Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Developing a cultus
When I first came here to Brighton, a now dead parishioner remembers overhearing one of my predecessors describing the parish to a new curate as "there are courtesans to the north and common prostitutes to the south and east, they come together in the church". Although there were in the past more families there was always a lot of strange goings on here. 19th century descriptions of Brighton might well suggest why the founders of our parish chose her as the patron of this parish, especially as in the old rite she is presented as Penitent rather than witness to the Resurrection. Brighton is still sexualised and still in need of the Magdalen's prayers.
The newly appointed parish priest of Knaphill, has post about some pop singer playing St Mary Magdalen and points out that there is still a popular consciousness of the role of the Magdalen. Fr Henry is in search of a relic of St Gerrard, which made me think that we really need do to develop devotion to our patron, we have a small relic, a not very nice statue but no altar or shrine for her.
I suppose we could offer an occasional votive Mass, I could bring her into sermons a little more often but really I am at a loss, though maybe for the Year of Faith we should integrate our patron saints into our parish lives. The devotion to saints is, or at least was, an important part of "Roman" Christianity as is witnessed by the ancient and august Roman Canon.
Ideas? Sensible one's!
Posted by Fr Ray Blake