Friday, February 26, 2010

For the sake of convenience, then, I went out after dinner to stations at my parish. But I could see, after turning onto Stillhouse Rd., a dark church: nobody was there. Probably due to the bad weather. I drove to Hamilton and arrived just in time to message Jeff where I'd gone to, from the steps of the church.

I had only enough money for one candle so I lit that before taking a seat. Even though it's a very large church and I was seated in almost the back row, I spied what looked to me like a monstrance, way up there on the altar.
Oh, it can't be! This isn't 'First Friday!'"
The priests at this versus populum church (I almost wrote "ad populum!") imitate BXVI's use of a crucifix on the altar and I tried to tell myself the monstrance was that. But, no, there's no mistaking the difference in their appearance!

While we sang a Lenten hymn from the missalette, the deacon entered almost immediately wearing a cape 1 which he didn't remove. He told us there would be exposition and benediction "around" stations according to JPII's '91 version. He went to the tabernacle and we got on our knees and he placed the host in the monstrance. He had a censer and he knew well how to use it. His movements were flawless.

We sang O salutaris Hostia and I know my pronunciation isn't very good. Then the stations which, you know, as partial as I am to Liguori's classic, this other version brought tears to my eyes. I wish I had the text as it appeared in the booklet in front of me for reference. In fact, I just ordered the booklet from Amazon. It's that good. The early stations made use of Psalm 6 which is all about being broken. You have any doubt I was crying? Just read verse 6.

And I wish I could find the lyrics of the hymn by Fr. John Broderick set to the tune of Stabat Mater. Well, the words are in the book that's coming, that I can sing to myself if I can't find a recording.

Then he read the day's Gospel (Matt. 5:20-26) and gave a brief, encouraging homily. Then, I'm fuzzy: Tantum Ergo, which my pronunciation isn't too bad for, benediction and the divine praises with the optional ending that I don't have memorized yet:
May the heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, be praised, adored, and loved, with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even until the end of time. Amen.
It was a beautiful combination and I left the building deciding I would live for Fridays. At the same time, I had a weird impression of the host as some sort of proctor. Now, I just found this at the US Catholic bishops site, from the Committee on Divine Worship, "Devotions and Eucharistic Adoration:"
Eucharistic exposition and benediction are no longer considered devotions, but rather are a part of the Church's official liturgy. Whereas in the past benediction was frequently added on to the end of another service or devotion, this is no longer permitted. Eucharistic exposition and benediction is a complete liturgical service in its own right and is to be celebrated as such.
So, now I have something to think about.

1 maybe called a "cope."


Matt said...

I really enjoyed reading this. Adoration and Benediction have been a part of my life since becoming Catholic.

For your last part of the post, consider that there are devotions, such as praying the Rosary, that have an indulgence attached to them if said in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. So there is some obvious wiggle room. I have the feeling that the rule applies here to having an event which is mainly a plain devotional but then tacking on benediction to the end. I highly doubt, since public devotions go on all the time during exposition (such as 40 Hours Devotion, Rosaries, Stations) that what you experienced was out of bounds.

God bless!

Moonshadow said...

I had thought of the rosary, as well, during exposition. I appreciate your comment. I am still pondering these things as objectively as I can since I thought I really benefitted from activity. Peace.

deanna said...

It is called a cope, if it went to the floor. If it wrapped around like a woman's shawl, it is called a humerial veil which is taken on and off. On to touch the monstrance, off when done.

Moonshadow said...

He had the humerial veil too for the actual benediction.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

I like St. Alphonsus Ligouri's stations, too, but there is a beautiful stations of the cross that was, prior to Vatican II, written by the Benedictines at St. John's at Collegeville. It was made up of prayers from the Traditional Mass and Bible verses along with the Stabat Mater. I remember in grade school we used it.

Benediction is such a blessing that I wish many more parishes would offer it. Glad you sing in Latin. Glad you have a great parish to attend.

Moonshadow said...

Barbara's comment got me thinking about a version published in '65, in response to Sacrosanctum Concilium, available (in bulk) here and also here (same deal).

A church I frequented about ten years ago used this Scriptural version and I got to memorizing the Bible passages that it included as a result.

Matt said...

The second one you linked to is the one we use on Fridays at my novus ordo parish and I've always been impressed with it. It uses the old Confraternity Bible for the scripture passages.

Moonshadow said...

Yes, it does, that's right. So, (imo) an unusual spelling - "Ezechiel" - at 13th station.