Recently the Canons at St. John Cantius in Chicago had a great celebration for their feast of St. John Cantius on 20 October. They offered a Latin Holy Hour, a Solemn High Mass (1962 Missale Romanum) and Solemn Vespers (1962 Breviarium Romanum).  

There was a procession.

Don’t you love it when things are just… well… right?  That’s a great advantage for those groups which have many vocations and they are really dedicated to liturgical excellence.

Years ago I was standing outside the Paul VI audience hall in the Vatican waiting for my bishop to emerge from a meeting of the Italian Bishops conference.  I was chatting with a small group, including a couple bishops who couldn’t stand it any more inside.  I described the marvelous procession we had had a few days before for Corpus Christi in which the Swiss Guard had carried the canopy and many hundreds of people participated.  One old bishops said that we need "less yaking and more processions".

I agree.

Closer to my native place, a priest friend now pastor of St. Nicholas in New Market, MN, Fr. Daniel Haugen, had a procession for the anniversary of their perpetual adoration chapel.

Here are a couple pics sent by a reader.

Processions don’t have to be terribly grand.  They can also be simple, so long as they are the best you can do.  This is why I am happy to post photos that are not just dazzling liturgical eye-candy.  It is great to give lots of attention to the grand and spectacular, but we need the early brick by brick views as well.  

You can do it to.

Also, here are a couple more view of the procession for the Forty Hours Prayer in which I participated at Mater Ecclesiae in Berlin, NJ.

Less chatter.  More processions.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Maureen says:

    I want one, dang it!

  2. Mitch says:

    We are preparing one for All Saints Day here at Gonzaga Univeristy!

  3. RichR says:

    Less chatter. More processions.

    There’s a slogan. I likes.

  4. Mila says:

    Definitely. Less chatter. More processions.

  5. TJM says:

    Father Z coins another one! Less chatter. More processions! It goes nicely with brick by brick. Tom

  6. Bro. Maynard says:

    I thought it was prohibited to say Mass in front of the Blessed Sacrament exposed. (Eucharistiae Sacramentum, Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, 21 June 1973)

  7. Warren says:

    “Less prattle; more processions.”
    – variation on a theme.

  8. Joe Horan says:

    “Less politicking; more processions.”

  9. Bro. Maynard: You might want to check back on this blog for more on that.

  10. Father Anonymous says:

    Two hosts?! Two Jesuses?! Misa coram Sanctissimo?! I\’m so confused…. Where should I genuflect? What should I do? I suppose I should just bow to the altar (symbol of Christ)and ignore the Blessed Sacrament (Christ).

  11. Joe Roncalli says:

    Father Anonymous how cynical,condescending and ignorant. [LOL!] You pick up a Fortesque, read the section on Mass before the Blessed Sacrament exposed and you do the red and say the black. Perhaps one of our 8 year old altar boys could explain it for you. [snort!]

  12. Father Anonymous: You might be interested in Father Z’s previous post

    on this Mass, where he comments on the more complex rubrics for a missa coram sanctissimo (which apparently are very precise regarding the questions you allude to).

  13. Bro. Maynard says:

    It’s a big blog. I give up.

  14. Bro. Maynard says:

    Aha. Permitted only on 3rd Day of the Forty Hours prayer. Saved by a technicality. Nevertheless, I would tend to agree with the supression of Missa coram Sanctissimo, as it seems to distract from the action of the Mass.

    [Notice the use of the what I call the “episcopal subjunctive” (when bishops use it, at least), otherwise it … well… has other nicknames: “I would tend…” followed by “seems”.]

  15. Bro. Maynard: You probably think that because you have never been to one.

  16. jarhead462 says:

    “Father Anonymous”……hmmmmmm. I’m suspicious.

    Semper Fi!

  17. Bro. Maynard says:

    I beg your pardon, Father, but I believe my imagination is sufficiently active to place myself there. I would still think it was distracting. Yes, even Eucharistic devotion can be taken to extremes. The 1967 instruction of CDW says, “While the Blessed Sacrament is exposed, the celebration of Mass in the same area of the church () is forbidden, all concessions and contrary customs valid up to the present time, even those worthy of special mention, notwithstanding.” And Redemptionis Sacramentum says, “Exposition should rigorously be interrupted while Mass is being celebrated.” Whence comes the 40 Hours exception.

  18. Bro. Maynard says:

    Sorry, should have read: “. . .in the same area of the church (eadem aula ecclesiae) is forbidden. . ..”

  19. Bro. Maynard: I beg your pardon, Father, but I believe my imagination is sufficiently active to place myself there.

    That’s what I thought too.

    I would still think it was distracting.

    You might have a different experience.

    And what does Summorum Pontificum say about this? (That’s a rhetorical question.)

  20. jarhead462 says:

    Bro. Maynard- “technicality”?? Hmmmmm. (Bring out the holy hand-grenade)
    I attended that Mass. It was moving and beautiful.
    Fr. Z- Sorry I can’t make it to Philly tonight, but I was honored to speak with you after Mass on Sunday.

    God love you, and SEMPER FI!

  21. Bro. Maynard says:

    I still want to know how it is permitted when it seems to have been forbidden. I am sure Father can cite the exception to “all concessions and contrary customs valid up to the present time, even those worthy of special mention, notwithstanding.” Otherwise, as the blog preaches, “do the black.” Can’t be having it both ways. If there is such a subsequent concession, then wonderful, enjoy. I still personally agree with the premise of the suppression, which is that “the celebration of the Mystery of the Eucharist includes in a more perfect way that spiritual communion to which exposition should lead the faithful.”

  22. Father Anonymous says:

    LOL! Nolite timere.

  23. Bro. Maynard: I suggest you contact Fr. Pasley at Mater Ecclesiae in Berlin, NJ. He can offer you the explanation you seek so earnestly.

    Perhaps this will have something to do with the Forty Hours Prayer having been in course at the parish established for the last 8 years to do everything, all ceremonies and sacraments, according to the older forms.

    Your personal preferences, Brother, need not be the interpretive principle by which other people read the situation now with Summorum Pontificum in force. You might want to sit down with your copy of Fortescue/O’Connell and figure out what has to be done on the third day of Forty Hours.

    Furthermore, my blog and the parish where this was done are not coterminous.

  24. Bro. Maynard: The 1967 instruction of CDW says …

    Somehow, the suspicion sneaks up on me that you agree with a lot of those 1960s/1970s instructions that pointed in a common direction of de-sacralizing worship and the liturgy. Right?

    “the celebration of the Mystery of the Eucharist includes in a more perfect way that spiritual communion to which exposition should lead the faithful.”

    The flabby syntax of and flaccid thought underlying this quote sets suggests a false dichotomy to which I suspect you also subscribe. In fact, worship at Holy Mass and in Eucharistic Adoration are powerfully supportive. Daily Mass attendance in my parish is now twice what it was before we started Perpetual Adoration. And one of our more popular “hours” is that preceding morning Mass, when some prepare for Mass with an hour of Adoration.

  25. dcs says:

    I still want to know how it is permitted when it seems to have been forbidden.

    Those who celebrate the older Missal use the books in force in 1962. That is not to say that those books are frozen in time and could not be changed, as our Holy Father did just this year with the Good Friday Prayer for the Jews, but the changes to the Mass after 1962 (such as Inter Oecumenici, Musicam Sacram, etc.) simply do not apply to the older Missal.

  26. Brother Maynard: I blieve that the legal answer to your question is the one given above by dcs i.e. the Instruction didn’t exist in the time of the 1962 Missal. It might be said to aply to the 1965 Edition but nobody uses that.

    As to whether the argument used in the 1967 Instruction is sufficient in and of itself to apply to all Missals, the rules regarding Mass in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed are part of the approved tradition of the Church. It is, in fact, comanded by the Clementine Instruction for the Forty Hours Devotion. What the Church has done the Church can do.

  27. David: What the Church has done the Church can do.

    What a succinct and wonderful principle! Reminds me once again of my all-time favorite Bishop Fulton Sheen quote:

    “It is a long-established principle of the Church never to completely drop from her public worship any ceremony, object, or prayer which once occupied a place in that worship.”

    In his narration of the familiar “The Immemorial Tridentine Mass” video filmed at a 1940 Easter Mass in Chicago.

  28. Bro. Maynard says:

    No, Harry, you are mistaken, that is not what I think at all. I just think obey the law. And dcs, I do not think (though I admit I am not sure) this is a matter covered by the rubrics of the 1962 Missal. Father has been quite clear on this blog in other cases about which legislative acts after 1962 are binding with respect to celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missal. He has quoted Redemptionis Sacramentum to advantage where appropriate. And, as he said so eloquently, “Remember the document is called Summorum Pontificum and not Jurassicorum Parkorum.” It is incorrect to say categorically that instructions from CDW not existing in 1962 do not apply to the Extraordinary Form now. I merely seek clarification. If I am wrong, that’s fine. But I do think if one’s motto is “Say the Black, Do the Red,” one must be consistent. The meaning of that is, follow the rules scrupulously.

  29. Bro. Maynard: If I were to take your labored protestations at face value, I would think you might like to pursue Father Z’s explanation in the post previously linked:

    Although the servers made everything look easy and go smoothly, the ceremonies were complex, at least for me, for this was a Mass coram Sanctissimo, which is nearly unheard of since the Council. It was effectively forbidden except by papal indult and permitted effectively only on the 3rd Day of the Forty Hours prayer.

    If and when you do so, perhaps you will favor us with the result of your investigation.

  30. Bro. Maynard says:

    I read that already. I quoted the legislation which says “While the Blessed Sacrament is exposed, the celebration of Mass in the same area of the church is forbidden, ALL CONCESSIONS AND CONTRARY CUSTOMS VALID UP TO THE PRESENT TIME, EVEN THOSE WORTHY OF SPECIAL MENTION, NOTWITHSTANDING.” I am just asking. I saw the photo and it immediately triggered a memory of a prohibition. I didn’t say the Mass, so I don’t think it is incumbent on me to find the countervailing permission. Listen, if folks think OTHERS should obey the rules but not Usus Antiquiorians (of which I am wholeheartedly one), I don’t know what else to say. Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. People here love minutiae, but I don’t claim to be as knowledgeable, so again, I’m just askin’. . .

  31. EDG says:

    Our Knights are wonderful, but our processions are lousy. I go to Spain a lot and last summer I was in a procession for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and I heard the organizers and priests yelling directions. They start out with four lines: that is, the statue is carried by two lines, and then on either side of them are two lines of lay people, Knights, or whatever. The outside two lines start out first, clearing the way, and after about 20 people, the statue, icon, Eucharist or whatever appears, carried by the two interior lines. This then makes the procession 4 marchers wide. After whatever is being carried in procession passes, then the 4-across line is filled in first by the clergy, then by the choir, and finally by laypeople in order of rank (that is, associations, parish members, etc.).

  32. Bro. Maynard says:

    Oh, and I will attempt to refrain in future from the “episcopal subjunctive,” though I hardly think pointing it out was relevant to the question.

    And Henry, why would you not take my questions at face value? And since when is quoting the CDW a “labored protestation”? Jeez, what a double standard for this site!

  33. California Girl says:

    When our (private) Catholic school was dedicated last month (by Bishop Salvatore Cordileone), we had a Eucharistic Procession from the local parish through the streets of the city (a distance of about 2 miles). Pictures can be found with the article at:

  34. Bro. Maynard: You are having a hard time distinguishing between “this site”, on the one hand, and comments made in discussions, as if comments made by people are the official representations of “this site”. Please get that sorted out soon.

    Summorum Pontificum indeed does not revive all the decrees of the SCR as they were in 1962.  But there are a lot of questions right now about what it does revive.  We can be pretty sure that it does not revive things that were already supressed in 1962.  But we don’t know yet how Summorum Pontificum affects some other practices, such as Forty Hours Prayer, etc.  The Motu Proprio does state that the older Rituale Romanum can be used, the older Pontificale, etc.  So, the Clementine Instruction which lays out how the Forty Hours Prayer is to be done in the older way?  We don’t know, but it is likely.

    When there is a legal haze, Catholics interpret laws in ways that favor them, rather than in ways that increase restrictions on them. 

    I think there is a difference in being “scrupulous”, as you put it, in regard to following the rubrics which are clear enough and being “scrupulous” in such a way as to impose undue restrictions.

    When you read Fortescue/O’Connell in the 1962 edition, you find that in 1962 there was definitely a move away from Mass coram Sanctissimo except in certain strict circumstances. That said, in 1962 Mass coram Sanctissimo was not only permitted, it seems to be the way it was supposed to be offered on the third day of the Forty Hours Prayer: on the altar of exposition before the Blessed Sacrament exposed.  Other than for “grave cause” or papal indult, this is then only circumstance I find back in 1962 when such a thing was to be done.

    I don’t think that the 1967 suppression of Mass coram Sanctissimo applies to the Extraordinary Use, though it applies to the Ordinary Use.

    When I refer to Redemptionis Sacramentum as applying in some respects also to the Extraordinary Form, such as, for example, that people cannot be denied Communion in the hand at an Extraordinary Form Mass, that is because we apply law, as Catholics, in such a way as to favor the rights of people when there is a doubt, rather than place restrictions on them.  All of these things have to be handled with a lot of prudence, of course, but, when there are doubts, we should give people the benefit of the doubt so long as what they are doing doesn’t clearly conflict with the law.

    Beyond that, as I said before and repeat now, if you want a deeper explanation, you should seek it directly from those who organized the Mass at Mater Ecclesiae.

    By the way… when Mass was celebrated coram Sanctissimo the earth did not crack open.  Pigs did not fly, nor did the sky turn green.  People did not rock back and forth holding their heads, moaning in confusion.  They seemed to understand pretty well, judging from their reaction afterward, that they were worshiping Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in a very special way.  That way, very rare, seemed to increase their amazement at the mystery of His Real Presence.  At least, that’s what they told me.  As a matter of fact, they seem to have been no more confused by Mass coram Sanctissimo than they are when Communion is being distributed in two places in the church at the same time,… when there … gasp… is a Host over here and … oh my… also over there at the VERY SAME TIME in view of each other!   Somehow, people who attend the older form of Mass have it all sorted out, despite the mighty obstacle posed to their understanding in see a Host in a monstrance while Mass is being offered.

    I have now spent more time on this than is due for this entry, which is really about processions.  If you would like to raise problems about processions, that would be closer to the topic.

  35. Fr. Daniel Haugan says:

    Fr. Z, Thank you for including the picture of our humble little procession from last week. As you say “brick-by-brick”.

    Fr. D

  36. Richard says:

    Forget this legal argument. What I want to know is, who are the men in “dead chicken” hats and capes, carrying swords?

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