12 December 2019

How admirably suitable! Forty Hours (1)

Good people do keep asking me what they can do about Pachamama, and other phenomena which, in their view, are difficult to reconcile with the Catholic Faith.

We are not helpless! Particularly not if you live in Birmingham!

The Birmingham Oratory is to provide a Quarant'Ore from 7.30 p.m. [High Mass] on Friday December 13 until 4.00 p.m. on the Saturday. It is an act of Reparation for acts of Idolatry. It has nothing in particular to do with current Church politics ... the dangers of Idolatry are not confined to any one pontificate.

The Forty Hours Devotion means that the Blessed Sacrament is solemnly exposed ... usually surrounded by banks of cheerful candles ... for the whole designated period. A banner used to be suspended in the entrance porch to inform those entering the Church; such things still survive (covered with dust!) in many sacristies! There is a custom, when the Host is exposed in the Monstrance, of doing a Double Genuflection ... going down on both knees rather than just on one. And, as an example of the sort of things that men do in order to be manly, the men of the parish would book themselves onto the rota of 'watchers' to do the less sociable hours from midnight, so that their womenfolk would not need to venture into the cold and, perhaps, dangerous streets. How incredibly non-pc! How dare men be so offensively patriarchal!! It should be stamped out!!!

In October 1914 ... yes! ... Fr McKee of the Brompton Oratory did a tasty little CTS booklet for the Quarant'Ore, giving useful information which I am plagiarising. He explained that this wonderfully Counter-Reformation devotion was introduced into Rome around 1550 by S Philip Neri; "it is plain from ... papal utterances that the object of the Forty Hours' Prayer is primarily not the satisfaction of the devotion of the faithful towards the Blessed Savcrament ... but the presentation of a great and efficacious appeal to Almighty God, through the sacred humanity of His Divine Son, that He would come to the succour and defence of His Church against the dangers threatening her from within and without".

To be completed tomorrow.

1 comment:

Anita Moore said...

I live in a very nutty and modernist diocese that seemed to me weird by comparison even to Cardinal Mahony’s archdiocese, whence I came nearly 25 years ago. Yet perpetual adoration has taken root here. In my area there are no less than four parishes, some blatantly modernist, with perpetual adoration. God plants His standard where He wills, and is not foiled by mere creatures.