The Catholic Event of the Season

Shamelessly pinched from New Liturgical Movement ( see more good pix there) least, here in the States, was the first solemn high pontifical mass celebrated at DC's Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in 45 years Saturday evening. Mr. W. & I had to forgo it to witness that baptism, but I sent a spy who reports:
The Mass was AWESOME.
It was celebrated in Extraordinary Form. Details on the crowd (you can see from the pic it was packed):
The parking lot was packed, the church was packed, 35 minutes before Mass.  We were able to find seats up close, but on the side - nothing was left in the middle, from the front to the back of the church. My sense is that every EF-loving Catholic within a 3 hour driving radius came to this Mass (..I'm basing this solely on the amount of veiling by the women present - I would say 50-60% at least had their heads covered).
In the procession were the Knights of Columbus, the Papal Order of St. Gregory, and the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George (whew, that was a lot to type!).  In the crowd were a variety of religious orders (including some sisters that attend Mass at St. Ann's, whom I know to be otherwise cloistered), school children (there was a group of young men in suits and ties seated in front of us; I wonder if there's a local minor seminary?), and, of course, plenty of families.
The music:
Gorgeous, simply gorgeous.  Children's choirs from the area performed, including, I'm happy to say, St. Ann's Academy (I love Esco Williams, the music teacher there).  The choirs performed various plainchant for the season.  The Shrine choir sang the Mass settings as well as some motets ("Tu es Petrus", Palestrina was the setting), and the local Canticum Novum Schola, which sang the Introit, Alleluias, Credo, Offertory Chant, Communion Chant, and the Chant at the Last Gospel.
Deacons, sub-deacons and other notables (I think I'm correct that there is no concelebration in the EF, so the many priests in attendance played other roles):
His Em. Cardinal Baum was present; several diocesan priests from various places, from what I can gather, FSSP, a few Franciscans and Capuchins, more than a few Dominicans from across the street, and a smattering of orders who I did not recognize. Also, my husband's favorite Chicago parish, St. John Cantius, provided a few priests and brothers as well - they are dedicated to the revival of liturgy and art. It was nice to see many familiar faces co-celebrating, such as the OPs and Msgr. Rossi. [I recogize Msgr. Charles Pope of the Archd of Washington and Fr. Paul Scalia of D. of Arlington from photos -ed]
My spy reports --and she is backed up unanimously by every blog report I've seen-- that Bishop Slattery gave an extraordinary homily. Fr. Z. tweeted it as the best homily he's ever heard. It is definitely Benedict-worthy.

It's a little difficult to do it justice with excerpts, so I will just tease you with a few quotations and hope you RTWT, it really is extraordinary. Or give it a listen here.
it is the sufferings of our people that define the culture of our modern secular age.
(very intrigued by that remark: thinking about it) or:
Suffering by itself is simply the reminder that death will claim these mortal bodies of ours, but suffering in Christ is the promise that we will be raised with Christ, when our mortality will be remade in his immortality and all that in our lives which is broken because it is perishable and finite will be made imperishable and incorrupt. 
try this:
For those whose lives are centered in Christ, obedience is that movement which the heart makes when it leaps in joy having once discovered the truth. 
or this:
ten men who whisper the truth speak louder than a hundred million who lie.
Update: a second spy took great photos