The Wonderful and the Wlatsome
Sunday, October 05, 2003
Name of Parish: Prince of Peace Catholic Church
Location: 1110 Dykstra Road, N. Muskegon Michigan 49445-2014
Time: Sunday Mass, 11:15 AM
The Wonderful: Delightfully enthusiastic parishioners! Im guessing this was a Charismatic Mass (bulletin didn't say so, but based on songs, gestures, swaying/handholding, etc, Im guessing it was). EVERYONE responded and sang loudly (but well!) - including the priest, who during the closing hymn was so into it that he started improvising! All the parishioners seemed very joyous in their worship and all were very friendly and smiling. It was also Respect Life Sunday, and before three children were baptized we were reminded of the sanctity of life, and the evil of abortion - which we so often dont hear enough of! They've got a big musical group of about 12 or 15, baby grand piano, synthesizer, violins, guitars, and many voices. Most songs were from a book I'd never seen called "People of Praise" (I looked this up and believe it is a book used by the Cursillo movement). Very modern, semi-folky. In closing, if you like Charismatic, this seems to be the place to go in the area, and for what it is, they do it extremely well; not my cup of tea, but I think if I tended towards this 'movement', I'd be going here. I was impressed by how reverent the consecration was, with the priest elevating our Lord's Body and Blood for long moments; he also knelt in adoration for several silent moments, which was a welcome change from the hurriedness with which many priests perform these acts.
The Wlatsome: Chief complaint is the architecture and interior of the Church. The stone on the Church said 1978, so its a typical modern building. Interior is the semi-circle layout around the altar, NO statuary (except for one of Mary out by the "entrance"). No Stations of the Cross, a modernists' interpretation of a Crucifix, and lots of cubist-type granite tables/stands. Tabernacle difficult to locate - off to the side and tiny. A few green plants around were really the only decoration. If I hadn't known it, it would be hard to tell by the interior of the Church that this was a Catholic Church. Only other thing I found a bit off was that sometimes the Mass felt like merely a vehicle for the musical group - even while we weren't singing there was often a tinkling of music in the background, which kind of made the Mass feel more like a movie with a background score to it. And often some of the solo singers (and even the priest) were quite overly dramatic in their singing and swaying. But having no experience with a charismatic parish myself, this might be typical - I just prefer the more traditional hymns and format.
Another Impassioned Plea
This site has not been updated in two weeks. Why? Because no one has taken the mere *five minutes* it takes to send in a brief description of his parish. It's really not so hard to do. You don't have to be eloquent; you don't even have to have anything particular to say. Just tell us -- you got a choir? How about an organ? Young priest? Long lines for confession? Really bad coffee after Mass? We want to come visit your Parish when we're in town, but if we've never been to your city before! Is there a parish where you'd warn any visitor against? Tell him here! Do you love your home parish? Then invite some passers-through to come visit! PLEASE!