[It's a beautiful Spanish colonial building. Photos up soon!]
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ.
I think. The bulletin listed readings for the 10th Sunday of ordinary time. "Oh no! We miss Corpus Christi! They celebrated it on Thursday!" But the readings themselves were ... for a Marian Feast? Acts of the Apostles, Revelation and the Wedding at Cana from St. John. No mention was made of the misprint at all ... or, as far as I could tell (the sound system, like those in most old churches, sucked and every word echoed incomprehensibly) at any time during Mass. The celebrant (accompanied by two permanent deacons with deacon's stoles, but in almbs, not dalmatics) wore a gold chasuble though ... [After Mass I wanted to ask the priest about the readings, but there was a longish line waiting to talk with him.]
The music? As the guy with the electric keyboard started the faux drums and maraccas a few minutes before 11, we all flinched involutarily. "J, get ready for this! This is exactly what it sounds like in India!" Dhin-chak music galore. The electric-keyboard-guy took nearly a quarter of an hour to adjust the auditory bells and whistles to the optimum level. Mass started 15 minutes late, with a procession including a statue of El Niño Jesus (The Infant Jesus. However, this one didn't look like the one from Prague ... ), in a bed of carnations, followed by several children carrying carnations. The entrance hymn was to the Infant Jesus, and the bulletin listed the second sunday of the month as "Misa Divino del Niño Jesus." Mass started with a few prayers from a novena to the Infant Jesus.
The homily was quite decent -- a rousing, energetic sermon on the mission of all the baptized, very evangelical, and Christocentric. It had nothing to do with the readings. And the good Monsignor could certainly carry on! (At the end of Mass, after the announcements, he called all the children up to the altar for a special blessing, and delivered another mini homily.)
The congregation -- a few tourists, mainly middle aged and some young families -- seemed to get into the music -- it's the kind of stuff I'd associate with the charismatic renewal, and it certainly had a good beat and rhythm to it. However, as J put it, "I wasn' sure if I was to samba down the isle to receive Holy Communion." I know this is hugely popular all over the world. Not to my taste at all. And both Z and J were quite turned off - not knowing a lick of Spanish didn't help, and I could tell that Mass was getting to be more of an endurance test in the heat and humidity. It just didn't feel reverent. At all.
I must say it was the least prayerfull Mass I can ever recall being at -- in the sense, I couldn't focus on worship or prayer at all as those irritating critical tapes kept playing in my head. Which goes to show just how long a way I have to go.