Thursday, March 29, 2007

Blessing and Dedication of the new Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima

Ok, previously, I shared with you guys some photos of the our new Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. Just to recap, here's what the old Shrine looked like. A bit worn and grungy.

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Pretty crappy, no? But still, it was an oasis of prayer for the people of my parish, myself included, who flocked to the protection of Our Lady and implored her intercession in prayer.

On the 13th of each month, the people, around 60 to 80, would gather for the recitation of the Holy Rosary around this Shrine.

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The Shrine replaced a an older Shrine which looked a like the one below. Our Marian statues are the same as well.

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You can see the former Cathedral of the Assumption, built in 1786, in the background. Majestic, isn't it? But due to a dwindling urban population, the Cathedral was transferred to the modern, round 1970's Church of the Holy Spirit. Sigh...

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Here's what our new Shrine looks like before the statue of Our Lady was translated.

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The Rite of Blessing was supposed to take place after the evening Mass, which was followed by the Penitential Service. But during the Mass, it began to rain, so Fr. Mark said that, though the Blessing would have to go on anyway because the the contractors were supposed to demolish the old one the following day, the time would be determined by God. It would begin when the rain stopped.

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So, when the rain receded into a drizzle, the people gathered before the old Shrine of Our Lady. The Rite came from the Book of Blessings and was arranged by your humble scribe.

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Fr. Mark then began the Rite of Blessing. Blogger Mark is on the left, trying to look solemn.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mother, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
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After the song, Purest of Creatures was sung, the statue of Our Lady was translated, by Mark and another server while the Ave Maria was recited.

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I warned them in the sternest words regarding the consequences of dropping the statue.

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The statue was then reposed in the new Shrine.

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The final adjustments.

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Fr. Mark then blessed the Shrine with Holy Water.

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And incensed the statue of Our Lady.

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Note the glorious smoke of the incense.

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A glimpse of the people who had gathered in spite of the rain. Confessions were being heard in the Church by 11 other priests.

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Father then intoned the Solemn Prayer of Blessing.

Lord God,
we acknowledge your infinite glory
and the abundance of your gifts.
Before the foundation of the world,
You appointed Christ
the beginning and the end of all things.

You chose the Blessed Virgin Mary
as the Mother and companion of Your Son ,
the image and model of your Church,
the Mother and Advocate of us all.

She is the new Eve,
through whom You restored
what the first Eve had lost.
She is the daughter of Zion,
who echoed in her heart
the longings of the patriarchs
and the hopes of Israel.

She is the poor and lowly servant,
who trusted solely in her Lord.
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In the fullness of time
she was delivered of the Sun of Justice,
the dayspring from on high,
your Son, Jesus Christ.

In the flesh she was His Mother,
in her person, His disciple,
in her love, His servant.

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Father,
may your children
who venerate this image of Mary
know her protection
and trace in their hearts the pattern of her holiness.

Bless them with faith and hope, love and humility;
bless them with strength in hardship
and self respect in poverty;
bless them with patience in adversity and kindheartedness in times of plenty.

May they search for peace,
strive for justice,
and realize your love,
as they pursue their journey through life
toward Your heavenly city,
where the Blessed Virgin Mary intercedes as mother and reigns as Queen.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

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The people in rapt attention while the Prayer was recited.

The final blessing.

Through the Motherhood of Mary,
God in His goodness has chosen
to redeem the human race.
May he enrich you with His blessing.
Amen

May you always and everywhere
experience the protection of Mary,
through whom you have received the Author of Life.
Amen

May you who have come here today out of devotion
take away with you the gift of joy in your hearts
and the rewards of heaven.
Amen

May almighty God bless you,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Amen


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The admonition.

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The people then gathered to ask for the Blessed Virgin's intercession.

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Our Lady of Fatima, enthroned in her new Shrine.

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In the photo below, you can see altar server John in ecstasy having a vision.

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The Old Shrine. This was demolished the following day.

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A night view of the new Shrine.

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A close-up. Neat eh? =)

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8 comments:

MrSmith said...

Very nice indeed. I have a question, though. What's 'the admonition'? A general telling-off?

Shellie said...

I love it. I also enjoyed your theological thoughts "after the fact." It is beautiful at night.

M@rK said...

isnt he supposed to be wearing at least a stole???

The Hymn Selector said...

Not only a stole, but a cope would be nice too. Heh..

Andrew said...

Haha, we can all dream right?

At the very least, he's not in bermudas and a singlet. That's cause for joy.

You know that if I had my way, the canopy would be used, all 12 priests, the Bishop and Archbishop who are inside would the leading the prayers and the whole thing would be done in Latin to some Palestrina. But, unfortunately, the Supreme Pontificate has not yet passed into my hands.

Andrew said...

Mr.Smith, the Admonition is the ancient Solemn Rite in the Roman Pontifical enshrined since the time of Pope St. Pius I and codified in the decrees of the Reunion Council of Florence under Pope Eugene IV which attached 4 anathemas to those who failed to observe it in the Ceremony of the Translation of Images. It has its origins in the practices of 2nd Temple Judaism although Tradition has it that Moses himself, as he descended from the Mountain after seeing the Lord of Hosts instituted it. Under the Pian Missal, it had a plenary indulgence attached, under the usual conditions, for those who devoutly followed it.

Just kidding! =) The admonition is Fr. Mark telling the people not to break the statue or take away Mary's hands as a souvenir.

Did I get you? Haha!

Anonymous said...

beautiful and touching cerimony!
God bless you all!
echnaton

MrSmith said...

HAHA! Oh dear. That's a good one, though.

(You're telling me people would really take away Mary's hands as a souvenir? Grotesque! What kind of person would do such a thing?)