Welcome! This blog celebrates both the local and the catholic -- that is, universal -- aspects of the Roman Catholic Church by sharing reflections on experiences of the Church in a variety of settings and cultures. Postings will come from around the world and around the corner. You don't have to be a Catholic to come along.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Holy Blood of Bruges

By a wonderful happenstance, Ann and I found ourselves in Bruges, Belgium, in 1997 on the Feast of the Ascension. We witnessed a wonderful procession that I could describe no better than these words from the city's website:

"Every year on Ascension Day since 1291 the procession of the Holy Blood makes Bruges a very special place to be. Half the parade is representing scenes from the old and New Testament interpreted by guild, trades, brotherhoods and chambers of rhetoric from the burgundain period. The second part of the procession is devoted to the relic of the blood of Jesus brought to Bruges by Derrick of Alsace, Count of Flanders after the second crusade in 1150. Ever since, the precious relic has been kept in the basilica of the Holy Blood at the burg square. Carried around once a year by two prelates in a golden shrine and worshiped in this procession by the members of the noble brotherhood of the Holy blood. This impressing moment closes with the festive sounds of a mobile carillon."

If you'd like we see more pictures, there are a couple of dozen on the Bruges website, as well as lots of information about the wonderful old city.

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