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Bringing the Roman Stational Churches Home

In ancient Rome, the popes would journey to a different church each day of Lent to pray with the Christian community and celebrate Mass.  These stational processions had a profound influence on the liturgies of Lent down to this day.  We are trying to bring a little bit of Rome back home and make the stational churches present to the minds of the faithful in our parish liturgies.  

At the parishes staffed by the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, a shrine is set up on a side altar during Lent.  Each day, a sign is posted with the name of the stational church of the day, along with a relic.  This relic is either of the saint associated with the stational church, or a piece of the stational 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, and the procession goes to the high altar while 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.

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