Our annual Assumption Feast was held again this year on Sunday, August 17 (the actual feast, of course, is on August 15, but we transferred this celebration to the next Sunday.) As always, we began our celebration of this wonderful feast of our Lady with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, celebrated according to the ancient Gregorian Rite by Fr. Glenn Gardner of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest. Here on St. Mary's Ridge, we have a sung Mass every Sunday and we tried to have some special music for this special feast. Happily Fr. Joseph Redfern of the Diocese of La Crosse was along to help our schola. Father's voice is awesome and fills out our humble attempts to give the Gregorian Chant pride of place in the celebration of the sacred liturgy.
Mass was followed by a solemn procession around the Church while saying the Rosary. We stopped at a beautiful outdoor altar for prayers and Benediction.
The highlight of the feast is, of course, the Mass. But being the synthesis of soul and body that we are, the joy and benefit of a spiritual banquet can be heightened by its carnal counterpart. Here, as is now traditional for us, a whole roasted pig was prepared by Jim Schroeder. Father Meney of the Institute of Christ the King seems to be enjoying the preparation of this delectable beast. These pork roasts are a real treat and I'm absolutely serious that any of you who are anywhere near this neck of the woods really should join us next year to try this delicacy. To go with it were a host of luscious salads and side dishes brought by the families of our apostolate as well as folks from St. Mary's Oratory in Wausau, WI.
Now, of course, this blog is about beer and one can hardly imagine a finer culinary combination than roasted pork and beer. I served up three varieties at this feast. The first was my London Bridge Brown which was an all-grain batch made, for the first time for me, with pale chocolate malt which does indeed give it a subtle and delicious chocolate note. The second was what I called Wizard of Oz Ale, another batch made in honor of our Australian priest Father Redfern, from the same Cooper's Bitter kit that is reviewed below. And finally I served out the All Amarillo Amber Ale which, again, is mentioned below. All of the beers were well received and, as always, it is a joy to be able to share the fruits of one's labors with an appreciative crowd.