Student Newspaper at Michigan Tech University since 1921

Published Weekly on Tuesdays Office Located in Walker 105

St Al’s hosts 8th annual ice mass in Snow Chapel

Since 2016, St Al’s has aimed to use the snow chapel as a unique way to worship the Lord while staying true to what Winter Carnival is about.

Inside the chapel, surrounded by twelve foot walls, one can expect to see stained ice images, a pulpit, tunnels inside the walls that double as confessional, a solid ice altar, and many, many people. One item you won’t find is chairs– the ice mass is a standing room only to increase capacity. This extra capacity would prove to be useful, as the room was packed Friday evening.

Many aspects of this mass were exceptional. According to Father Tom, the turnout was among the highest they had seen, and it was “The most priests we’ve ever had at an ice mass”, at around half a dozen. The mass was also quite warm, at least by Houghton standards. However, you can only expect so much from a church made of snow in February, and there were many cold feet by the end of the service. Since then, the even warmer weather has taken its toll on the chapel, but the full Winter Carnival mass schedule was able to be honored.

If you have never been to an ice mass, it is very similar to a regular church service, but with a few exceptions. Chief among which is that you are standing in a packed chapel made of snow in a parking lot. Beyond that, however, is the communion service. With that many people standing both in and on the building, it’s bound to take some time to sort out the logistics. Unless the snow picks up soon and the weather cools back down, the chapel will not remain usable for much longer. So, if you want to check it out, you might be running out of time.

Leave a Reply