The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament
The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament (CBS) was founded in 1862 as part of the Catholic Revival in the Church of England. Its aim was to be, first of all, a confraternity (brotherhood) of men and women praying and working for a greater devotion to our Blessed Lord Jesus in the Eucharist and in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood. In particular it seeks to promote:
- The honour due to Jesus Christ our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament of his Body and Blood,
- Prayer for one another at the Eucharist,
- Careful preparation for and reception of Holy Communion, including the Eucharistic fast,
- The reverent and dignified celebration of the Eucharist and the reservation and veneration of the Blessed Sacrament,
- The continuance of the catholic priesthood,and catholic theological teaching, learning and development.
Wherever possible members of CBS meet together in local Wards for prayer, worship and mutual support under the guidance of a priest as Ward Superior to continue the work of the Confraternity in devotion to our Blessed Lord.
We honour Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament in many ways: the daily Mass, Holy Hours, Benediction.
When we go to Daily Mass we honour our Blessed Lord and grace upon grace from His mercy. We maintain and increase an intimate loving union with Him, and are reinforced in the unity of His Mystical Body, the Church. He removes our venial sins and increases the grace of charity within us towards God and our neighbour, strengthening us resist temptation and sin and pursue all that builds up for Heaven.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, on the night before he was to suffer, Jesus asks his disciples if they could watch with him one hour in prayer. The Holy Hour is our answer to his words. An hour before the Blessed Sacrament, before our Blessed Lord, has eternal merit. It is where we can take all of those for whom we have promised to pray and give them to our Blessed Lord. It is the place where He will give us the peace which the world cannot give, and the place where we will be given the strength to do wondrous things in His name.
Benediction is a unique event. When the priest lifts up the monstrance (that which holds the Blessed Sacrament), it is not the priest who is doing the blessing by the grace of his ordination, it is Christ Jesus Himself. To be blessed is to be set aside for God, and to be blessed by Christ is to be within touching distance of Him who fed the hungry, cured the sick, cast out demons, suffered, was crucified, died and rose again, all for our salvation.