Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Hallows' Vespers at San Juan Capistrano, and the Distribution of Enrollment Cards

The Brothers of the Little Oratory in San Diego at the invitation of and in conjunction with members of Una Voce Orange County, sang the 1st Vespers of the Feast of All Hallows before the glittering reredos of the Serra Chapel at Mission San Juan Capistrano. A congregation of fifty persons, plus twelve in the sanctuary and five in the loft, brought the total in attendance to nearly seventy for the first traditional Roman vespers in at least the last forty years to be celebrated in the historic two hundred and forty year old chapel, the oldest original building remaining in all of the mission chain established by Blessed Junipero Serra.

The vespers were accompanied by a brother on the chapel's two manual pipe organ. In addition to the organ, violin descants, as well as flute and cello accompaniments were added to the processional and recessional hymns, as well as the hymns of Benediction, by the members of the Delina family, sisters Faith and Nicole, and their brother Gian. For this musical generosity the Brothers and doubtless all assembled return their sincere thanks. Fr. Victor Szczurek served as Hebdomadary and performed the Benediction, assisted in the sanctuary by MC Enzo Selvaggi.

In the sacristy following the services, enrollment cards for the Brothers' membership in the Archconfraternity of the Precious Blood were distributed, along with fresh and matching copies of the Brothers' cards of enrollment amongst the Brothers of the Little Oratory. This set was generously and exactingly prepared by Mr. James C.R. Cross of the London Brothers, and was prefaced by a formal message which was read prior to distribution. Accompanying the enrollment cards were copies of the St. Philip's Day 2009 cards distributed at London this past 26 May. Coming as it did following another successful annual observance of the vespers of one of the most glittering feasts of the church year, this touch of a London hand heightened the Brothers' sense of connection both to our living London family, and to the spiritual presence of our Saint, his sons, and our Brothers who have gone before us.

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