See you at the 2:30 Mass? (That’s a.m.)
There is no church tradition that cannot be saved, or at least a brave Pittsburgh priest who is resurrecting the “Printers Mass” hopes that is the case. Via The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, one of two dailies left (barely) in the Steel City, which once had seven:
At parishioners’ suggestion, Father [Carmen] D’Amico is going to offer a pre-dawn liturgy at 2:30 a.m. Sunday to see what kind of crowd the special service draws. The church, at Centre Avenue and Washington Place, stands in front of the new Consol Energy Center.
First celebrated on April 30, 1905, the printers’ Mass attracted employees from seven daily newspapers who opened the church doors and lit the candles. Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph workers wanted to take Communion after finishing their shift at 2 a.m. Pittsburgh Press truck drivers often served on the altar, then began delivering papers at 3 a.m.
With two main daily papers left today, there are far fewer printers, but Father D’Amico hopes to attract local college students who are up late and looking for a quiet alternative to the raucous night life on weekends in some parts of the city. As the administrator of three parishes — St. Mary of Mercy, Downtown; St. Benedict the Moor, Hill District; and Epiphany — the priest already ministers to many people.
But he’s eager to help a few more, so fliers about the liturgy have been distributed to local colleges.
If enough students turn up, the weekly printers’ Mass may be revived. The priest also hopes young people will be interested in organizing an informal coffeehouse before the Mass.
Get ‘em to read newspapers while they’re at it, says I.
H/T to the indispensable RNS daily roundup