How do you begin to describe a building that is so much more? The Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Salt Lake City Diocese. Is it possible that the inside, outside, artwork, stained glass, decor and music can leave someone like me speechless? Yes it is, and it did. If you are physically unable to take a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of the Madeleine, I will do my best to describe all that I saw and felt for you. If, on the other hand, you are able, please make a serious effort to go. This pilgrimage location reminded me of the 80's when I attended service at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome by Pope John Paul II. Once you enter the grounds, you get a sense of someone much larger than ourselves - A true presence of the Holy Spirit. I agree that The Madeleine is not the Vatican, but
After I arrive to the front door, I entered the foyer. There, I was given a program that included a welcome note, parish contact numbers, news and music. Upon entering the church/worship space, is a large and beautifully tiled Baptismal Font with a gated walk in area. Pass the font is the center aisle and two side aisles. It was the timeless Gothic Style that caught my eye next. Just look behind and to the sides of the altar.
To signal the beginning of mass, bells are rung and they have an old sound to them which is fitting with the location. Then, the organist starts playing the entrance song and the cantor is at the front of the church. The whole cathedral is then filled with music and song. The amazingly huge organ is the major focal point below a round stained glass window which reminded me of Notre Dame. The pews have that timeless aged wood feeling and they make an antique creaking sound when used. On the side of the church are one or two-seater pews which are prefect for those wanting private or alone time. When I sat down I wondered, how many thousands preceded me and how many prayers have come from this very area? This time it was my turn to pray and attend mass in that spot, and it was an honor.
Today was the Third Sunday of Easter and Father Eleazar Silva, Parochial Vicar and Hospital Chaplain, gave a beautiful sermon. He spoke of his friend from Seminary School, Jorge. He related Jorge's experience with what was happening in today's Gospel. Father Silva spoke of true faith, love, honor, respect and added some humor. This kept the parishioner's attention, because we wanted to know what happened next, I know I did. During the Sharing of Peace, people actually walked out of their pews to shake hands with those across the way. What a feeling of true peace to leave your comfort zone area and venture out. There were many altar ministers and no shortage of help. When mass was ending, I felt a sense of brotherhood/sisterhood, for everyone was kind and shared a smile and a hello. Unfortunately after mass, I was unable to meet the clergy and ministers of the mass because I was busy taking photos and talking to others as you can see in one photo. I felt so comfortable there as if I had been going there for years. I do not doubt there will be many other visits, for this was just my first time and I didn't want to leave. Thank you to all those at The Cathedral of the Madeleine for your wonderful hospitality. May God always bless you.
The future starts today, not tomorrow... Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and Hallelujah is our song. - Pope John Paul II