The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament...
The Oldest Anglican Devotional Society
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 Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. Today it is no longer confined to England alone but has spread to many places within the Anglican Communion of churches, especially in Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and parts of Africa.
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. But you would be mistaken if you think that the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament only comes into its own on the Feast of Corpus Christi with festival services, processions and carpets of flowers.
We do all that. But we are much in demand during the rest of the year as well: Masses are said daily, Wards meet, Holy Hours are prayed through and Benediction are celebrated regularly in many of our churches.*
*From the Introduction page of The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament Web site
At St. John’s, our chapter of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament is involved in the preparations for our Corpus Christi Festival, which in 2006 included a wonderful setting for choir and strings of the Mass in G Major by Franz Schubert, and in 2007, an unaccompanied choral setting of Missa O quam gloriosum est regnum by Tomás Luis da Vittoria.
On the second Thursday of the month (and weekly in Lent), prior to the service of Holy Communion, the CBS sponsors both a time of mediation before our Lord as He is sacramentally present on the Altar (Adoration), and the brief service of Benediction which may preceed or follow the Holy Communion (see the Parish Calendar for times).