Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Following the Roman Station Churches in Chicago

The Canons Regular of St John Cantius, based in Chicago, Illinois, have a well-deserved reputation for cultivating excellence in the liturgy, and we have gladly featured them many times here on NLM. They were recently kind enough to share with us some information about their way of keeping the Roman tradition of the Lenten station churches, more than 4,800 miles away from the Eternal City.

The stational shrine set up for the First Monday of Lent, at the basilica of St Peter’s Chains.  
At the parishes which they staff, a shrine is set up on a side altar during Lent. Each day, and a sign posted in it with the name of the stational church for that day, along with either a relic of church’s titular Saint, or a piece of the church itself. At the conventual Mass each day, and at each sung Mass on Sundays, the clergy and servers process to the stational shrine and reverence the relic with incense, before the deacon sings Procedamus in pace; the procession then goes to the high altar as an abbreviated Litany of the Saints is sung, in imitation of the ancient stational processions. While it’s not quite the same as joining the stational liturgies in Rome, this brief ritual each day of Lent, along with preaching which incorporates the stational churches and their connection to the daily liturgies of Lent, the Canons Regular are reviving this ancient custom on the local level, giving a sense of the universality of the Church, and the Romanitas of the liturgy.

The station shrine in the church of St Peter in Volo, Illinois, also staffed by the CRSJC, set up for the Second Sunday of Lent, station at Santa Maria in Domnica.
Back in Chicago, the basilica of St Mark on Monday of the Third Week, with a statue of the Evangelist.
Laetare Sunday, a jeweled Cross for the basilica of the Holy Cross, nicknamed “in Jerusalem”.
For today, San Lorenzo “in Damaso”
Ember Saturday at St Peter’s
We are also glad to share some photos of the church of St John Cantius taken on Laetare Sunday by one of our favorite photographers, Allison Girone. The third photo of this set shows the stational shrine, and the fourth shows the visit to it before the Mass.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: