Saturday, 9 June 2012

Bread from Heaven

The feast is upon us where we celebrate the gifts to us from God of the Body and Blood of Christ. One of the tests I used to make in my youth about the prayerfulness of a church when visiting was to guess as I entered whether or not the Blessed Sacrament was perpetually reserved or not. So whether when I used to sing as a treble chorister at Westminster Abbey from time to time at Preparatory School, through to school days in Cheltenham and college days in Gloucestershire then at work in Hereford , Oxford and eventually back to Monmouthshire I could sometimes tell very soon on my travels if Our Lord was present in the very special way of the reservation of His body and blood in the sacraments reserved either in a tabernacle or sacrament house or sometimes in an hanging Pyx above the altar. If it was not immediately obvious a slow tour usually revealed a light burning or a sign that reservation was present. All space within Gods house is sacred and the sense of this is often enhanced by the prayers that have been soaked up by the walls of ancient churches. After the reformation much was lost but many rural churches escaped the vandalisms and retained the Host somewhere. The Oxford Movement in Anglicanism restored the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament to numerous places many still retaining the same traditions today. One of the sadnesses of our present divisions is that in churches and hospital chapels it is not now certain that what was once universally accepted as the Sacramental Presence of The Lord is actually that or not. Here are some photos of our own Sacrament House in the church of St. Arvan adorned with flowers in celebration of Corpus Christi, rose petals below ready for use in the procession.

" When you wished to show your goodness to your servants you gave them bread from heaven, filling the hungry with good things and sending the rich away empty. "

"  We who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread"

" Food of Angels"