Saturday, November 1, 2008
Vespers of All Hallows '08 at St. Anne's, Sicard St.
Under the motto of “Reclaim All Hallows’ Eve for Christ,” the fifth annual 1st Vespers (opening evening prayer) of the Feast of All Saints (or All Hallows) was sung in the new Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter Traditional Parish St. Anne on 31 October 2008.
The Vespers were served and sung by the Brothers of the Little Oratory in San Diego, Fr. Carl Gismondi FSSP officiating. Translational booklets in Latin, English and Spanish were specially prepared for this liturgy.
Choral music, including a Magnificat setting by Hernando Franco (ca. 1580), a Maestro da Capella for the great Cathedral at Mexico City, was contributed by members of the BACH Collegium San Diego led by John Polhamus.
Other choral music included the Magnificat Antiphon "Angeli, archangeli" set by Andrea Gabrieli (ca. 1585), and at Benediction the motets "Ave Virgo Sanctissima" by Francisco Guererro, and "O quam gloriosum" by T. L. de Victoria.
The success of the liturgy was facilitated in no small measure by the restoration of the Altar to its original position earlier in the day. The work took most of the day, and was finished only an hour before the scheduled time for Vespers. The difficult cleanup was accomplished by parishioners in time for a crowd of fifty, plus fifteen in the choir loft and another fifteen in the sanctuary to enjoy the interrupted architectural flow from the doors, through the generous sanctuary, all tending ultimately to the altar and the tabernacle.
All were thus able, led by their priest, to face Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament together from beginning to end. Other restorative work will include St. Anne's chapel, the reredos surrounding the altar, paint and carpet issues, and the replacement of the communion rail. As the photographs clearly show, the work of restoration is far from done but, said Fr. Gismondi, "This was an auspicious liturgical christening for the restored altar."
Following the Vespers and Benediction, the faithful circled the church in a solemn candlelight procession, led by the liturgical choir chanting the Litany of the Saints.
All making a solemn processional entrance into the church, the faithful returned to the pews for the final prayers and dismissal, then sang the fervent hymn "For all the Saints", accompanied by the choir, organ and strings of the Santoniño Ensemble.
Special Thanks to Jean Perko for taking these excellent photos!