Friday, February 08, 2013

40 hours for Marriage

In Oxford Fr John Saward is offering a 40 Hours Devotion for the intention of the defence of Marriage. It started with Mass in the Extraordinary Form on Wednesday, and will conclude this evening with another one.

If the Bill becomes law, I wonder if we could establish a regular (as long as it is needed) devotion of some kind to address the issue, like the Divine Praises in Benediction to make reparation for profanities, or the Prayers for the Conversion of Russia after Low Mass. Former centuries seemed better at doing these things than we are today; the equivalent response to abortion is, I suppose, Life Sunday, but we need something liturgical and specific. It is not mainly about raising awareness, but of beseeching the assistance of heaven. The success of 40 Days for Life is a sign that this instinct has not disapeared among Catholics, but we need a response which involves the public prayer of the Church - the liturgy. This must, to be taken up widely, be led by the bishops.

I was struck, at the meeting organised by the Catholic Union, that lots of people suggested we have officially approved prayers to defend life; no one suggested that Masses be said for this intention. (I didn't put my hand up soon enough to be able to add my pennyworth.) But it is being done anyway: Mark Lambert has been keeping abreast of it with a new blog.

And so as we sang the Great Litany, 'Propitius esto!' Be appeased, O God! Turn away your anger and save us.

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