Pope Benedict XVI on Corpus Christi processions

In many places the Feast of Corpus Christi gets an “external celebration” on Sunday.  It is wonderful to see the multiplication of Eucharistic processions especially with the growth of the Traditional Latin Mass.  TLM began, processions generally followed.

In 2008 Pope Benedict taught about processions, a message we could all use today.  The full text is HERE.

“The Corpus Christi procession teaches us that the Eucharist seeks to free us from every kind of despondency and discouragement, wants to raise us, so that we can set out on the journey with the strength God gives us through Jesus Christ … Each one can find his own way if he encounters the One who is the Word and the Bread of Life and lets himself be guided by his friendly presence. Without the God-with-us, the God who is close, how can we stand up to the pilgrimage through life, either on our own or as society and the family of peoples? The Eucharist is the Sacrament of the God who does not leave us alone on the journey but stays at our side and shows us the way. Indeed, it is not enough to move onwards, one must also see where one is going! “Progress” does not suffice, if there are no criteria as reference points. On the contrary, if one loses the way one risks coming to a precipice, or at any rate more rapidly distancing oneself from the goal. God created us free but he did not leave us alone: he made himself the “way” and came to walk together with us so that in our freedom we should also have the criterion we need to discern the right way and to take it.”

This is a key point for our times in the Church right now….

“[I]f one loses the way one risks coming to a precipice, or at any rate more rapidly distancing oneself from the goal.”

We’ve gone down the wrong road for too long and we are paying the price.

As in geometry, the farther two rays extend from a point, the farther apart they get.  As in making a journey, if you want to get from, say, Chicago to Texas and, after driving for a long time, discover you are at the Canadian border, you would do well to turn around, retrace your MISTAKE, and start again on the right road.  As a matter of fact, you would be stupid to keep driving north.

Bashing Tradition to promote the Second Vatican Council is like driving north from Chicago in order to get to Texas.

No new initiative we undertake in the Church is going to succeed unless we revitalize our sacred liturgical worship and seek to fulfill the virtue of Religion, to give God what is His due.  Everything we do must flow from the Eucharist – by which we must understand both the sacred Eucharistic species and also its celebration which is Holy Mass.  Everything we do must then be brought back to the Eucharist.

Among the things that we can do relatively quickly are reinstitute many of our devotional practices: recitation of the Rosary (perhaps with a priest in the confessional), exposition and benediction (perhaps with a priest in the confessional), novenas on weeknights (perhaps with a priest in the confessional), processions, litanies, vespers, Forty Hours Devotion.

FORTY HOURS!   If there was ever a time in the life of the Church when we needed to recover the practice of FORTY HOURS DEVOTION… not pretend Forty Hours… not dumbed-down Forty Hours… not updated (see previous) Forty Hours… but REAL Forty Hours, it’s now.

Undiluted… unblended… undaunted… unmodified… unapologetic… traditional Forty Hours Devotion.

Thus endeth the rant.

We are our rites.

God, Our Father, with Your mighty steering hand guide Your priests and bishops out of the fog of worldly notions and onto a course of true renewal.

God, Our Savior and High Priest, chart onto the minds and hearts of Your sons a destination of a traditional priestly identity for our turbulent context here and now.

God, Holy Spirit, fill Your sons with zeal and with the courage to persevere when stormy resistance will rise from the agents of the Enemy.

Mary, Queen of the Clergy, put your protecting mantle over your sons who will be persecuted by their brethren and superiors when they implement traditional worship.

St. Joseph, Protector of Christ, Protector of the Church, guide the efforts of your sons to build up the Temple of God for worthy worship according to the virtue of Religion.

Holy Angels, guard us from evil and prompt us to do good.


ACTION ITEM! Be a “Custos Traditionis”! Join an association of prayer for the reversal of “Traditionis custodes”.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. JonPatrick says:

    I found this at a web site which appears to be the origin of the 40 Hours Devotion. The conditions that prompted it back then are no less serious today, perhaps substituting the Modernists for the “Turks”:

    In 1539, Pope Paul III responded to a petition from the Archdiocese of Milan asking for an indulgence for the practice: “Since our beloved son the Vicar General of the Archbishop of Milan, at the prayer of the inhabitants of the said city, in order to appease the anger of God provoked by the offenses of Christians, and in order to bring to nought the efforts and machinations of the Turks who are pressing forward to the destruction of Christendom, amongst other pious practices, has established a round of prayers and supplications to be offered by day and night by all the faithful of Christ, before our Lord’s Most Sacred Body, in all the churches of the said city, in such a manner that these prayers and supplication are made by the faithful themselves relieving each other in relays for forty hours continuously in each church in succession, according to the order determined by the Vicar… We approving in our Lord so pious an institution, grant and remit.”

  2. Gregg the Obscure says:

    the Cathedral here will be having a procession on Sunday. to my understanding it is the first in a very long time

  3. Lurker 59 says:

    Multiple parishes ago, the priest there would, every year wistfully remanence about the Corpus Christi processions of his youth and complain about them no longer existing. Obviously, he wasn’t going to turn the car around and was insistent on reaching Florida by way of Alaska.

    In politics, liberals make the mistake in thinking that nothing in society can be done without the State — all of culture and society must be regulated and within the box of the State. Conservatives do this with the Church — everything must be regulated by the Institutional Hierarchy. That is the clericalism of the conservative brand. Yes, the local parish should be the center of the local community — at the very least for believing Christians — but if the parish insists on not being the center (and even if it is) — there is zero reasons that the laity cannot undertake spiritual works of mercy or corporal works of mercy by themselves in their own groups.

    We want traditional sacraments and traditional liturgy — but we should also strive after traditional ways of life. I keep thinking back to the early Church. It is a mess and it is weird and it is unregulated. But what it has is all this organic growth.

    Pope Francis is insistent on breaking down the walls of the Church to let the wild animals trample on the Vineyard of the Lord. That doesn’t mean that the laity have to just die. If the shepherd is the sheep that got lost, the rest don’t have to be just prey — stick together do sheep stuff and wait for the Lord to send a new shepherd. If the local priest won’t do Catholic stuff, don’t let that prevent you from doing sheepy Catholic stuff.

    We don’t have to go to Canada. That is the problem with the aftermath of VII — too many people, bishops and laity alike, knew they were heading in the direction of Canada but they went anyway — they just kept going. Like my former priest in the above — knew better, wished to not go to Canada, went anyway, wouldn’t turn around.

  4. bekah687 says:

    I’m 35 years old– cradle Catholic born and raised in Montana. Not once have I seen a church organize a Eucharistic procession or had the opportunity to be part of one, that is until last week. The bishop, monsignor, as well as three other priests, two I believe from other parishes partook. The cathedral choir was also present. I was nervous at first for the incorporation of the Choir as I assumed the songs would be the terrible 1970’s-1980’s music so often incorporated in the NO masses. However I was very very pleasantly surprised. All of the singing was extremely reverent and incorporated traditional Eucharistic music. The whole thing was quite a profound experience and I am very glad to have had the opportunity to attend. The number of children, teenagers, and younger people in general taking part was so encouraging to see. Another church in the parish–the church I attend, will be having its own Eucharistic procession after the mass for the Feast of Corpus Christi.

  5. Emilio III says:

    I have always wanted to see the Corpus Christi procession in Toledo, but the best I can do is watch the YouTube replays spoiled by the continuous asinine comments of the TV talking heads. At least there was a separate video of the Hispano-Visigothic “Mozarabic” Mass “which on popular feasts is mostly celebrated in Spanish” mostly without intrusive commentary.

    Two thing struck me about it: I really miss Cardinal Cañizares; and “our special guest Cardinal-elect Roche, who is very fond of ancient rites”!

    Well, if 1962 is not ancient enough we can go back further!

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