Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Friday, July 01, 2005

Washed in the Blood of the Lamb...

Today was once the Feast of the Precious Blood of Christ, a partner to the older feast of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ. It was instituted by Pope Pius IX in thanksgiving for his return to Rome after his exile in 1848. The feast reminds us that it was the Blood of Christ that washed away our sins (cf Rev 5:9, 7:13). After the reforms of Vatican II these feasts were combined. Nonetheless, the month is still known in some places as the month of the Precious Blood and the splendid Westminster Cathedral (shown above) which is dedicated to the Precious Blood of Christ still commemorates its dedication today. As the words inscribed above the tympanum say: "Lord Jesus, King and Redeemer, Save us by Your Blood". The bands of red brick are similarly evocative of the Precious Blood.

In England, and I suppose throughout most of Europe and America, it is customary to distribute the Precious Blood in chalices to the faithful during Holy Communion. It is sad though to see many people either ignore the Precious Blood or approach It without any outward sign of reverence. If one chooses not to receive Communion from the chalice, one should at least bow as one passes It. And I always wince when people refer to the Precious Blood as wine, as in "Oh wasn't the wine sweet today?" Perhaps the re-discovery of the feast of the Precious Blood would be an excellent way to counter this decreasing consciousness of the Precious Blood, especially as more and more people are approaching the chalice during Communion. After all, Pope John Paul II only recently re-instituted the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, no doubt as a reminder to us that the Lord's name is holy and not to be taken in vain. Neither too should the Precious Blood be disregarded.

A beautiful prayer taken from the Roman Missal for this day is worthy of our attention:

"Domine Jesu Christe, qui de caelis ad terram de sinu Patris descendisti et Sanguinem tuum pretiosum in remissionem peccatorum nostrorum fudisti: te humiliter deprecamur, ut in die iudicii ad dexteram tuam audire mereamur: Venite benedicte. Qui vivas et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Amen."

'Lord Jesus Christ, who came down from heaven to earth from the bosom of the Father, and did shed Your precious Blood for the remission of our sins: we humbly beseech You, that in the day of judgment we may be worthy to hear, standing at Your right hand: Come, ye blessed. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.'


Blogger Philip said...

That Church is beautiful!

Back on topic though :-)

Yes, there is little reverance for the blood of Christ. Or rather, little understanding. Maybe some year can be the "Year of the Blood of Christ" I know during this "year of the Eucharist", it has helped many take his body more serious and understand it.

4:32 pm  

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