Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Card. Burke Inducts New Members of a Confraternity in Rome

This past Sunday, at the FSSP parish in Rome, Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke presided over the vestition of new members of the Archconfraternity of the Most Holy Trinity of the Pilgrims. Founded in 1548 under the auspices of St Philip Neri, for over three centuries this Archconfraternity was one of the principal entities responsible for the care of poor pilgrims in Rome, especially during Jubilee years. The church was also an important focus for the 40 Hours Devotion, which until the late 1960s was maintained continuously in Rome, starting in one church as it ended in another. Since the fall of the Papal State and the confiscation of all of the confraternity’s property, it has functioned as a pious association of prayer and sanctification of the individual members. Recently, after a period of suspension, it has been formally revived and begun to accept new members, under the leadership of the clergy of the FSSP, with a special focus on Eucharistic devotion. (See below for information about joining the confraternity, which is open to all.)

The new members’ habits prepared for blessing.
At the beginning of the rite, the cardinal and the members of the confraternity kneel and say Psalm 50, the Miserere, followed by a series of versicles, and the following prayer. “Most beloved brethren, let us pray to our Lord, Jesus Christ, for these His servants, who for the love of Him hasten to put aside the vanity of the world; that He may grant them the Holy Spirit, who may enkindle in them continual desire for the observance of God’s commandments, and of the statutes of the venerable Archiconfraternity dedicated to the Most Holy Trinity, and keep their hearts pure from the hindrances of the world, and every vain desire; so that, as they are changed by entering this brotherhood, so the gift of His right hand may confirm in them the virtue of good works, keep their heart from every form of blindness, and grant them the grace of His eternal light. Who liveth and reigneth forever and ever. R. Amen.”
The prayers of blessing of the habits. “Almighty and everlasting God, Who showest to sinners that seek Thee the light of truth, that they may return to the way of justice; ble+ss, we ask, and sanctify these garments, and Thy servants who for their sins are clothed in them. Mercifully enlighten them by the grace of the Holy Spirit, that they may ever merit to weep over their sins, and obtain the bounty of Thy indulgence. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen. (For the belts and aprons) Let there descend, we ask, o Lord, upon these belts of the men and aprons of the women the pouring forth of Thy abundant blessing, and grant that, as Thy servants, being girded with them, are afflicted in body, so by the fruit of good works, they may be refreshed in mind. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.”
The new members kneel before the cardinal to receive their habits, with the belt or apron, and a candle, as he says to them, “May the Lord clothe thee with the new man, who according to God was created in justice, and the holiness of truth.”
Congratulations to our favorite Roman pilgrim, Agnese!
The newly inducted members go the sacristy to dress in the habit, then return to their places in the church, with their candles lit. The celebrant says to them the words of the Gospel “Let your loins be girt, and lamps burning in your hands (Luke 12, 35), that the Judge Who is to come on the last day may receive you with great rejoicing. Who liveth and reigneth forever and ever. R. Amen.”
The hymn Veni, Creator Spiritus is sung, and all kneel for the first verse. This is followed by the Collect of Pentecost, to which the following prayer is added. “Grant, we ask, o Lord, health of mind and body to Thy servants that have been clothed in the habit of penance; that clinging to good works, by the intercession of St Matthew the Apostle (the patron Saint of the Archconfraternity), and the blessed Father Philip, they may ever merit to be defended by the protection of Thy might. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.”
There follows the celebration of Mass, during which the members of the confraternity hold lit candles at the Gospel and during the Canon.
Tradition will always be for the young!
At the end of the Mass, the new confreres come forth to lay their candles in a basket at the cardinal’s feet, kiss his hand, and exchange the Peace with him. He then adds a final prayer. “Grant us, we ask, o Lord, enduring service in Thy will, that the people that serveth Thee may increase both in merit and number,” and then imparts to them a final blessing.
Ad multos annos!
Joining the Confraternity
Membership in the Archconfraternity is open to all lay men and women who are at least 18 years old, and practising Catholics in communion with the Pope. Residency in Rome is not required, and open to the whole world; presentation by a current member is required.

Local confraternities dedicated to the Most Holy Trinity and donning the red habit, and dedicated to the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and works of charity, and which have been canonically erected in any diocese as a public association of the faithful, may request aggregation. Aggregation is free and granted automatically to qualifying associations that request it; they then share in the Indulgences granted to the Archconfraternity as well as in the prayers and good works of all members of the Archconfraternity and of all the associated Confraternities (which total several hundred.)

Requests for Aggregation of Confraternities (but not for individual membership) can be forwarded in writing to the Archivist of the Archconfraternity:
Sig. Giancarlo Ciccia
Archivista Arciconfraternita della Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini e Convalescenti
Via dei Pettinari 36/a
Roma 00186

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