mass

Photos from 2019 Priesthood Ordination Mass for the Archdiocese of St. Louis

Earlier today, I was honored to be able to join in the celebration of the ordination of seven new priests for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. I was asked by the class to photograph their special event, and as I have done for many years, I gladly accepted and used the occasion to rent some new photography gear—this year I supplemented my Nikon D750 and F-mount lenses with a:

  • Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera
  • Nikon 35mm f/1.8 S lens (Z-mount)
  • Sigma 135mm f/1.8 Art lens (F-mount)

This was also the first year I kept my two workhorse zoom lenses (24-70 2.8 and 70-200 2.8) in the bag, and shot exclusively with prime lenses. I've often considered doing this, but only recently realized there was a good prime between 105mm and 200mm that I could rely on for the shots where the Archbishop interacts with the ordinands, for example, the Laying on of Hands:

Laying on of Hands - Archbishop Carlson

Photos from Memorial Mass for Justice Antonin Scalia

Yesterday I was invited by a friend to photograph the Memorial Mass for Justice Antonin Scalia at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. Justice Scalia was a Catholic first and Supreme Court Justice second... may we all live our lives in a way where our faith, family, and morals lead our work and interaction (and not vice-versa)!

I've uploaded all the photos to Flickr: Memorial Mass for Justice Antonin Scalia, and here are a couple of my favorites below (it's hard not to have some majestic images when shooting at the Cathedral!):

Deacon incensing the Book of Gospels with light in background at Memorial Mass for Justice Antonin Scalia

Rorate Mass at St. James the Greater in St. Louis

The Rorate Mass is a traditional Mass held during Advent, usually early in the morning (pre-dawn) or late in the evening, where the entire church is lit only by candlelight. Mass begins with the singing of the Rorate Cæli (translated "Drop down dew, ye heavens"), and as it is a votive Mass for the Blessed Virgin Mary, white vestments are worn instead of the typical Advent violet.

In St. Louis, we had a Rorate Mass at St. James the Greater parish in Dogtown, which is a western part of the City of St. Louis (and about a 10 minute drive from my house).

Like Tenebræ, It's one of the liturgical events that's better experienced in person than viewed through the lens of a camera, but I did as much as I could with the dim candlelight available and my f/2.8 lenses (most shots were handheld):

Rorate Mass at St. James the Greater parish in Dogtown, St. Louis, MO

2013 Deacon Ordination Mass Pictures Online

This year's Transitional Deacon Ordination Mass took place last Saturday, May 4 (May the 4th be with you! And with your spirit.).

2013 Deacon Ordination 163

I was privileged to be able to take photos for this year's transitional deacons, even more so since I will be unable to attend the Priesthood Ordination Mass this year (due to my attendance at DrupalCon Portland), and was happy to see many of my seminarian friends become deacons—one step closer to their journey towards the priesthood.

You can view the entire set of photos on Flickr: 2013 Transitional Deacon Ordination.

The Mass, Explained by an App

Mass Explained Logo

The Mass Explained App for iPad looks like a pretty awesome app ("coming soon") from Agnus, LLC. I haven't seen the app in action (just screenshots), but even if it's just a bunch of static pages like an interactive book, it looks like the content is high-quality:

iPad Mass Explained App

I really hope the app function as good as it looks. If so, I think this would be a good template for other similar apps explaining sacraments, sacramentals, the Rosary, prayer, saints, the Vatican, etc.

Basically take encyclopedic knowledge of a Catholic subject, and marry that with some great illustrations, images, and 3D models, and make a very nice interactive app or iBook. I would buy the whole series!

Great video on Altar Servers

Through Facebook, I discovered this great video on one young man's experience as an altar server:

I definitely agree that the altar server can distract from the liturgy if he is not focused on his duty, and that priests should encourage the use of cassocks and surplices instead of albs. A large reason for my joining the Seminary was my experience as an altar server, assisting some very humble priests who were great representatives of the Church and very close to Jesus—and this was reinforced by how reverent and dedicated they were to the celebration of Holy Mass.

The Revised Translation of the Roman Missal

In case you've been living under a rock for a while, here's the best explanation to date as to why the Church will be implementing a new translation of the Roman Missal (basically, the words spoken by the Priest and/or the laity during the Holy Mass):

So far I've seen very little that really hits hard from official lines of communication from the Church (a lot of info for liturgists, priests, and Catholic addicts, but not so much for the Catholic everyman). Maybe some Catholic parishes could distribute this video to their parishioners?

A tip 'o the hat to my little Sister, who reminded me of this video, and got me to finally watch it!

Taking Pictures During Liturgies

Note: I wrote this article back when I was studying to be a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Louis; I am no longer a seminarian (or a priest), but I will continue to update the article over time so it can be of use to my fellow photographers.

Picture of Holy MassAs a seminarian, I often participate in very big liturgies at the Cathedral Basilica or other places at which many families are present. Invariably, there's always a few picture-takers who end up disrupting parts of the Mass or other liturgical functions in one way or another, and they usually don't even know they're doing it. Nor, more importantly, do they know how to not disrupt the liturgy!

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