Rorate Caeli

High Mass in DC basilica shrine Saturday

There will be a High Mass offered in the crypt church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception this Saturday, 1 June, at 5:30 p.m.

The Mass will conclude the annual three-day pilgrimage, organized and led by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, "to do penance for our sins and for the sins of our nation."  Named after its founder, Father James Buckley, FSSP, the "Buckley March" has concluded at the basilica shrine in D.C. for over a decade, with photos of some past years here and here.

Saturday's Mass will be a votive of the Immaculate Conception during paschaltide, as permitted in the shrine so-named. The celebrant (and chaplain for the pilgrimage) will be Father David Franco, who began offering the annual High Mass at the basilica shrine immediately after his ordination in 2015 (relieving Father Buckley).  Gregorian chant propers will be sung by the men's schola of Saint Mary Mother of God church, and a polyphonic choir from the region will sing Hassler's "Missa Secunda" as the ordinary of the Mass and motets such as Asola's "Ave Maris Stella" and L'Heritier's "Ave Maria." 

The pilgrimage begins with an early morning sung Mass on Ascension Thursday at Saint Mary's church in Barnesville, Md., then proceeds southeast along the C&O Canal.  There are a few opportunities to join the pilgrimage in progress, including in Georgetown when it reaches Washington, D.C., and at the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Washington, before the final path to the basilica shrine.

The basilica shrine has a large parking lot and the crypt church can accommodate many guests.  This is a terrific opportunity to bring friends and family to what will be a beautiful liturgy in one of the most prominent churches in the country.  (This timeline has several pre-Vatican II photos and video.)

The complete schedule of the pilgrimage may be found here.