This is for your Just Too Cool file.
My friend and a commentator here, Fr. Martin Fox has on his blog a post about starting the custom of the “Beating of the Bounds”. In times past, around Ascension or the Rogation Days parishes would have a procession around the boundary of the parish, asking God to bless them and crops, etc. This was useful in times when maps were rare: boundaries were remembered.
Since Fr. Fox’s parish has a really long boundary, they will break up the “beating” over several years. This is a great solution. I had wondered how to revive the custom given really large parish territories.
Do go to visit Fr. Fox’s blog and read about it.
Here is a taste:
Yesterday afternoon, Saint Remy Parish revived a tradition from medieval England, and brought it to the fields surrounding the farm community of Russia, Ohio.
Over 100 men and boys answered my invitation to exercise spiritual leadership and guardianship over the parish with a “Men’s Prayer Walk.” So, yes, this was specifically pitched to men. (One girl did make it, however: a father brought his infant daughter along.)
I involved several men of the parish as my “wise men”: one took charge of transportation; one took responsibility for food and drink, and a third handled set up and clean up. Several others pitched in with help and ideas — such as games for the boys (what a great idea!).
My hope and plan was for 50 participants; we more than doubled that. Several men who took part didn’t walk; instead, they rode in a golf cart. A number of the boys were in strollers, and some ended up riding their dads’ back part or most of the time.
One of the ideas I came up with was to give the boys chalk, and a diagram for them to draw on the street as we went along. What I came up with looked like this:
2 | 0
1 | 6
O. P. N.
And in case you are wondering, that is meant to show a cross, surrounded by this year’s date, and the words, Sancte Remigii, ora pro nobis, or in English, Saint Remy, pray for us.