Sacred Heart/Precious Blood
It can’t be very often that the Feasts of the Sacred Heart and of the Precious Blood fall on the same day. It is caused, of course, by the fact that the one – the Sacred Heart – is fixed by the moveable calendar which depends on the date of Easter, while the other – the Precious Blood – is always July 1 in the old calendar.
So this morning, I was not sure which of these Masses I should celebrate. They are both “Doubles of the First Class’ as the old calendar terms them, so that was no help. Then I remembered that we are keeping Sunday as an External Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, so I celebrated the Mass of the Precious Blood.
Both feasts are examples of that phenomenon, also exemplified by Corpus Christi and Holy Cross Day, of taking bits of what we commemorate in Holy Week out of that Week, so that they can be celebrated in a more festive manner. I was once in Bruges on July 1, and was very impressed by the procession through the streets of the relic of the Precious Blood that is venerated there.
So now I have the Sacred Heart for Sunday and will preach on this doctrine. Soldier’s spear – blood and water – Baptism and Holy Communion – blood the symbol of life – Christ’s blood in the chalice passing on the life of God to us.