Mass of the Holy Spirit unites prayer, performance

Last Thursday the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit was celebrated in the Christ the King Chapel.

This was a special day not only in the religious community, but in the arts as well, as Mercyhurst utilized several forms of art to honor the birthday of the Virgin Mary.

Those who attended received a card with an image of the Virgin Mary with the Holy Spirit floating above her.

Father William Hart McNichols painted this picture, which has roots as far back as the First Pentecost.

As Sister Lisa Mary McCartney described, this picture of the Mother of God symbolizes all worshipers praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

The Pentecost Sequence, as interpreted by members of the Mercyhurst community into their respective languages was an interesting addition, showcasing the many talents within the college, while embracing the diverse cultures of faculty and students.

The Concert Choir added to the musical component of the mass.

The choir led worshippers in song and performed selections such as Palestrina’s “Adoramus te” and Giuseppe Pitoni’s “Cantate Domino.”

The choir also collaborated with the Mercyhurst Liturgical Dance Ensemble, who performed as a preparation of the gifts.

The singers and dancers brought a new aspect to the Mass, displaying how we can all use our talents to worship.
Junior Tess Sinke appreciated the additions to the Mass.

“It was nice to see different forms of art used in a very spiritual way. It helped me feel more connected and in tune to what the message was,” she said.

The arts are an integral part of Mercyhurst College.

Incorporating the many talents students and faculty have to offer into the Mass made it personal and special.

Some feel it’s easier to connect with their spiritual side when they can witness a live performance as opposed to just sitting there and listening to someone speak.

“I felt the different forms of art really made the mass more interesting,” junior Rachel Gnatowski said.

Sophomore Andrea Lankaster performed with the Liturgical Dance Ensemble.

She believes prayer and the arts go hand in hand.

“Having a visual interpretation gives the congregation a new perspective and shows that prayer can be experienced in forms other than words, such as music and dance,” she said.