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Station at St Clement

March 6, 2009

sclementeThose of you who use or are familiar with the English Missal will  understand the heading of this Blog. Every day of Lent and Eastertide has a church in Rome assigned to it where, in earlier, simpler days, the Pope as Bishop of Rome said the Mass. On the Monday after the Second Sunday in Lent, the Station church is the Church of San Clemente.

For the past few years we at St Clement’s, Philadelphia, have observed this Station Mass on the same date. We also include the procession, the Litany of the Saints, and the veneration of the relic, as they do in every stational church in Rome. So on Monday of this week, I will celebrate this Mass at 6.30 p.m. So far we have done it in English, but I am contemplating imitating it even more closely by saying it in Latin. (And you thought St Clement’s couldn’t get any higher!)

From my time as Anglican Archdeacon of Italy, I came to know many of the Roman churches, and it gives me pleasure every day as I begin the Mass  to see “Station at …” and to think of the Roman church in which it is celebrated that day. And as one who has often taken trains from London to Scotland, I always smile on Low Sunday when I read “Station at St Pancras”!

When they elect me Bishop of Pennsylvania after Bishop Bennison has gone, I think I will nominate the forty churches of Philadelphia as Stational churches for the days of Lent. Then we could have a real Lenten pilgrimage round the city. And surely this would be a more pleasant way to get to know one’s Bishop that on a visitation once a year or (God forbid!) at Diocesan Convention!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Ros permalink
    March 19, 2009 8:21 am

    Love the idea of the Sunday after Easter being Station at St Pancras as this is the day that I return from Lourdes each year and arrive by Eurostar at St Pancras!

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