Friday 2 January 2015

On the eighth day of Christmas, ARCAT stored for me…

...eight spir’tual bouquets,

Spiritual Bouquets, POAA45.01, MGDA12.48, MGCA11.01, MGDA12.03. AF.273, AF.134

A spiritual bouquet is a card with a list of prayers and spiritual devotions that will be offered for the benefit of a particular person. These may include specific numbers of Masses, Communions, Rosaries, Visits to the Blessed Sacrament, Stations of the Cross, and Litanies, to name a few.

The cards may be given for a variety of occasions as expressions of joy, best wishes, congratulations, or sympathy. Traditionally hand-made, spiritual bouquets are often decorated with flowers as their name implies. Offering spiritual bouquets is a uniquely Roman Catholic tradition that continues today.

As these eight cards illustrate, spiritual bouquets come in all shapes and sizes and are given by individuals, religious communities and school groups. Counterclockwise from top left:

  • Spiritual bouquet for Archbishop Philip Pocock on the anniversary of his consecration, from The Separate School Children.
  • Spiritual bouquet offered to Cardinal McGuigan from a good friend for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
  • Bouquet spirituel for then Most Rev. McGuigan when he was appointed Archbishop of Regina, including 17,619 invocations and 247 Chemins de Croix.
  • "A bouquet of flowers for our new Cardinal," offered to Cardinal Ambrozic from school children.
  • A spiritual bouquet from the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood to His Eminence Cardinal McGuigan on the 25th anniversary of his episcopal consecration.
  • A trifold spiritual bouquet for Auxiliary Bishop Francis Allen's Silver Jubilee.
  • A spiritual bouquet for new elevated Cardinal Ambrozic from school children.  Composed of individual hearts on which each student stated their choice of prayer and a good deed performed on the Cardinal's behalf.
  • From the Sisters of the Precious Blood in London, a spiritual bouquet for then Archbishop McGuigan upon his installation to the See of Toronto.

seven papal bulls,

six pairs of buskins,

five golden rings,

four photographs,

three mitres,

two maniples,

and a pen used to vote at Conclave.

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