Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Feast of Holy Relics

According to the calendar of the usus antiquior, today, in the Archdiocese of Berlin, Germany, and in many other dioceses (sometimes on another day during the old ocatve of All Saints), is the Feast of the Holy Relics kept in the churches of the diocese (Sacrarum Reliquiarum quæ in ecclesiis diœcesis asservantur). This is a beautiful opportunity to venerate all those Saints whose relics are kept in our churches, today sadly often (all but) forgotten, and to remind ourselves of the very real communion of Saints, for whose intercession we pray here on earth, and into which we hope one day to enter despite our unworthiness. The actual exposition of those relics upon the altars of the church, as seen here in Ss. Trinità dei Pellegrini, the parish church of the FSSP in Rome, can help us to be even more aware of this reality. The reinstitution of this observance to the diocesan calendars also of the Ordinary Form is something to be hoped for.

The oratio of today's feast admirably expresses the theological relevance of the veneration of those relics:

Auge in nobis, Dómine, resurrectiónis fidem, qui in Sanctórum tuórum relíquiis mirabília operáris: et fac nos immortális glóriæ partícipes, cujus in eórum cinéribus pígnora venerámur. Per Dóminum.

In my own, rather literal translation:

Augment in us, o Lord, the faith in the resurrection, Who workest miracles in the relics of Thy Saints: and make us partake of the eternal glory, the token of which we venerate in their ashes. Through our Lord.

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