How Did You Celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? In a Church Maybe?
As we all know, Grand Rapids is filled with churches. Churches all denominations share their love of God in different ways. All of the churches are beautiful in their own way, but possibly none more beautiful than the Basilica.
Polish in Grand Rapids especially, still celebrate Midnight Mass (Pasterka for Pastoral) after the Wigilia (Vigil) Dinner on Christmas Eve. And where else would you do this? By far the best place to witness it all is our own historic St. Adalbert's Basilica at 4th and Davis NW.
It is a special Mass along with the organ, the Grand Rapids Chamber Choir, and live musicians.
The history of St. Adalbert's goes back to early July of 1907 when work began on the present church building. The cornerstone was laid on August 18, 1907, and the building was completed in late spring of 1913 for a total cost of about $150,000, including all of its furnishings. In today's dollars it would b around $4 million dollars, still a bargain.
And you're wondering why Basilica?
St. Adalbert's website, basilica.com says BASILICA comes from the Greek meaning “royal” or “regal” or “house fit for a king.” A basilica church is usually of Romanesque style, with the altar set before a rounded wall called the Apse. Over the altar is a raised Baldachino, or canopy, resting on four pillars. In order to obtain the honorific title of “Minor Basilica,” the parish church must have played a significant role in the furthering of the Faith of a particular area.
St. Adalbert Basilica was the first church to be solemnly dedicated to this rank in the State of Michigan, and one of the very few in the United States. St. Adalbert was raised to this honor on the occasion of the centennial of the parish in grand ceremonies on February 16, 1980.
25 Michigan Roadside Oddities