26 June 2011

Further Thought On The Eucharistic Flashmob

Most of the comments on the various which have posted the You Tube film of the Eucharistic Flashmob fall roughly into two areas: that it would have been preferable for public veneration of the Eucharist to have been part of a more traditional Eucharistic procession; and second, that if the friars were going to do what they did, there should have been some protective security.  Both of these comments are laudable and seem to be born out of a desire to ensure that Our Blessed Lord should always be treated with all due respect.

I've no quarrel with either point of view, but I think something else was going on on Ascension Thursday in Preston.  (NB: Ascension Thursday, not Ascension Thursday Sunday.)

I started thinking about whether I would have stopped and got down on my knees if I was walking past somewhere where public exposition was taking place, and moved on to think of the radical simplicity of the trust the two friars had in God.  Nothing could happen to them, or to the Eucharistic Lord, simply because He was with them, and they trusted Him and knew that He would ensure that everything went well.  I wish my faith were that strong.

I really hope we don't have lots of priests doing copycat expositions: it isn't right to make a stunt out of Our Lord.  What the friars did, though, wasn't a stunt: it was a very public demonstration of faith (in several senses) and a clear sign that they have embodied the charism of their Order and their Founder.


Mike Cliffson said...
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Patricius said...

I think that the nature of the flash mob art form involving the element of surprise means that it could not be done again- at least not in the form we saw here. It is worth remembering the shock tactic employed by St Francis. The crib at Greccio involved a real baby and live animals- a very successful "one-off". The sculpted figures we use today in a sense recall that event almost as much as the Nativity itself but the original surprise element cannot be repeated. The extension forwards through time of the flash mob event is carried on through the internet. Indeed there is a sense that, although occurring once in real places, as for instance here on a particular day in a shopping centre, flash mob events are designed very much with the internet and therefore the potential of almost infinite repetition and terrestrial extension in mind. Hence this was not a eucharistic procession nor a replacement for one- any more than St Francis's "crib" at Greccio was a replacement for the mass.

Marc said...

But how many flash mobs have done the H. C. from Messiah! After a week thinking about it, I've come to the conclusion, the more places the better (provided that there may be presumed to be at least some believers present at the time etc etc for these acts of faith and piety).

Anagnostis said...

I'm genuinely sorry to be striking a negative note here, but I don't think the Blessed Sacrament should be used in this way. The Eucharistic Mystery does not belong to the public proclamation of the Gospel,but to the "inner life" of the Church. I'm glad you mentioned the word "stunt" and not me, but that's the inescapable implication of this kind of misuse.

mundabor said...

In my eyes, the "Jesus will ensure that everything goes well" can easily become a dangerous sense of security. I'd rather say that desecrations do happen and that Jesus expects us to do our best to avoid them.

Having said that, even if I would have preferred some kind of "security" I can understand the thinking of the friars: not only the surprise and the short time, but a running camera are a rather persuasive security measure; an assault in broad daylight in front of two dozen witnesses and cameras is not very likely.

I hope they'll do it again. One or two robust friars as discreet protection, and in my eyes it will be perfect.