Sunday, February 1, 2009

Afternoon Benediction at Carmel

This Sunday being the first of the month, there was Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel of the Carmelite monastery here in Launceston from after the 7.30 am Mass until Benediction after 3 pm.  I haven't previously gone, always being otherwise engaged, but I did drive back up there this afternoon - it takes less than 10 minutes by car, after all - especially as they have begun advertising it as "One Hour with Jesus", there being None at 2 pm, silent prayer from 2.15 pm, and Benediction supposedly starting at 3 o'clock.  

I arrived just on 3 o'clock, and read None to myself while I knelt coram Sanctissimo, before I spent a little time in quiet prayer; at ten past three, the sound of a car was heard outside, and soon enough a rather tardy priest, hurriedly vested in cope, came out into the sanctuary to give Benediction.  It was simple but reverent, with an opening hymn, the usual prayer for Christian Unity (said) followed by Tantum ergo (during which incense was offered in adoration of Christ in the Eucharistic species) with versicle and collect (all sung), the Benediction itself with Fr taking up the monstrance with the humeral veil and blessing all while a bell was rung, then the Divine Praises said in unison, and the reposition hymn "O Bread of heaven".  The whole was done in English, and concluded at twenty past three.  I'd say there were a dozen laity in attendance - and of course all the nuns were there, audible but invisible...

O Bread of Heaven, beneath this veil
Thou dost my very God conceal:
My Jesus, dearest treasure, hail!
I love Thee and, adoring, kneel;
Each loving soul by Thee is fed
With Thine own Self in form of Bread...

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