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24.1.06

Mass for the Masses

Mass for Life, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, January 22, 2006One of my musical gigs is choral singing. I am in my fourteenth season in the professional choir at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Without fail, the craziest event I do every year is the annual Mass for Life, a late evening Mass offered by a large crowd of bishops and priests for the hordes of people preparing to march to the Supreme Court on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade (see the photos from the Post). Now, if you have ever been inside it, you know that the Basilica is a gargantuan thing. For a high-volume event like this, we sing from the gallery, far above the floor. The photo here shows what it looked like from up there. Lots and lots o' people. People are packed into every possible space in the Upper Church, as well as in the Crypt Church, watching the event on television screens. Many of the young people who come for this event actually sleep on the floors of the Basilica in their sleeping bags. It's a surreal couple of days.

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