Monday, April 4, 2011

Mass at St. Patrick's Old Cathedral

Everyone knows of St. Patrick's Cathedral, the behemoth near Rockefeller Center on Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st streets. Less well-known, however, is St. Patrick's Old Cathedral, a comparatively small church in Soho that served as the New York diocese's first cathedral for 70 years in the 1800s.

We belong to a church in Bay Ridge, but we tend to go to mass based on whatever our plans are for the weekend. I long ago lost track of the number of different churches we've visited, but we've become repeat visitors at several because of their location and mass times -- particularly a church near Union Square that offers a 4 p.m. Saturday mass (the earliest I've found), and a church in the East Village that offers a 7 p.m. Saturday mass (the latest I've found, and perfect if we want to eat supper at one of the many yummy restaurants nearby).

But St. Patrick's Old Cathedral was new to us when we visited earlier this year. Had the name not given it away, I never would have looked into its history. It was a nice church; nothing fancy. Only two things were notable:

How cold the mass was. I know there was still snow on the ground outside, but I'd never before worn my gloves throughout a service.

How short the mass was! Perhaps it was only this one service, but there was no music. We were out of there in something like 35 minutes -- a Catholic record?

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