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Extraordinary Form of Mass Held at original St. Mary Church in Gaylord
On Sunday, July 21, Fr. Peter Wigton celebrated the extraordinary form of the Mass at the first Catholic Church built in Gaylord. In the extraordinary form, the term extraordinary is meant to mean other rather than to place it as being of higher rank. In July 2007, Pope Benedict XVI issued an Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum regarding the use of the Latin-language liturgy that predates the Second Vatican Council. The Mass from the post-Vatican II Roman Missal remains the ordinary form of the Mass, while Mass according to the 1962 Missal is the extraordinary form. Priests receive special training before celebrating the extraordinary form of the Mass. The major differences between the ordinary and extraordinary forms of Mass individuals will notice are the priests orientation during the liturgy and the use of Latin. Some other differences include the role of altar servers, the liturgical calendar, what Scriptures are proclaimed, and possibly the vestments worn. Communion is distributed only under the species of Consecrated Bread, usually at a communion rail or kneeler. Assisting Fr. Peter at the altar were servers from Holy Rosary in Cedar, where the Extraordinary Form of Mass has been celebrated since 2008. Fred Kilkline, Peter Freundl and Alice Kole helped to lead the assembly from the balcony in the responses and chant for the Mass.
Approximately 80 people assembled for the special liturgy which was celebrated at the old church as part of the observance of the parishs 125th anniversary and just a few days after the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (July 16) under whose patronage the parish was placed when it was erected. The original St. Mary Church was built to serve the population of the Gaylord area as a mission of West Bay City in the early 1880s, and continued as the first Cathedral when the Diocese of Gaylord was established in 1971. The new (and current) St. Mary Cathedral was dedicated in July of 1976. The old church is now privately owned and known as the Mt. Carmel Centre, but many longtime residents of the community still lovingly refer to it as the Old St. Mary Church.
As he began his homily, Fr. Peter remarked that he felt extremely blessed to be the first priest to celebrate Mass in the old church in 40 years. Several of those who were present had attended Mass at the church when they were children and recalled walking over from the St. Mary School next door for Masses during the school day as well as on Sundays.
The Extraordinary Form of the Mass will continue to be celebrated weekly at the current St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord (606 North Ohio Avenue) on Sundays at 3:00 p.m. It is also offered at St. Augustine in Hillman at 9:00 a.m. on Thursdays and at Holy Rosary in Cedar at 11:30 a.m. on Sundays, Tuesday and Wednesday at 8:15 am, Thursdays at 7:00 pm and Saturday at 8:15 a.m.