Sunday, 10 June 2007

Corpus Christi

So, today we celebrated Corpus Christi. At the main Mass we had no music at all; our choir had decamped to our big First Communion Mass and left nobody to sing at one of the greatest feasts of the year. I must remember to guard against that next year! I preached about the reality of the real presence, natch, but was a little alarmed to see two first-time catechists for the children's liturgy of the word with a plate containing two bread rolls. I'm not going to ask what went on or what was said: I'm afraid I mighn't like the answer!
Fortunately, our First Holy Communion catechists are really first rate. Twenty or so children made their FHC this morning with the greatest devotion and care. I wish I could say the same for their friends and families! It's not the kids who misbehave, but the aunties and uncles, and in some cases the parents. Remembering the circus last year, I read the riot act beforehand, asking for a respectful prayerful atmosphere. Well it was better than last year, but it really is strange how so many people really don't know what is appropriate behaviour on an occasion like that. They even chattered and laughed during the Communion itself!
Nevertheless, it is the happiness and faith of the children that will stay with me. Giving first Holy Communions is one of the things I love above all else. Please say a prayer for the children that the love and faith they have today may stay with them throughout life.

5 comments:

Clare said...

cf your post on Thursday:
This morning my daughter, just finishing at a northern university, 'phoned in high dudgeon. The Feast of Corpus Christi had been given no recognition at the Mass she attended - not in the hymns not the bidding prayers, and the sermon concentrated on the common priesthood of the faithful. Last Thursday, however, she was required to sing (one of the choirs she belongs to) in the cathedral (Anglican)for a Eucharistic Service at which they sang hymns such as 'Sweet Sacrament Divine' and others by Thomas Aquinas, including a setting of 'O Sacrum Convivium'. The bidding prayers included thanks for the visions of Bd Juliana of Liege and the teachings of St Thomas Aquinas. The sermon was about the Real Presence. (She did not receive communion on that occasion.) I suggested she write to the local bishop describing her two experiences.

Mater mari said...

Tough, I know, to confront people who are giving up their time to serve the parish, but don't you have the right - and the privilege - to be aware of what is going on during the Children's Liturgy? I think most conscientious parents would assume that you know and approve of what is being taught in their absence.

Tom said...

Father - I know how sad it is to hear all this talking in Church quite often throughout the whole Mass. For that reason, I now never attend First Holy Communion or, for that matter, Confirmation (if anything, they are usually worse) Masses. It's too distressing - but I'm not a priest so it's easier for me.

As for reading the riot act - well done! But you'll probably need to do it every year since, usually, you have a different audience (and I use the word deliberately).

Thanks for all you do for Christ and His Church.

Fr Justin said...

Oh, of course; it was just that at that particular time there wasn't an opportunity to investigate. I shall watch carefully in future……

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

i can relate to the problems with the wider congregation..but at least they were there!