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Tina wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • When you attend a veneration of a saint's relic, what is the protocol for attendance?
  • What reverence should be shown?

Tina

  { When you attend a veneration of a saint's relic, what reverence and protocol should be followed? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Tina —

I don't know of any formal protocol for any special church service displaying a special relic within the Church today. I can only assume that proper reverence be given to the relic when the time is appropriate.

Privately, when someone has given me a relic, I usually kiss it, then make the sign of the cross with it, as I would when I enter Church every Sunday and bless myself with holy water. Bowing before [and/or] kissing the relic would also be appropriate.

We never worship relics. Relics, like statues, are only reminders of holy saints that have gone before us and are now praying for us.

There are three instances of relics in the Bible:

In the New Testament:

In the Old Testament:

and from my Scripture Passages web page:

Hope this helps,

Mike

Tina replied:

Thanks, Mike —

Although I know some people who possess relics of saints, I am attending a diocesan veneration of a Relic of Mary Magdalene and did not know of anything besides what you shared about praying before the relic and kneeling.

Tina

Mike replied:

Hi, Tina —

Do me a favor and get back to me on how that diocesan veneration get-together went.

I may be able to learn from you.

Mike

Tina replied:

Mike —

It was wonderful ~ the veneration of Mary Magdalene. It is a large tibia bone. It was exposed in a lucite case in the center of the main chapel of our seminary. As people came in, many of them just blessed themselves and took a seat. I did as well, and then prayed the Rosary.

Most people when leaving, went to the relic, stood for a few moments, then made the sign of the cross and touched the case. Some kissed the case; and some made the sign of the cross, kissed their hand, and placed their hand on the case.

A Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus quickly wiped the lucite case after each person touched or kissed it. Some gentlemen kneeled before the relic when they initially entered the chapel for a few moments and then all were seated.

I have read so much about this magnificent woman. It was an honor and a privilege to have this opportunity.

Tina

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