Street Eucharistic Adoration… Appropriate?

Street Eucharistic Adoration… Appropriate?

Editor writes…

There is something about seeing a Monstrance being unceremoniously (literally) removed from what appears to be a canvas bag, in the street, that doesn’t chime with Catholic reverence for the Real Presence.  There can be no doubt that the priest means well – and there are similar events broadcast on YouTube – but remembering the Eucharistic processions of old, or even more recently like this one in London in 2021, – this seems impoverished.   Your thoughts…

Comments (21)

  • Andrew Q Reply

    The video is from Preston several years ago. It’s not ideal – especially in “Priest-town” where there are so many fine churches – but those churches have emptied rapidly. While there is still residual Catholic knowledge in a large number of the population I think there is something noble about reacquainting the lapsed with active believers and the Real Presence. And Our Lord was reverenced by some. There’s something of the mix of the rabble and adorers at calvary about this public square (even though Our Lord is here Glorified). To my mind, this was worthwhile.

    March 24, 2022 at 9:37 am
    • Margaret Mary Reply

      It tells you on the screen that this was in Preston, but I’m sorry to disagree, I can’t see anything “noble” in carrying a monstrance around the streets in a canvas bag. I was horrified to see the way the monstrance was lifted out of the bag and then pushed back in at the end. If I’d been a non-Catholic watching that, I’d have thought “they think this is Jesus, no way.” So I don’t see how that event was worthwhile just as I can’t see how Our Lord was “glorified”.

      March 24, 2022 at 10:19 am
  • Andrew Q Reply

    It’s perhaps worth mentioning, too, that since the arrival of the Institute of Christ the King (which runs 2 churches, a new school, and a house of religious sisters) in Preston there are traditional Eucharistic processions for Corpus Christi and other Holy Days. There are also weekly public rosaries and regular Catholic processions to the shrine of Ladyewell.

    March 24, 2022 at 9:46 am
    • Margaret Mary Reply

      Andrew Q,

      If there are traditional eucharistic processions already in place on main feast days, why on earth did this priest feel the need for that exhibition? The only possible excuse would be if there was no eucharistic processions and here was one priest trying to make up for that a bit. That’s what I thought must be the reason why that priest felt the need to do this. I’m even more scandalised now.

      March 24, 2022 at 10:21 am
      • editor

        MM

        I think the answer to your opening question might be that some bright spark somewhere in some diocesan or parish meeting where they have been discussing how to “take Jesus” into the public square, has come up with this, putting a Catholic gloss on the evangelical Protestant custom of preaching in public on the streets.

        March 24, 2022 at 10:37 am
      • Andrew Q

        The ICKSP traditional processions happen now. They were revived by the Institute when they took over two prominent churches. The city also has a SSPX Priory and a Syro-Malabar rite Catholc Cathedral.

        The Canons and Sister Adorers haven’t been in Preston long. The video is from years ago and by a non-trad group.

        There are so very many good traditional Catholic thngs happening in Preston. Focusing on a one off event, by a visiting priest, from many years ago seems fruitless.

        March 24, 2022 at 10:40 am
      • editor

        Andrew,

        It’s not a one-off event – there are many of these “flash” events on YouTube and this one isn’t from many years ago – it took place last August – the video is dated 10 August, 2021.

        Correction: I’ve just double checked and of course the date on the screen is 2011. I chose that one because the video is dated 2021, but be assured, I could have picked any number of similar videos dated more recently. The point is precisely the point that you are missing. It’s obvious that this is the novus ordo answer to street preaching. And it brings with it the same protestantising effect as does the new Mass. For all the priest’s good intentions, this does not show reverence to the Blessed Sacrament. The traditional groups use the traditional Catholic method of taking Our Lord to the streets. That’s my point. Which method do you think is more effective – that’s really what we should be discussing, not the date of the scandal!

        March 24, 2022 at 11:33 am
    • Michaela Reply

      Andrew Q,

      That sounds great – I thought the Corpus Christi processions had died out everywhere, so you’ve cheered me up with that news.

      March 24, 2022 at 8:57 pm
  • Andrew Q Reply

    Editor,

    It’s from 2011 That’s printed right across the screen at the beginning of the video (not the re-upload date). You can also tell it’s not recent by the clothes. It’s been on various Youtube accounts for years.

    It was a one off event, as far as Preston goes, by a visiting novus ordo priest 11 years ago.

    To be honest, when I used to attend novus ordo churches I’d see worse things every week up and down the country. From lay women setting up the monstrance for adoration – actually opening the Tabernacle and handling Our Lord – to “extraordinary ministers” doling out Our Lord like he was a bowl of Pringles at a party. The n.o. is the problem.

    March 24, 2022 at 11:44 am
    • editor Reply

      Andrew,

      I corrected my original statement in my post about the date – you must have missed that.

      I’m just sorry I chose Preston out of all the places that I could have picked because you’ve obviously got a beef on that front and I don’t want the discussion derailed because of that. For your information, I’ve visited Preston and appreciate its Catholic history. The clip is only meant to kick start a discussion about the importance of offering true worship to the Blessed Sacrament. Doesn’t matter the date of the event – unless Preston is now novus-ordo free? You clearly have a different view and you’ve expressed that for which thank you, but let’s not go round in circles about the date and/or the location!

      I, too, have seen liturgical abuses when I attended the novus ordo – all the more reason to highlight the difference between the novus ordo and the TLM from time to time. However, nobody who is in any way offended, is obliged to contribute.

      March 24, 2022 at 11:51 am
      • Laura

        I agree – it doesn’t matter when that “adoration” event took place, it’s a reminder of all that is wrong in the modernist parishes today. The contrast with the procession in the second video, could not be clearer. The fact is, there is a reduction in the number of Catholics who believe in the Real Presence and this sort of thing is one reason why.

        March 24, 2022 at 11:54 am
  • Andrew Q Reply

    Editor,

    Our posts crossed. I don’t hold any particular brief for Preston but live in a nearby town. There is a trad revival happening in NW England with families moving here because of easy access to ICKSP, FSSP, SSPX, and Resistance Traditional Latin Masses and the two new traditional Catholic schools that the ICKSP and FSSP have recently established. This is already bearing fruit and will, in time, no doubt positively influence how Catholic worship manifests more broadly – and how we share that with our wider communities to bring folk in to the One True Fold. Sometimes those of us at the trad end of things, me included, dwell on the myriad of awful things instead of seeing the good that is now happening.

    March 24, 2022 at 12:27 pm
    • Josephine Reply

      Andrew Q,

      This is what I get all the time – “be positive, not negative”. It isn’t a case of being one or the other. It’s a case of looking at the facts. It doesn’t matter whether something bad happened 10 years ago or yesterday, we can still learn from it surely?

      I, for one, don’t think of myself at the “trad end of things”, just a Catholic, that’s all. If you keep putting labels on people that creates the impression of two churches, IMHO.

      March 24, 2022 at 1:45 pm
      • Lily

        Josephine,

        I couldn’t agree more. I also get this “be positive not negative” a lot of the time – it’s a trick to avoid fixing the problem. It’s not good enough to say this doesn’t happen in these churches so don’t bother about those ones. No, we need to be concerned that this sort of replacement for the old processions still happens, although I don’t suppose they will have happened this past two years, with the priests cowering away in fear of the virus!

        I’ve heard of conversions happening as a result of a Eucharistic Procession, especially at Corpus Christi, so it would be better to revive those than try to defend the street preacher type of event.

        March 24, 2022 at 1:52 pm
  • Laura Reply

    I came across a really interesting article on the Fatima Center website about “kneeling and prostrations” which contained this statement which made me think of posting it here.

    “Eucharistic processions were even more reverent. Altar boys would continually incense the path before Our Lord. In order to show the incense was to honor God they would face the Blessed Sacrament and thus have to carefully walk backwards as they incensed. Four men would carry a liturgical canopy which covered the Blessed Sacrament, reminiscent of the Old Testament tent of the tabernacle. Young children, perhaps First Communicants, might even strew the ground before Our Lord with rose petals or palms. The sides of the streets would be thronged with Catholic faithful kneeling. This was a beautiful sight to behold and was a powerful witness to the world that Catholics believed in the Real Presence.

    Yet nowadays when we see Eucharistic processions occur, people just stand around and stare. They may even laugh or continue their discussions. Even an average Catholic may feel like they should merely make the Sign of the Cross and not draw attention to themselves by kneeling. Yet, to such Catholics, Our Lord’s words surely apply: “For he that shall be ashamed of Me, and of My words, in this adulterous and sinful generation: the Son of man also will be ashamed of him, when He shall come in the glory of His Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).

    St. Elizabeth Ann Seton remarked, “God is everything, in the very air I breathe, yes everywhere, but in His Sacrament of the Altar He is as present actually and really as my soul within my body; in His Sacrifice daily offered as really as once offered on the Cross.” If we believe likewise, how could we not kneel or genuflect[3] whenever we pass the tabernacle or see Our Lord in a monstrance or witness the great miracle of transubstantiation when it occurs on our very altars.”
    https://fatima.org/news-views/the-importance-of-kneeling-and-prostrations/?msclkid=d6ef773bab7911ecaca8349d3ff9f84a

    I think this should make any priests reading this, think twice about doing any kind of casual so-called adoration when it is really no such thing, might be nothing more than a gimmick.

    March 24, 2022 at 1:58 pm
    • editor Reply

      Laura,

      Many thanks for posting that lovely piece about Eucharistic processions, and their part in strengthening the Faith of all those involved.

      Years ago, I met an elderly religious sister, who had been an Anglican. During a holiday in the south of England, she and a friend were strolling along, enjoying a walk, when a Eucharistic procession appeared and the then young girl fell to her knees. As soon as the procession passed, she asked someone what was the name of the church which was hosting the procession. That was when she discovered that it was a Catholic church, not an Anglican one. She said that she realised instantly that this was the first time she had been in the Real Presence. She was startled. In due course, she was received into the Catholic Church and entered religious life. Sadly, her family cut her off and after one visit from her brother, she didn’t see any of them again. She is deceased now, RIP.

      I’m sure there will be plenty of similar stories of miracles and conversions (same thing, really!) attributed to such processions, so, for our edification, if you know of any, feel free to share them here.

      March 24, 2022 at 3:51 pm
  • Nicky Reply

    There are some examples at this link of the good achieved through Eucharistic processions. I found them impressive and very edifying.
    https://catholicexchange.com/the-witness-of-eucharistic-processions/?msclkid=c3392c77ab9711ec843e577cec97c6eb

    March 24, 2022 at 5:33 pm
  • Michaela Reply

    I agree – the carrying of the Blessed Sacrament around in a canvas bag (or any other kind of bag) is not right. There is just no comparison between the “flash mob” adoration and the processions.

    It’ll be a while before they return, although it was good to see that there was one in London in 2021. That was absolutely beautiful. How lovely it was to hear all the old Eucharistic hymns that we used to sing in our parishes after Communion and at the end of Mass, along with the other great hymns to the Sacred Heart etc. Our children and grandchildren are missing out on those devotional hymns, chock full of dogma. Please God that will change some day soon.

    What I would say about the Preston video is that it was touching to see the way people came and knelt, especially young people. Also, as editor says, the priest meant well, so all is not lost. There is cause for hope.

    March 24, 2022 at 8:55 pm
  • RCAVictor Reply

    Here is a photo of what a Eucharistic Process is supposed to look like. Note the absence of the “Jesus in a bag” approach:

    https://sjvdenver.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/16869774205_6a32958339_k.jpg

    March 24, 2022 at 9:17 pm
    • editor Reply

      RCA Victor,

      Looks like you may have missed the link in the introduction to a Eucharistic procession which took place in London in 2021 – it’s beautiful.

      March 24, 2022 at 10:04 pm
      • RCAVictor

        Editor,

        Shame on me for missing that, must be my shrinking peripheral vision!

        One observation, though: when we do Eucharistic Processions, we also ring the bells….

        March 25, 2022 at 12:24 am

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