• urbanpilgrimphotog

New Lens Just in Time for Rorate Mass

Saturday I got up a 4 am to shoot a special candlelit Mass called Rorate Mass. That was the earliest I ever got up for a gig! Part of that was because I had to do my MUAH for a photoshoot that I was going to be in (and shoot) after Rorate.

This was my first experience of this ancient liturgy. Thanks to Rev. Jeffrey Keyes for inviting me to shoot it.

Rorate Mass, Santa Rosa. Photo by Urban Pilgrim Photography

On the left is my favorite shot from the set. Peering onto the altar from the sacristy (the "backstage"), I took the shot with a my new :) Canon 50mm lens on my Rebel T5. I definitely needed that larger aperture for this low-light situation, but the low light made it hard to see (thus hard to focus :/ ). The mass began at 6 am. It was still dark outside. The church was illuminated totally by candlelight. No cellphone flashlights!

Rorate comes from the Latin verb roro, which means "to cause dew, to drip." (It's midnight. I'm nerding out on Latin at the kitchen table. I should go to bed soon.) The mass takes it's name from the first words of the Introit (the psalm that's said or chanted as the priest approaches the altar for mass), which are from Isaiah 45:8:

“Rorate, caeli, desuper, et nubes pluant justum, aperiatur

terra, et germinet Salvatorem.”

“Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the

clouds rain the just: let the earth be opened and bud forth

a Saviour.”

So this candlelit mass is said during Advent in anticipation of the Light of the World to come into the world through the womb of Mary. The prayers and readings of the Mass prophecy the virgin who will bear the Savior. In other words, it's almost Christmas!

A little ghostly. That's Reverend Mother in the bottom left conducting the three-person choir.

Making use of Photoshop for a double exposure using a sharp and blurry image. You never know! Blurry shots don't always have to be deleted!

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