"Truly, it is the indescribable sweetness of contemplation which you give to those who love you. In this you have shown the tenderness of your charity, that when I had no being you made me; and when I strayed away from you, you brought me back again to serve you and commanded me to love you." The Imitation of Christ
Thursday, 26 March 2009
It's getting close to the end of term, and I'm shattered. I knew that, if I went home after school this evening, I wouldn't have the energy to go out for Rosary and Benediction, so I drove to the chip shop nearest the church, bought a portion of chips, doused them in plenty of salt and vinegar, and ate them while parked in the church car-park. I was then able to spend some time in the church catching up on praying the Office before the Rosary started.
The only disadvantage is that my car now smells strongly of vinegar.
I really love the Rosary and Benediction devotions at Blackfen. It starts off with Exposition accompanied by the hymn O salutaris hostia. The Rosary is prayed simply, without frills (or long-winded meditations) but we also pray the preparatory prayers for the Holy Father, then, after the Rosary we have a hymn to Our Lady, and the Litany of Loreto (chanted in Latin.)
The Tantum ergo follows, and then the actual Benediction. We pray the Divine Praises in reparation for blasphemies, and the Blessed Sacrament is reposed in the tabernacle while we sing another hymn... (on Saturdays we have Adoremus in aeternum, but Thursday's hymn varies.) Finally, we move over to the Lady Altar, recite a few prayers to Our Lady (such as the Memorare) and then end with four verses of Immaculate Mary.
I've posted before about the ghastly hymn book we have - it has changed many of the words of popular hymns and carols in order to be more inclusive. If I know the original words, I will sing them... loudly... and I have quite a powerful voice. I am also aided and abetted in this enterprise by Fr. Tim.
My only problem is that, not having been brought up with traditional Catholic hymns and devotions, I don't always know what the words are supposed to be. I got a bit of a shock this evening when, during the second verse of "Jesu, the very thought of thee," I became aware that Fr. Tim was singing something very different from the version in the book... Caught off guard, knowing what he was up to, but totally unable to guess what the correct words might be, I almost choked in my efforts not to laugh...
When I got home, I looked up the hymn. The hymn book has the following text:
No voice can sing, no heart can frame, Nor can the mind recall, A sweeter sound than thy blest name, O Saviour of us all.
The correct words (which I will do my best to sing from now on...) are actually as follows...
No voice can sing, no heart can frame, Nor can the memory find A sweeter sound than Jesu’s Name, The Saviour of mankind.
Grrrrrr. Time to burn those hymn books and print our own, I think!