THE forty-sixth annual festival of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament was held at the Church of the Ascension, Chicago, on the Feast of Corpus Christi, Thursday, June 11th, with a large attendance. The council met at 10 A.M., in the parish house, and re-nominated Bishop Weller Superior-General, and Mr. Clinton Rogers Woodruff Treasurer-General. The Rev. E.B. Taylor, who has so ably and faithfully served the Confraternity for the past twenty years as Secretary-General, asked to be relieved of the work, and the council accordingly nominated the Rev. C.P.A. Burnett, 552 West End avenue, New York City, Secretary-General. The council was practically re-nominated, and, including the heads of wards, now numbers about fifty members. All of these nominees were elected at the general meeting in the afternoon. The membership of the Confraternity is steadily increasing, and now numbers over 3,000. At 11 A.M. a Solemn High Eucharist was celebrated, with all the beautiful and reverent ceremonial for which the Church of the Ascension is famous.
The rector, the Rev. W.B. Stoskopf, was celebrant, with Dean Larrabee of Nashotah as deacon, and Canon Rogers of Fond du Lac as sub-deacon. Bishop Weller was the preacher, his chaplain being the Rev. F.S. Penfold, and Bishop Webb, who was also present, was attended by the Rev. Dr. Percival C. Pyle, rector of the Church of St. Edward the Martyr, New York City, as his chaplain. The music, which was beautifully given, was Gounod’s Messe Solonelle, and the well-drilled choir of the parish was assisted by an excellent orchestra of strings and brass, as well as by the organ. The music was directed by Mr. W.H. Knapp, choirmaster, Mr. Lester Groom being the organist Bishop Weller’s sermon was a strong and eloquent presentation of the Sacrificial aspect of the Holy Eucharist. This elaborate and imposing service concluded with a Solemn Procession, and with the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Bishop Weller officiating. There was a large congregation, with a goodly proportion of, men, recruited from widely separated portions of the city and suburbs.
At the luncheon in the parish house, after service, some fifty of the clergy and a good many of the lay associates of the Confraternity were the guests. The essay of the afternoon was by the Rev. F.S. Penfold of Racine; and its central point emphasized the importance of the Daily Mass. The paper was of such value that it will be printed by the Confraternity, and will be widely circulated among the clergy of the Church. No one who has not become an associate of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament can have any conception of the spiritual uplift and strength which such membership brings. The daily use of the leaflet of Intercession, which is published every month, and is now in its forty-eighth volume, is of itself a deep source of helpfulness, in widening one’s sense of spiritual fellowship, and in reinforcing one’s own personal intercessions. To have the privilege of placing some person or some cause before the entire membership of the Confraternity, through the use of this leaflet, each month, or whenever desired, is an invaluable aid which many more of our devout communicants really ought to secure as they try to live the life of Intercession. The expense is but fifty cents a year, and the time required daily is so little, if one has any system of daily personal prayer worth mentioning, that even the busiest persons can readily fulfil the duties of membership. There are now at least three wards of the C.B.S. in Chicago, namely, at the Church of the Ascension, at Christ Church, Woodlawn, and at the Church of the Redeemer. The Ascension ward numbers some sixty members and is the largest in the diocese. It would seem possible, since the Brotherhood of St. Andrew throughout the Church is now working systematically for increased devotion to the Holy Eucharist on the part of men, and since the Brotherhood, while it stresses prayer so earnestly, publishes no such monthly leaflet of suggested Intercessions as does the Confraternity, for many earnest Brotherhood men to join the Confraternity as well, and thus to widen and deepen their spiritual leverage along these most important lines. Any priest-associate will be glad at any time to take up the question by correspondence with any communicant, man or woman.
From The Living Church, June 20, 1914.