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--Cardiff Municipal Muddle










ICorpus Christi. -1 '


I Corpus Christi. -1 Impressive Ceremonial in Cardiff. Regarded as one of the greatest feasts of the Roman Church, the festival of Corpus Christi is celebrated by the Catholics of Cardiff with signal zeal and earnestness, whilst the Protestant majority of the townspeople recognise the event as one of no little importance —if only from a spectatorial point of view. Its antiquity alone has a hold upon the sympathies of those who view with regreb the latter-day decline of honoured institutions, the ghosts alone of which are flitting through the gloomy shades of time, while the solemn grandeur of its observance earns for it a marked regard and honour. The feast was instituted by Pope Urban IV., so far back as 1264 in honour of the doctrine of the Eucharist, and annually on the appointed day have the vast mass of Roman Catholics through- out the world maintained its oelebration. Rarely is there shown such a widespread unanimity of observance as that practised by the Roman Church in her feasts. Nations and tongues and the spacious stretch of ocean and land retarcl not the least their methodical and simultaneous practice, whilst the wise injunctions of the Vatican pre- vent the obsolescenca which is now-a-days so noticeable in social Tn", Yesterday was a gloriously bright day and admirably suited for the alfresco performance of the significant rites. It, is a singular fact that throughout the number of years the Fete Dieu has been observed in Cardiff with such public ostenta- tions the atmospherical conaitions have always been of the most agreeablecharacter. Following, as it did, a spell of typical March weather, the welcome sunshine induced thousands of people to turn out and view the procession of children. The function would seem to be eminently a juvenile festival, though, of course, the adult societies connected with the different churches took prominent part in the proceedings. The St. Peter's contingent, with that of St. Paul's, Tyndall-street (tho girls from this mission wear- ing black sashes in memory of the late Father Butler), joined St. David's at Bute- terrace St. Patrick's (Grangetown) and St. Joseph's (Penarth) joined at the Bute Monu- ment, St. Mary's at Westgate-street, and the Nazareth House children in Duke-street. Headed by the priests of their congregation, and accompanied by their teachers, each contingent marched to a point of conjunction near the Bute Monument, and thence traversed the thorough- fares of the town between there and Cardiff Castle. It was estimated that there were at least 5,000 children in the procession, and the sight was an exceedingly pretty one. The girls of each school were given priority of the boys, and naturally, as regards display, their costumes lent a far better efftcb. Dressed in pure white, tastefully relieved with sashes of lIght blue or scar lot, and wearing each a muslin veil and a garland of whitelfowers, the girls —many of whom were mere dot?,toddling along in white socks and anklebancls—looked charming to a degree. The boys wore badges of green or red rosettes; whilst almost every alternate child carried a gaily decorated banner inscribed wit.h 0n:)(' ):"r' i: (0'" ic' In the vicinity of the churches were Tcrowds of mothers or friends watching with jealoua pride their own "little ones in the gathering but as the procession neared the centre of the town the crowds of spectators were dense, and demon- strated the intense interest manifest in the festival. Women with splenetic children, men content to forego for a time the call of business, perfunctory nursemaids with perambu- lators, and the many various descriptions of man- kind that constitute a British crowd, contumaci- ously held possession of every coign of 'vantage while the retinue passed. The scholars gained admittance to the Castle grounds by the smaller gate m Cattle-street, while those of the general public who were fortunate enough to be possessed of tickets were admitted at the Canton bridge lodge gate. The scene in the grounds was one of reverent anima- tion and lovely yerdure. Two altars had been erected on the ground, in which floral offerings and candelabra formed an imposing sight. and candelabra formed an imposing sight. Some little time elapsed before the procession round the park was arranged. The sound of slow music, however, announced its advent, and the assembled people arranged themselves in order along the feeder and in the centre of the ground. The children came first and marched far down the grounds to a point whence they were marshalled so as to form three sides of a spacious square, the large concourse of people forming the fourth side. Then carne the band of the 3rd Welsh Regiment, the acolytes and the choristers singing the opening hymn of the Sacrament, 0, Salutam Hostia." The Bishop of Newport and Menevia and attendant priest3 followed next under a canopy, and the train being brought up by the local members of the League of the Cross. The bishop carried a gold monstrense, beautifully jewelled, and the attendant priests (Father Van Den Heuvel and McC'emiai) were in gorgeous cloth of gold vestments, with rich embroidery. Father Hayde was assistant priest, and Mon- signor Williams led the chants, with Father Gibbons as master of the ceremonies. The other I priests present wore Father J. Bailey, Father Matthews (Canton), Father Parker, Father Nolan, Canon Wado (Merthyr), Dr. Saunders (Swansea), Father Bray (Treforssfc), Father Fitzgerald, Father Cambran, Franciscan Father Bernardino, O.S.F., Father Francis Mooro (Brecon), Father Driffield (St. Paul's), Father D'Hulst (Barry), and Father Brady (Grangetown). The canopy- bearers were Dr. Buist, Dr. Kelly (Barry), Messrs Frank Bright, Augustus Stone, Supt. O'Gorman, T. Callaghan, sen., Holtham, Dearlove, Hobson. Matthews, and others. As the procession wended its way along the green sward the Litany of Loretto was sung, and tho Tantum Ergo and Laudl Sion. The spectacle h^.re WHS piotui-t-sque <uirl singu- larly impressive. The lines of white stretched far way over the mead of virgin green, and the vari-coloured baunerettes scintillating on high in tiie brilliant sunshine was a scene striking for its beauty and arrangement. But there was,also a scene profoundly impressive and affecting. It was the aspect of sincer(k, reverence maintained by the vasterowd. T/ironghoutthewhoIeof theproceedings fchero was evinced a decorous, dignified demeanour, but as the Tabernacle passed in its way down the avenue of people the piety and full- hearted veneration of the devout adherents to the Catholic faith was for a moment witnessed in its best phase. Every head was bared and every knee was bended. The harsh, relentless man of business paid his attribute, and the haughty dame her homage to the sanctity of the Eucharist. The sight was one of lasting impression. lu fpok,3, of peace and worldly quiettide-a brier interval in the struggle of life, when Intestine war no more our passions wage, And giddy factions here away their rage. The Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was pronounced at each of the altars, after which the multitude dispersed-many to wander for a brief time round the beautifully-wooded ground, bu the children to partake of an appetising tea at convenient quarters. It may be mentioned that many of the ad. joining towns sent contingents to join in the ceremony. Father O'Hare came with 2'0 people from Swansea, 120 being members of the League of the Cross, and the rest representatives of the St. Patrick's Society F at her Scannell brought 200 from Maesteg, with drum and fife band while Newport was represented by 150 people, headed by Fathers Bailey, Willcox, and Bath. Father Matthews, of Canton, had the charge and arrangement of the ground.