Eucharistic Devotions and the Revival of the Processional Canopy

Photo: OC-Travel
This photo I took at the wonderful Canadian parish of Saints Joachim and Ann in Aldergrove, British Columbia.  The celebrant is one of our favorite priests in Canada, Fr. William Ashley.

Back by popular demand, a significant number of Latin rite parishes across North America have returned to the custom of annual outdoor and indoor canopied processions to celebrate feasts such as Corpus Christi or other liturgical celebrations like the closing of Forty Hours' (Quarant' Ore) devotions.

Fr. Ashley has restored this beloved universal custom at his parish.  Needless to say, the parishioners have been thrilled (myself included).  Most importantly, young people are encouraged to have a stronger belief in the true presence of Christ in the Blessed Eucharist. 

While outdoor Corpus Christi processions and processional canopies became obsolete fifty years ago in the wake of the aliturgical praxis of the 1960's, they are now making a comeback in many places today. To be sure, we live not only in a time of continued acute liturgical deconstruction, but also of perceptive restoration.

As the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist is being questioned and denied with alarming audacity, an easy solution is to implement again these time-honored safeguards of yesteryear to help instill among the new generations a devotion to the real, true and substantial presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. 

As more and more parishes are making the jump and reviving this time-honored custom, a common question for many pastors remains: "Do we ask someone to make one or do we just buy one?"

No doubt, many young pastors have this item on their wish list and cost is always an issue.

For those shopping around to make the plunge, I recommend this affordable version I saw while visiting my favorite liturgical arts store in Fatima, Portugal, Paramentaria de Fátima. As you can see, this version folds and stores well.

This one is made sturdy and comes with six poles and other fabric options.  For many parishes, this is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase.

For information and pricing on this hard to find item, click here.

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