The Institute of Christ the King held its most recent pilgrimage to Lourdes at the beginning of this month, joined (again) by His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke.
This writer was pleased to attend all of the liturgies and events led by the Institute, including a Solemn High Mass offered by Monsignor Gilles Wach, founder and prior of the Institute, with Cardinal Burke assisting; a conference by the cardinal, entitled "The Crisis Of Christian Culture And Our Mission To Restore It"; second vespers for the feast of Saint Joseph the Workman, with Cardinal Burke; a Solemn High Pontifical Mass offered by Cardinal Burke; a conference by Monsignor Wach; and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament led by Cardinal Burke followed by the singing of the Te Deum.
The liturgies were offered in the upper church of the Basilique de Notre Dame de l'Immaculée Conception de Lourdes, and in the parish church of the Sacred Heart in Lourdes. Each were standing room only.
As with all Institute liturgies, great care was given to every moment of worship. Gregorian chant was sung by a superb schola of eight members of the Institute, and an outstanding organist played pieces ranging from Bach's "Fantasia in G Minor" to softer offertories and interludes. Several sets of beautiful vestments were brought to the churches for the cardinal and clergy. Dozens of canons and seminarians assisted in choir, joined by other clergy such as the rector of the parish church. And the Sisters Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus were in their distinctive blue habits, in the first pew. Possibly unbeknownst to the sisters, they served as the congregation's guide for when to sit, stand and kneel -- as the customs in France are significantly different from those of, for instance, the U.S.