paschal candle and mobile as seen from the mezzanine level
Nevertheless, everything was so cool that our enthusiasm was undampened even by his eminence's apparent lack of joy over either the interior design or the fact that the tabernacle was in a separate (attached) building. His predecessor, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of happy memory, had given his blessing on the plan before he succumbed in such an untimely way to pancreatic cancer, and away we went with the construction, to the tune of (cough) million dollars. We're still not quite completely paid off on the loans. The last $900,000 seems to be the hardest. But consider this: that is not even 10% of the cost of the building. Closer, in fact, to 5%.

I'm still so proud of our parish and the house we built for the church under the guidance of our pastor-now-emeritus Jack Dewes, liturgical consultant John Buscemi, and Ruck-Pate architects of Barrington (with other collaborating architects, artists, donors, &c). So awesome to have been part of the building of such a great community and its house. Happy anniversary, friends. (Music from the dedication is below the picture.)
The real church of Barrington, of course, isn't (just) the building,
but the body of Christ that gathers there.
This was the music we sang at our dedication. It was a glorious Easter celebration. We had the choirs, with brass, strings, woodwinds, guitar, bass, and percuss-o-mundo. Some iTunes links are available in the playlist below, others have sound clips at the publishers' sites, as specified on each line.

Road to Jerusalem (Psalm 122) Rory Cooney (OCP song link)
Jesus Christ Is Risen Today

Introductory Rites
Lead Us to the Water Tom Kendzia (OCP song link)
Sprinkling Rite and Glory to God Gary Daigle (GIA song link)

Liturgy of the Word

Psalm 118: This Is the Day J. Michael Joncas
Easter Alleluia arr. Rory Cooney
Easter Sequence  (Plainsong, arr. Rory Cooney)
Choral Response to Homily: Dedication PRayer from Mass (Leonard Bernstein)

Dedication Rites

Litany of the Saints John Becker (OCP song link)
Dedication Prayer with Acclamations (not with acclamations)
Anointing of Altar: Psalm 84 "How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place" J. Michael Joncas (OCP song link)
Incensations: Psalm 150 Jan Vermulst
Lighting of Altar and Sconce Candles: Christ Be Our Light B. Farrell, arr. rc

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Preparation of Gifts: Alleluia Round William Boyce
Eucharistic Acclamations: Mass of Creation
Fraction Rite and Communion: May We Be One Gary Daigle and Rory Cooney (GIA song link)
Sending Forth: On Holy Ground Donna Peña