Rorate Caeli

Solemn High Mass: Requiem on the 100th Anniversary of the Death of John Lancaster Spalding

On Thursday evening, 24 Aug. 2016, a Solemn High Requiem Mass in the traditional Roman Rite was offered at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria, Illinois, for the repose of the soul of Archbishop John Lancaster Spalding, first bishop of Peoria. Those who attended report that the Mass, the first traditional Latin Mass at the cathedral since the liturgical revolutions and disorders of the 1960s (Latin "Novus Ordo" Masses have been celebrated at the cathedral in recent years), was exquisitely celebrated and well attended, with a good number of diocesan priests in choir besides the priests, deacons, and seminarians conducting the liturgy in the sanctuary. The cathedral schola chanted the propers and the Sequence Dies Irae. Communion was received at the communion rails before the side altars of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Joseph.

The Mass inaugurated a weekend of "Founder's Day" celebrations to mark the completion of  recent renovations at the cathedral (already an architectural treasure before the renovations, now even more lovely).  Peoria's first bishop, John L. Spalding (nephew of Archbishop Martin Spalding of Baltimore, Maryland) built the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in 1898.  He fell asleep in the Lord 100 years ago this month.

Peoria Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, wished to mark that important anniversary with a Solemn High Mass. Though he himself is not instructed in the celebration of the traditional Mass, the bishop did participate in the liturgy, seated upon or standing at his cathedra while Father Alex Millar, parochial vicar of the cathedral parish and two other Peoria parishes, celebrated the Mass with other diocesan priests, deacons, and seminarians serving as ministers. Father Millar, ordained in May 2015, learned the traditional Roman Rite as a seminarian, and last November he celebrated a traditional Mass for the Feast of All Souls at St. Joseph Church on the south side of Peoria, one of the most beautiful churches in the diocese (where Father Michael Driscoll formerly celebrated the traditional Mass in recent years).

Following the Mass was the traditional Rite of Absolution When the Body of the Deceased is Not Present, performed at the catafalque and chanted by the cathedral schola.

Following are a few photographs from the Mass selected from among those published by the Diocese of Peoria at Bishop Daniel Jenky's weblog.

High Mass ministers with Bishop Jenky in cathedral sacristy before Mass

Dominus vobiscum

View showing celebrants and ministers, catafalque, and renovated sanctuary

View through balcony rosette, showing new red marble flooring

Elevation of the Most Precious Blood of our Savior

Rite of Absolution following Mass