Whatever Happened To Benediction?

Comment:

I stumbled across the above rendition of Tantum Ergo quite by accident earlier this evening and it got me wondering if, as I suspected, Benediction is no longer a normal part of Sundays in Scottish parishes. 

“Rosary & Benediction, 5pm” was routinely published in the Sunday bulletin in days of yore.  Yet, I can’t remember the last time I heard it mentioned.  So, I checked with a friend in the Archdiocese of Glasgow and, sure enough, Benediction is  largely thing of the past.  The key question is … why? Whatever happened to Benediction? Poor youngsters, growing up without this beautiful spiritual refreshment. Why? 

Your thoughts on this, welcome, and feel free to post your own favourite Benediction hymns.  To post a YouTube video, simply right click on the video, select “copy embed code”, click to copy, and then return to your comment box to paste it for us all to enjoy! 

14 responses

  1. I wonder if Benediction might be a thing of the past due to its being “too Catholic” I mean, that level of reverence and respect for Almighty God would not go down to well with our various “separated brethren” now, would it??! There seems to be a great anxiety,( in my part of the world, anyway!) to do away with anything even remotely Catholic. I remember attending Benediction regularly as a child, usually during Lent or on some major feast day, or perhaps at the end of a mission given by the Redemptorists, who preached and behaved like Catholic clergy in those days!
    Many of the beautiful hymns have also been neglected; I was at a Rosary procession for the feast of the Immaculate Conception last Friday. It finished with Benediction and the beautiful hymn “O Purest of Creatures” which is very rarely heard now. I think that it’s sentiments, and words drawing attention to the holiness and spotlessness of the Blessed Virgin would not sit well with our modern clergy and laity who seem to grow more and more ignorant of, and indifferent to, the truths of our faith… Anyway, that’s enough from me for now… editor will be wondering if I kissed the Blarney Stone or something as I haven’t been around for a while…….!

  2. The NO parish near me has Perpetual Adoration 24/7 except for the Easter Triduum and Forty Hours in November. To the best of my knowledge, they rarely (if ever) have Benediction. I’ve seen Benediction only at FSSP/SSPX locations.

    In the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, we have a built-in Benediction at every Divine Liturgy. After Holy Communion, the priest covers the chalice with the Sacred Species, and blessed the people while chanting: “Save Your people, O God, and bless Your inheritance.” (From the Psalms)

  3. That version of Tantum Ergo is just beautiful, absolutely beautiful, deeply touching. It actually moved me to tears, just a touch, but a tear or two, definitely.

    It’s nothing short of criminal that young people, in particular, are being denied this spiritual nourishment. God help these modernist popes, bishops and priests when they meet their Maker for the destruction they’ve wrought on our Faith.

  4. I concur with Spiritus: Benediction is way too Catholic for those whose aim is to scrub the Church of its Catholic identity. Way too much overt reverence for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, a reverence which was deliberately obscured, and even eliminated, by the Novus Ordo and its enablers.

    I wonder if there’s Benediction in the Francis Vatican? If Francis could figure out how to get away with putting a selfie in the monstrance, I’m sure he would. That would go well with thinking he could change the Pater.

    • RCA Victor,

      You’re a case for the Supreme Court! This made me, literally, laugh out loud!

      ” If Francis could figure out how to get away with putting a selfie in the monstrance, I’m sure he would.”

      Priceless! Naughty, but priceless!

  5. Ed, apt question! Funnily enough my mother in law said to us after we got back from mass and benediction on Sunday that they don’t do it any more and that it was terrible.

    This is easy to answer in my mind. It is a symptom or rather the fruit of the silent apostasy.

    Anything that is remotely concerned with the real presence and so doesn’t fit in with the ecumenical euphemism called Modern Catholicism is by and large eradicated from the life of the parish.

  6. I do agree with all that has been said. Benediction and all its lovely music are almost a thing of the past. I am sure it is due to a culture of lack of love for the Blessed
    Sacrament, a reduction in Catholicity, together with an all pervasive idea of busyness. We always went as a family when I was a child, every Sunday. No shops open then of course. And while on the subject, how I miss the many beautiful Catholic hymns we knew and loved, and the various motets and Mass settings. A rich tapestry wantonly denied to our children today. I shuddered with horror at the words of a recent offertory “hymn”: ” let us drink wine together on our knees…”!! I would call that blasphemous actually but lo, everyone around was singing it.

    I wonder when and indeed if it is possible to restore the old Catholic customs. Probably not since even Holy Days of Obligation have pretty much been absorbed into the nearest Sunday with the inevitable loss of the devotion of the day itself, Corpus Christi, Assumption, Epiphany etc

    I can see I am moving into a rant mode here but it makes me so sad and angry. How long oh Lord, how long?

    • WF,

      Thank you for that link. That’s very good news that there is regular Benediction right in the heart of London. Excellent news.

      I took a quick look at their parish bulletin and found a very interesting advertisement that fits in perfectly over on our Match-Making thread. So, a double whammy from you! Thank you!

  7. Here’s a rendering of O Salutaris Hostia and then Tantum Ergo.

    There are no English subtitles, so here are the lyrics:

    O Salutaris Hostia..

    O saving Victim, opening wide,
    The gate of heaven to man below!
    Our foes press on from every side;
    Thine aid supply, thy strength bestow.
    To Thy great name by endless praise,
    Immortal Godhead, one in Three;
    Oh, grant us endless length of days,
    In our true native land with Thee. Amen

    Tantum Ergo:
    [easier to understand than the translation in the Charlotte Church video above]

    Down in adoration falling,
    Lo! the sacred Host we hail;
    Lo! o’er ancient forms departing,
    newer rites of grace prevail;
    faith for all defects supplying,
    where the feeble senses fail.
    To the everlasting Father,
    and the Son who reigns on high,
    with the Holy Ghost proceeding
    forth from Each eternally,
    be salvation, honor, blessing,
    might and endless majesty. Amen

  8. Just an observation: I notice that on the vote on the Homepage there are 9.5% against Benediction being restored in parishes. Now why on earth would any Catholic of any hue whatsoever NOT want Our Lord to be venerated in the Blessed Sacrament? None, surely, or they would NOT be Catholic in any sense of the word.

    Every single issue voted on up to this point has had dissenters and, on the whole, why not as the subjects are often debatable. However, this one is a definite “nail your colours to the mast” one, therefore this confirms my long held suspicion that there are mischief makers who visit this blog purely to make mischief and not to contribute in any constructive way.

  9. It too agree that Benediction is almost a thing of the past. It so sad if Catholics do not see the point of venerating Our Lord in this way.

    I have just come across a short video of the Adoremus sung near the end of Benediction.

    • Therese Rose,

      That’s the versions we had in most churches in Scotland when we had Benediction in the good old days, LOL!

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