On Sept. 19, Mercyhurst held its annual all-school mass, the Mass of the Holy Spirit.
Similar to Hurst Day, the weather was perfect.
It was so full of sunshine, not a cloud in the sky.
I think that it might have been God’s way of blessing Mercyhurst and its strong commitment to continuing its Mercy heritage.
This year I got to observe the mass as if through the eyes of a freshman.
While I was able to attend the Mass last year, things got in the way of me properly experiencing it.
Last year I had a class that ran too close to the mass.
So when I arrived, the place was so packed that I had to stand in the halls of Old Main during the entire service.
This year I made sure to arrive early to save seats for both myself, my teammates and friends.
It worked out much better for us in the end, we got the seats we wanted.
When I first arrived, I got to hear the choir warm up by singing some of the songs that were to be performed a cappella later.
One of my favorite aspects of any Catholic Mass is listening to the choir.
When a choir is good, I find that listening to their harmonies makes them sound almost angelic.
Without the instruments overbearing on the choir’s voices they sounded beautiful.
The choirs sound really added to the beauty and reverence of Christ the King Chapel.
Even though I am not Catholic, I have attended Catholic schools all my life.
When calculated out fully, I have attended roughly 432 masses between grade school and high school alone, give or take a few.
The Catholic faith has been both inclusive and exclusive in my own experience, through mass and other religious functions like retreats.
Mercyhurst has made a strong effort to be inclusive, and this effort showed during the Mass of the Holy Spirit.
As one of the biggest masses of the year, I thought that Mercyhurst did an excellent job at trying to make others who do not identify as Catholic, practice their faith regularly or speak different languages feel welcome.
At the beginning of the mass, a speaker told everyone what to do if they wanted to receive communion, a blessing or neither.
During the Pentecost Sequence, several members of the Mercyhurst community spoke the same sentence in a different language which I thought was very inclusive.
Although I could not understand what they were saying it was interesting to hear all of the different languages.
With all of the masses that I have been to, I have never been to one with dancers.
But the ones they had at the Mass of the Holy Spirit were very graceful and did the job with reverence.
During the earlier part of the mass, the crowd was able to get in a good chuckle when one of the lectors began to welcome everyone when she was soon drowned out by the choir singing their second song.
Moments like this allowed the Mass to maintain a lighthearted atmosphere.
I really enjoyed the speakers this year as well.
Fr. Doug May brought both stories and experience from his childhood and travels.
He spread some good messages and told some good stories from his life.
Following the mass, a picnic was held afterward outside between Old Main and Zurn.
Anytime that Parkhurst rolls out the black catering uniforms I know the food will be good.
I enjoyed the free food, not only did I get to save swipes, but it was really good!
On the whole, I thought the Mass of the Holy Spirit was a wonderful event this year.
It is an amazing tradition that brings much to the campus, and I hope to see it continue.