A big thanks to all those who provided input into the Corpus Christi event listing.
I'll be happy to include any reports (photos?) of events here, as well your comments on how it went, and suggestions in case this (or something like it) becomes an annual event.
For what is is worth, let me kick off with a few general suggestions. Do add your own...
Next time around?
This was a nice idea, but it could, I think, have been better organised. In general, dioceses need more notice - a lot did put on things on fairly short notice (the Canberra event, for example, was only advertised from late last week), but perhaps the time has come to use social media channels to get out the word, rather than relying primarily on writing formally to dioceses?
I'm not a regular user of facebook, but a few local facebook pages did seem to appear eventually, but public information on what was envisaged was pretty scarce until pretty close to the time!
I'm not sure to what extent dioceses responded to prodding from here and other social media sources, and to what extent from Vatican prodding, but more could be done on this.
- My suggestion: Create a website early for an event like this, and put up all the information there, including website banners people can use, the program for the event, and copies of whatever has been sent to dioceses. Then alert key blogs (select a few from each country and ask them to get their colleagues on board) or blog aggregation sites and ask them to spread the word.
- Maybe recordings of some of the classic Gregorian chant hymns could be made available online in advance for choirs and individuals to learn in preparation? Maybe some more in depth support materials relating to the intentions could be made available in advance as lectio divina?
Fourthly, the intentions, though worthy enough, seemed pretty tame. Given the kind of pithy things the Pope has been talking about, and the huge challenges the Church faces in the world today (abuse crisis; curia reform; collapse of the West; persecution etc), I would have thought that picking one big priority, and adding some very specific and hard hitting intentions would be more engaging.
Fifthly, in terms of support materials, perhaps an ap is needed to help those gen xers with their meditation! I noticed a few at the Canberra event couldn't cope even for fifteen minutes without turning on their phones for prompts to prayer (I think!). There are some multimedia possibilities that could be explored here.
Canberra Cathedral: Around (I'm guessing) 150 people attended [*NB: the Archdiocese is saying 300] 1am Adoration at St Christopher's Cathedral, a pretty good showing given the late notice, and early hour on the first day of the working week!
On the plus side, the event seemed to showcase the hope of the diocese in the form of the young deacons who ran the show, the high representation of the immigrant community, and the crowded pew of Missionaries of God's Love men who were present. The Pope's intentions were read out before Adoration started, and at each fifteen minute mark there something to mark the time - a hymn, reading, responsorial psalm and then hymn. The event closed with Benediction and the Divine Praises.
A tad disappointing though, that not one priest or bishop (and Canberra has at least three normally in residence, even though the See is currently vacant) could be rousted out of bed to make it a Solemn affair.
West Wyalong, NSW: Fr Mick Mac Andrew reports:
"At West Wyalong, NSW, there were eight of us at the Mon 2pm-3pm Adoration. We reflected on Pope Francis' intentions each fifteen minutes, sang a hymn, incensed the Blessed Sacrament and then silent adoration until 2:50pm when we had Benediction.
As numbers go, it was better than our weekly night time Rosary, but on a par with our Friday morning half hour Adoration before the 8:30am Mass.
A couple of months ago we had the Missionaries of God's Love (Canberra Order of priests, Nuns and Brothers) come out and lead our St Mary's school children in Adoration. But sadly, none of the teachers took up the opportunity yesterday to bring their class over."
'The Loon' reports:
"Parramatta Office of Worship sent an order of service to use (apparently the one being used in Rome as it had Latin hymns). My Priest got a copy very late, too late to do much. He simply read the prayers that were in English and then the Sacrament was exposed in the Monstrance. We prayed the Rosary and had Benediction. Very nice...."
**Parramatta Diocese reports that Adoration was actually held at the Cathedral on Sunday afternoon at 5pm. Given the lack of any advance advertising for this event, I'd be curious to know how many attended.
"...there were maybe 50-60 people in Brisbane? This included at least two priests (identified by their cassocks!) and there may have been more. There was a good range of ages. The hour was spent in silence. I saw lots of people praying the rosary and reading from Bibles.
I read some of my favorite stories from Matthew. I had a moment of startling clarity where I realised the same Jesus that walked on water was the same Jesus present right before me."
"Approximately 40-50 people came for a Holy Hour at Saint Bernadettes in Glendalough, Perth, at 11:00pm WST. We did not have much time to get the word out, but with the help of the Facebook page "Eucharistic Adoration in Perth", announcement at the preceding Weekend Mass's, and a network of young Catholics who contacted one another word did get around.
We followed the format provided on the Vatican website, readings, prayers, hymns, and Benediction. A wonderful Holy Hour which we can hopefully run again along side the perpetual adoration in the Church chapel."