Sunday, June 10, 2012

Corpus Christi Again

It's staggering the number of clerics you see at Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini - but then Rome is crawling with bishops, priests, seminarians, religious and others of that ilk...

High Mass was of the external solemnity of Corpus Christi, but with no procession, just Exposition and Benediction to follow.  (In total, 90 minutes.)

Friends met me for lunch afterward at a rather good Argentinian steakhouse near the old Theatine church; having then had gelati on the way back to my hotel, it's almost time for a siesta.

Yester-day saw me return to Rome on the overnight train (thankfully, of a rather higher standard than the one I took to Paris from Milan a few weeks back), having had a very enjoyable visit to Bavaria, culminating in Corpus Christi on the proper day, Thursday, in a small town in the countryside (the procession took over an hour, complete with oom-pah band - the men in lederhosen, the women in dirndls - all the parishioners singing as they walked behind their priest and the Brotherhood of the Blessed Sacrament, forming a guard of honour for Our Lord, and four baroque altars mysteriously materialized along the route through the village, where four times Benediction was given), and then a visit to Munich on Friday, visiting - again - a vast number of huge baroque churches, as well as lunching in an excellent beerhall on pike and asparagus, having coffee at Dallmayr (coffee blenders to the Bavarian Kings), and staring in amazement at the vast collection of mediaeval, renaissance and baroque art in the Pinakothek (if I remember the correct word for it).  Embarrassingly, I set off an alarm by approaching too closely a painting to point out a detail!

It was also more than a little creepy to visit a certain other building in Munich, now a repository of statuary used for art classes, but once the official residence of a former Chancellor of ill-fame.  I had a number of such experiences - Germans seem to have a certain yen for confession: a dentist I fell into conversation with revealed that his surgery is in a former synagogue, which his family bought from a man in Munich after the War (the former owners no longer being around).  Imagine eating an icecream as one walks along, and then finding in front of one the local memorial to the Jews who used to live in the area!  I really liked Germany and even felt quite at home in all aspects but this: reading about historical tragedies is one thing, but standing where such things happened frankly chills my blood.

Having come back to Rome (whither all roads lead), I had a siesta (when in Rome...), then met up with a seminarian friend (one of several I've since caught up with): we had gelati, found a convenient church for confession, then ambled over to a local bar for a good meal and beer.

To-morrow will be my last day in Europe: I plan to catch an early Low Mass at St Peter's, then check out the local bookshops again (query: should I buy the old Dominican altar missal I found on sale for €20?), visit St Philip at the Chiesa Nuova, and waste some time until I have to go to the airport in the evening.

Next stop, Dubai.


Blackfriar said...


Joshua said...

Sorry - I decided I really didn't need a Dominican altar missal, as I already have a Latin-English O.P. Missal for the laity; I bought the 1893 O.P. Breviary, Pars I, instead (it was only €10). Annoyingly, there was no Pars II.

(I am at present preparing some posts about the liturgical minutiæ associated with the old Dominican Office before the adoption of the new arrangement of the psalms prepared under Pope St Pius X.)

If you want to buy that missal, do contact the Libreria Leoniana. (The Dominican missal and breviaries were being sold off by the Angelicum, BTW.)