Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fratres Oratorii; Nativity of St John the Baptist

It would have been nice to have had a bonfire tonight... The fallen leaves are blowing on the footpath outside the Pro.

Instead, we had Brothers of the Oratory Holy Hour (a chance to go to confession included), followed by sung Mass - yours truly having to sing it with Rosemary lending me a hand, thankfully. The attendance at Holy Hour and Mass was very sparse indeed, sadly.

For the Mass, we had "For all the saints" as processional, then I psalm-toned the Propers alone (would have loved to sing the Gregorian, but by myself I just can't do it), and we all sang Missa de Angelis and Credo III; at the Offertory and Communion, R. and I sang the Benedictus and Jesu dulcis memoria respectively; we ended with "Hark a herald voice is sounding" - it would probably have worked better at the start, with the opening hymn at the end, now I think about it, but no matter.

I had arrived at the Pro. just before 5.30pm; both Holy Hour and Mass started about 10 minutes late, for various reasons, Mass ended about 7.30pm if not a little earlier, and I left maybe fifteen minutes afterward. A good evening: always good to be brought to one's knees, to reflect, to confess, to offer thanksigiving.

I was struck by how St John the Baptist appears not merely in the Proper, but in the Ordinary of the Mass: in the Confiteor and in the Last Gospel, for instance; in the very Canon, we ask to be allotted some part and fellowship with the martyrs, firstly, St John, the Baptist (cf. Nobis quoque peccatoribus); the Agnus Dei and Ecce Agnus Dei are taken from his very words of prophecy; he is named first after the Blessed Virgin in the Suscipe Sancta Trinitas.

Along with the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, he is one of the principal Patrons of the Holy Roman Church - I don't recall reading why this is so. Ideas, anyone?

May he, who pointed out the Lamb of God, obtain for us the grace to follow along the path of eternal salvation.


Anonymous said...

The attendance at Holy Hour and Mass was very sparse indeed, sadly.

Sparse and sad, but not surprising. I have seen some Churches where it wasn't really mentioned...

Anonymous said...

Regarding the patronship, maybe it is simply because St John Baptist "ran ahead" of the Church, preceding it, and died for it; St Peter is obviously the Patron because he was head of it, and again died for it; and both he and St Paul came along after Christ shepherding the Church, and St Paul also died for it...

That kind of makes sense to me, but it might not once it gets through to your end (it is a long day after work here).