The Eucharist… from behind the Altar

St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Corvallis, OR is nearly done with their remodeling! Those of you who know me know that I’m in the 9 AM choir on Sunday mornings (despite the fact that it’s been hard to make that mass lately… it’s just so early!) So yeah, our choir space is finally done. If you imagine a fairly austere church, with a large single piece of marble in the front for the altar, and the two reading thingies on either side, the choir area is now to the right. They put in really nice light maple wood risers, with chairs for us to sit on during the Homily (if we want to… we don’t have to), and we’re kind of right behind the altar. Not *behind*, but you know what I mean. We’re behind it on the horizontal. So, I got to watch the Eucharist this morning from the perspective Fr. John sees it every weekend. It was amazing. When the bells rang when the host and wine were transubstantiated, it had a totally different feeling than when I’m kneeling in the pews.

Not many people who read this blog are Catholic (which is a shame, since being Catholic is awesome and full of Tradition [with a capital ‘T’]), so you really don’t know what goes on during the Eucharist. If you ever get the chance, go to mass with a Catholic, or visit your local Catholic church, so you can experience it just once. It may not feel the same to you, and you won’t be able to have the Host (since you aren’t Catholic), but the mass is a beautiful part of the Church. It’s great because, wherever you are, the mass is (theoretically) celebrated in the same way.

Advent is a beautiful time of year. We have Advent wreaths, we get to celebrate Mary’s virgin birth (which is my favorite), and Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve is the best. I mean, granted, it’s at midnight (which is when I like to watch TV and play my Xbox) but we sing xmas carols and it’s all lit by candles, and it’s the best.

Ok, I’m getting off topic. I’ve not slept in two days, so I’m going to go try to lay down again (sigh).


3 thoughts on “The Eucharist… from behind the Altar

  1. Kristin, I appreciate your openness about and your passion for your Catholic faith. Thanks for sharing that. I, too, have come to see how important the Eucharist is in my life and my faith. This year I began a blog on the Eucharist called The Food Which Endures: An excellent Eucharistic webiste is Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association at I hope that your faith helps you to find meaning in your struggle with cancer. I will keep you in my prayers. Good luck with school, and have a blessed Christmas.

    • Thanks, Pete! I love hearing from people who appreciate the Eucharist as much as I do 🙂 For a laugh, you should look at my past entries and read the ones about the emails I sent the Catholic Church. Yeah, that was an experience. Merry Christmas!

  2. I enjoyed your emails on kneeling. I’m with you–GIRM 43 seems clear that all dioceses in the U.S. are to kneel from after the Sanctus to after the Great Amen, and that it is the posture after the Agnus Dei that is up to the bishop’s discretion. I would think that the intent of Redemptionis Sacramentum 21 was not to allow a bishop to disregard the GIRM. Merry Christmas, Kristen.

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