Corpus Et Sanguis Christi Sequence
Sing forth, O Zion, sweetly sing,/ The praises of thy Shepherd-King,/ In hymns and canticles divine;/ Dare all thou canst, thou hast no song,/ Worthy his praises to prolong,/ So far surpassing powers like thine.
Today no theme of common praise/ Forms the sweet burden of thy lays –/ The living,/ life-dispensing food –/ That food which at the sacred board/ Unto the brethren twelve our/ Lord/ His parting legacy bestowed.
Then be the anthem clear and strong,/ Thy fullest note, thy sweetest song,/ The very music of the breast:/ For now shines forth the day sublime/ That brings remembrance of the time/ When Jesus first his table blessed.
Within our new King’s banquet-hall/ They meet to keep the festival/ That closed the ancient paschal rite:/ The old is by the new replaced;/ The substance hath the shadow chased;/ And rising day dispels the night.
Christ willed what he himself had done/ Should be renewed while time should run,/ In memory of his parting hour:/ Thus, tutored in his school divine,/ We consecrate the bread and wine:/ And lo – a Host of saving power.
This faith to Christian men is given –/ Bread is made flesh by words from heaven:/ Into his blood the wine is turned:/ What though it baffles nature’s powers/ Of sense and sight? This faith of ours/ Proves more than nature e’er discerned.
Concealed beneath the two-fold sign,/ Meet symbols of the gifts divine,/ There lie the mysteries adored:/ The living body is our food;/ Our drink the ever-precious blood:/ In each, one undivided Lord.
Not he that eateth it divides/ The sacred food, which whole abides/ Unbroken still, nor knows decay;/ Be one, or be a thousand fed,/ They eat alike that living bread/ Which, still received, ne’er wastes away.
The good, the guilty share therein,/ With sure increase of grace or sin,/ The ghostly life, or ghostly death:/ Death to the guilty; to the good/ Immortal life. See how one food/ Man’s joy or woe accomplisheth.
We break the Sacrament; but bold/ And firm thy faith shall keep its hold;/ Deem not the/ whole doth more enfold/ Than in the fractured part resides:/ Deem not that Christ doth broken lie;/ ‘Tis but the sign that meets the eye;/ The hidden deep reality/ In all its fullness still abides
Lo! the angel’s food is given/ To the pilgrim who has striven;/ see the children’s bread from heaven,/ which on dogs may not be spent.
Truth the ancient types fulfilling,/ Isaac bound, a victim willing,/ Paschal lamb, its lifeblood spilling,/ manna to the fathers sent.
Very bread, good shepherd, tend us,/ Jesu, of your love befriend us,/ You refresh us, you defend us,/ Your eternal goodness send us/ In the land of life to see.
You who all things can and know,/ Who on earth such food bestow,/ Grant us with your saints, though lowest,/ Where the heav’nly feast you show,/ Fellow heirs and guests to be. Amen. Alleluia.
Jesus the Divine Pelican http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/the-symbolism-of-the-pelican.html
Anniversary of our parish perpetual adoration chapel! 🙂
This post is dedicated to St. Tarcisius.
“At that hour of the Sacrifice, at the words of the Priest, the heavens are opened, and in that mystery of Jesus Christ, the choirs of Angels are present, and things below are joined to things on high, earthly things to heavenly, and the service is both a visible and an invisible event.” St. Gregory the Great
There is a very good reason Mother Church uses the term “assist at Mass” where most would use the term the term “attend Mass” or “go to Mass”. This term the Church uses is full of rich meaning, though typically misunderstood. As one wise priest put it: “In paragraph 14 of the Vatican II document on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Church encourages us to be fully conscious and actively participating in Mass. The document states: ‘Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy.’ Many people interpret this exhortation to mean that ‘everyone has to be doing something at Mass’ such as taking up the collection, serving at the altar, reading the readings, singing in the choir, etc. Here is what it really means: We are to be so focused at Mass–body, mind and soul–that everything we do, we do consciously and intentionally.”* If we are open to the Lord’s graces, we will find that our participation from the pews can truly be a ministry, so long as we are willing to give our all to the One who gives His all, and then the Lord will use each of our unique and individual gifts and personalities for His Kingdom in beautiful ways for which we can never thank Him enough.
I’d like to share how I feel Our Lord has moved me in this “ministry in the pews”. My brothers have been blessed with the incredible privilege of serving at the altar. I’m very happy for them in their ministry, but I wouldn’t trade places with them for anything in the world. For me, the opportunity to assist the priests at Mass through active participation and intercessory prayer is the greatest privilege of all…and here is why:
Our parish has been blessed with very inspiring priests who truly love God above all else. When they celebrate Mass you can see how true this is. They’re also very humble, and will sometimes share struggles they experience as they strive to celebrate the Mass in an even more holy manner. They’re also bold and not afraid to speak out for God concerning the lies of the world, and sometimes receive persecution on the subject. In addition, they are very busy and sometimes stressed, as our cathedral parish is among the largest in the diocese. What they need most is our prayers!
As a member of my parish prayer group for girls, I’ve grown more and more in our group’s charism of intercessory prayer. It creeps into every aspect of my spiritual life and it’s very welcome to do so. As I do my best to be “fully conscious and actively participating in Mass”, watching our priests celebrate the Mass causes me to recall my gratitude for our priests’ holiness. My pity for their struggles, persecution, and any sufferings that they might be currently experiencing triggers my “intercessory instinct” as a Little Flower and I feel led to pray my participation in the Mass (the Church’s most powerful prayer) especially for them. Different moments in the Mass will inspire different prayers. The Church herself has included prayers for the celebrant in the Order of the Mass, such as: “V. The Lord be with you. R. And with your spirit.” and “V. Pray, brethren (brothers and sisters), that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father. R. May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.” The Mass becomes a wonderful opportunity to both offer Christ my prayers of worship and intercede for the priests as they celebrate the Mass.
Just as my brothers, as altar servers, wait on the external needs of the celebrant, I in my “ministry” get to wait on the internal needs that may exist in sort of “spiritual altar service”. (And it is the soul that counts most.) This seems to really fit with our different genders if you think about it. God made men tough in heart and body, making them able to detach from any emotional complications that would distract them from being strong defenders. Physical service of God, such as holding our heavy gold candles at just the right level, is their specialty. Women have the gift of a tender and maternal heart, making them more sensitive than the typical male to the thoughts and feelings of others and more passionate in advocating for those needs. Interior work for the kingdom, such as on-fire intercession, is their specialty. Each has a unique gift not as fully possessed as the other, so their particular talent can be employed without interruption. My brothers wouldn’t be able to get things for the celebrant as quickly if they were praying in the pew with me, and I would be unable to notice and pray for which ever graces are needed as well if I were rushing around in the sanctuary with them. Each of us has a very important role to fill.
The role that I fill greatly benefits my soul as well. Many will probably agree with me that we often learn something best when we share it with others. As I try to pay as close attention to the Mass as possible (not always easy for my ADD brain), and pray to Our Lord over the celebrant’s benefit from the Mass, I myself get to be more enriched by it. It is also a very awesome experience when I see the prayers I pray answered in a very powerful way. When you see someone having an amazing encounter with the Lord, it gets to you as well, and I can never thank the Lord enough for this amazing privilege that results in such wonderful marvels of the Lord’s goodness.
In September of 2011, Fr. John Lankeit, Rector of Ss. Simon & Jude Cathedral felt the Lord calling him to create a Perpetual Adoration Chapel at SSJ. Unsure of how to proceed with obtaining the necessary plans and resources, he enlisted the help of 12 young ladies in the diocese to serve as intercessory prayer warriors for this intention. Undertaking a daily Rosary, the prayer girls were delighted to see the fruits of their prayers unveiled in June of 2012. Since then the Little Flowers of St. Therese, as they elected to be called, have been growing in numbers and continue to pray a daily Rosary for various intentions and other needs throughout the diocese. Over the years, the Intercessory Prayer Group has expanded and developed its mission to include Holy Service, Vocational Experience, and Public Representation of the Church.
When I heard that Father Lankeit was calling for prayer warriors for the installation of a Perpetual Adoration Chapel, I had only just begun the RCIA program; but I felt like it was a good way to serve the Church that I had decided to join and a good way to make the Rosary (which I had just learned how to say) a part of my life. Not being that good with words, my mom helped me with an e-mail expressing my desire to join the group and I was soon accepted. October 7, 2011 was the official start. Little did I know that God had way more graces in store than I thought would be brought about by this decision. My life was about to be changed forever, in more ways than one.
Before I became a Little Flower of St. Therese, I hardly ever prayed. Oh, sure I said a little “Help!” or “Thank you!” when I was feeling particularly anxious or happy, but I didn’t often sit down and have a serious prayer time. In becoming a Little Flower, however, I learned to discipline myself and make daily prayer time a top priority. My daily goal went from amusing myself with whatever frivolous thing struck my fancy to setting aside time to bring other people’s concerns before the Lord in what I found to be one of the most powerful, beautiful, and rewarding prayers ever, the Most Holy Rosary. For the girl who hardly ever prayed, prayer became a habit and a passion, even at times a hobby.
Better yet, there was a method to my madness. I discovered the mission and joy of intercession: making other people’s lives happier through the simple act of prayer, and more importantly, invoking the prayers of the Blessed Mother and the saints. Intercessory prayer now seeps into just about every aspect of my life, and it is very welcome to do so! For instance, I have picked up the habit of praying for my priests at Mass, and also praying for the penitents and priests during the Confession times each Tuesday and Saturday. This can actually be pretty fun!
The Rosary has indeed become a part of my life, and a great one at that! Through the Rosary, I have received many gifts, blessings, inspirations (this essay for instance, which God helped me find the words to write), and “mini-miracles”. One “mini-miracle” that stands out in my memory is when my mom and I were driving to the Cathedral for Mass one Tuesday night. We hadn’t realized the gas tank was just about empty until we got on the freeway; and Mom didn’t want to be late to Mass, so we were hoping not to have to stop at the gas station even though church was over 15 miles away. We popped in our Rosary CD and decided to pray about it. Believe it or not, those two drops of gas got us all the way there! Go Mary!
The Perpetual Adoration Chapel, the original purpose of our Little Flowers of St. Therese Prayer Group, has been a source of great graces as well. For about a year, since November 2011, I had been given the cross of scrupulosity. It was a confusion and sometimes quite a torment, but talking with my mom helped me to not let my worries interfere with Communion or Confession. Still, God wished to relieve me of this burden since it was always a struggle in my mind. As a birthday gift, in September 2012, I got a Holy Face medal with a paper containing these words: “Whoever wears this medal and, if possible, pays a weekly visit to the Blessed Sacrament on Tuesday in a spirit of reparation for the outrages received by the Holy Face of Our Blessed Savior during His Passion and those bestowed on Him every day in the Sacrament of His divine love, will be granted the gift of a strong Faith and the grace to fly to its defense conquering if need be all interior and exterior difficulties. Moreover, they are promised a happy death with the special assistance of Christ Himself.” Wanting to seize the chance at a holy death, I was eager to take advantage of this promise. I started wearing the medal to Adoration on Tuesday nights, even though it wasn’t yet blessed. Later, that December 2012, I finally got my medal blessed. So the next Tuesday night Adoration I wore my now blessed Holy Face medal and offered my Adoration time for the described intention. On the way home, my mind was enlightened and I realized that healing had finally been granted me. The Chapel I had prayed for as a Little Flower was my healing and I am now worry-free! Thank You Jesus! The Chapel has also been a source of many other graces, blessings, and inspirations too numerous to name.
As I discern a possible call to the Order of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration(that I heard of through the Little Flowers Intercessory Prayer Group), I find that my being a Little Flower has greatly aided this discernment journey. It was through being a Little Flower that I learned what a charism is. The guaranteed minimum of daily prayer as a Little Flower has helped me maintain a prayerful attitude in my discernment journey even in it’s more rocky areas. Also, the grace of love for Eucharistic Adoration and intercessory prayer I have acquired as a Little Flower have been big pointers to this Order for me as I consider one of life’s most important questions: “What are God’s plans for my future?”
Being a Little Flower is truly awesome, and the adventure is not even close to over! There is MUCH more to come! My thanks to the Holy Spirit for inspiring this and to Father Lankeit for putting it into action! ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA!
St. Jean Marie Vianney said: “If we are not praying, we are losing the battle.”