Last week I was at the Saint Michael's Conference. It was incredible. Frankly, it was wonderful to get away from Episcopal nonsense and news of the same, and do something totally positive and constructive. All week I was awash in teenagers (61 of them), birettas, daily Solemn High Mass, daily Solemn Evensong, and unadulterated catholicism. I taught a class called "Christ and the Cosmos" which I meant to be a simplified theology of creation. My only regret was that I didn't have more time.
One night we had Benediction. The kids loved it. The Masses were basically English Missal masses -- a.k.a. Rite I with all the proper ceremonial poured into the cracks in the Prayer Book rubrics (the six salutations, Orate Fratres, Ecce Agnus Dei, Postcommunion, Last Gospel, etc.). One of ours priests himself made several sets of vestments -- chasubles, dalmatics, tunicles, copes -- for the Conference. They were all absolutely beautiful.
We heard about 50 confessions from the kids during the course of the week, most of them first confessions. During the last two nights of the conference, we had Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament after Compline, and stationed priests around the chapel to hear confessions in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. It was beautiful.
The kids, by and large, seemed to love pretty much everything. By the end they were weeping and swearing loyalty to new friends, wishing aloud that the conference lasted another week.
Several blogosphere friends were there, including MM of Theology of the Body, Fr Nelson of the same, Deacon Randall Foster (Texanglican), and Fr Cantrell of Apostolicity.
The picture above is from Benediction, Wednesday night. The sight of 61 teenagers all kneeling perfectly devoutly, adoring Jesus, was incredibly encouraging.