Monday, October 12, 2009

You could hear...

...the music as you walked down Victoria Street. And the crowds were gathering...friendly, chatty, calm, expectant. People poured across the piazza in a steady flow to join them. On a giant screen, Mass was being broadcast from inside the Cathedral, complete with magnificent music and a mitred Bishop preaching.

The relics of St Therese were coming to Westminster Cathedral. I hadn't really planned to be there - just thought I would "look in while passing". I had a letter to drop in to Clergy House for Canon Tuckwell, the administrator, so I needed to go that way. As I approached the piazza I noticed a friend, stopped to greet her...and was hooked.

Visiting the relics of St Therese was a wonderful, prayerful experience. Everything about it was right. A delicious October evening with twilight merging into the London lamplight and the glow of the illuminated cathedral. Lots of lots and lots of friendly people. The joy of sharing all this with good friends, and making new acquaintances as the queue moved along. Dignity and beauty in the procession and the liturgy. People clutching roses. Occasional outbreaks of a Marian hymn. The quiet of the cathedral as we mounted the steps.

We had each been thinking of the prayer-intentions we were bringing along, and promising to pray for one another. As I approached the casket I suddenly remembered another, more urgent plea to put before the saint, and so in the end it was that one that actually took priority! Dear Saint Therese, please please take all my petitions and present them to God...

7 comments:

Patricius said...

It is a great blessing for the Church in England to receive with praise and consolation these most marvellous Relics of St Therese. I shall be there tomorrow night to reverence the Relics, and may the experience open my heart to the Grace of God.

Rachel said...

So pleased that your visit to Therese was a time of grace and blessing. I took my children to visit her in York Minster, as we were ill when she came to our nearest venue. It was so very heartening to see Christians of all backgrounds waiting reverently to ask her intercession. We too felt so welcome in the queue of friendly people. Our "queue mate" helped me with the pram and gave the children chocolate as we waited for two hours! It went by in a flash as we shared stories of prayers answered and titbits about Therese and her life. God Bless

Malcolm McLean said...

I live within a short walk of St Anne's cathederal in Leeds so I visited the relics every day they were here.
Therese has always worried me. I can understand a martyr, I cannot really understand "Therese, wounded by God's love".

John the organist said...

Yes indeed a wonderful experience. John and I had been fortunate to have seen the relics in Australia when visiting in 88. However this time it was a different experience. Yesterday I helped with the stewarding and met people from all over. Later in the day I returned to my usual role as a cathedral server, the Sacrament of the sick, Solemn Mass and the Ecumenical service for which we both served as John runs the Interfaith group.

Stella said...

I am going tomorrow please God and so looking forward to it. I live in Hampshire.
Stella

Angel said...

There's something very maudlin about getting excited over the viewing of relics.I venerate JS Bach. Do I want to see his relics?
No.Was he a saint? For me..absolutely.

nazareth priest said...

Wish I could have been there!
What a wonderful grace for England.
May Saint Therese bring many souls to Christ by her intercession!