Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Eve of Corpus Christi

To celebrate Corpus Christi (well, really to fete my return from New Zealand) I went out for dinner with relatives, which was very pleasant - but this was the agape after the eucharistia, since I braved "lazy Mass" at St Vincent's Hospital first: I call it that because the rather aged clientele not only don't kneel - yes, some may well be unable to (such as the man in the wheelchair!) - but perversely, even though they stand for the Gospel and the Lord's Prayer, they dumbly sit for the Preface.  I stand.

In any case, the celebrant was a devout Franciscan priest who, one could tell, savoured the words of the sacred rites, and in all honesty I found even his use of the Eucharistic Prayer for Various Needs and Occasions quite bearable, seeing as it quite clearly enunciated the Sacrifice being offered up, and so forth (though the more self-reflexive lines about we the Church on our pilgrim way would best be deleted as too subjective and secretly smug).  As I was a little late in arriving (just before the Gospel), I had prayed to myself  in the car the opening parts of the Mass in the EF, Introibo and all that, and in the pause during the Offertory read to myself from my Breviary the Collect of St Margaret and the passage about the Valiant Woman that would have served for an Epistle.  It was good to kneel before the Mystery being enacted, and to come to receive the Body and the Blood.  Refecti Christi corpore et sanguine, te laudamus, Domine!

In thanksgiving, I prayed the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis, each twice, the better to savour the words while turning to the Lord Who had come: Benedictus qui venit... Hosanna in excelsis!  After the Liturgy, I knelt before the Tabernacle and said First Vespers of Corpus Christi, which was thanksgiving indeed.

A good day, to-day; praying the Office, the Golden Sequence Veni sancte Spiritus, and even the Rosary on the way home, plus assisting at Mass; abundant consolations.  Lord, preserve me.

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