Saturday, September 15, 2012


...liturgy, glorious music, a rousing roof-raising hymn "Hold High the Cross!", a grand crowd, a packed church, and the Norfolk countryside in September beauty - this was today's Pilgrimage of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.  Magnificent.  The Ordinariate has grown and flourished, and today  resounded with joy,  reverence, goodwill, and  unity - and a certain confidence.

We set off early - it meant a 5 am start for the Bogles - from Precious Blood Church at London Bridge, with a packed minibus and a very cheery atmosphere.  At Walsingham, large numbers had gathered from across the country, and there was much agreeable greeting and exchanging of news and so on...and there was time to pray at the Slipper Chapel shrine (there is a box for petitions to Our Lady, and that gentle smell of soft wax candles, and fresh flowers), and to go to confession, and to visit the Shrine bookshop... and then we crowded into the big barn church for Mass.

 I was pressed against the wall at the very back, and  as the great procession of clergy made its way  directly past us, along to the central aisle it was a rather impressive sight. But what lingers most in the memory - apart from the beauty of the Mass, with the Host and then Chalice raised against that great window with its engraved angels and glorious backdrop of trees and sky, and the great roar of voices making the responses- was the singing.  What singing!  The last hymn "Hold High the Cross!" was unforgettable.

In the afternoon, a  Rosary Walk, led by the Cross, with the clergy in white surplices, along the Holy Mile.  The rosehips were ripe on the bushes, and the sky wide and blue with those faint trails of late-summer cloud.  At  the Anglican shrine where there was a beautiful welcome, and prayer, and we were each blessed with water from the ancient well....the water having been drawn in great buckets which were placed around the wide lawns, and we lined up to recieve the blessing one by one.

Today we saw the Ordinariate as it was meant to be, as a bridge across the divide between Anglicans and Catholics, as a promise of an achieved and achievable unity. A beautiful day.


Slow of Heart said...

Do you mean Lift High the Cross?

Norah said...

The Ordinariate still remains a small, sectarian body,with little impact on the Church in England.

Long-Skirts said...

Joanna said beautifully:

"...with the Host and then Chalice raised against that great window with its engraved angels and glorious backdrop of trees and sky"


Once there was a father
Who loved his little girl
He held her hand and walked to Mass
So she could see the Pearl.

“My darling there is silver,
My darling there is gold
But the greatest price is sacrifice
The world keeps that untold.

The world can give you silver,
With gold it can entice
Diamond, topaz, rubies
But none can match Pearl’s price.

Sacrifice gave birth to you
Sacrifice it fed
Sacrifice it guided you
Sacrifice it bled.

For every drop of blood He shed
Gave us the faith to trust
And made us rich in sacrifice
To give you Bread not crust.

And for awhile sometimes we stray
Believing not in Creeds
But when things don’t sustain our souls
Then turn to Pearl that bleeds.”

Failing father said he wished
“For every time…a penny,”
He heard the daily words so rich
“…be shed for you and many.”

The little girl she cried
Raining on his bed a flood
But father saw her sacrifice
“Your tears are crystal blood.”

Once there was a father
Who loved his little girl
He held her hand for his last Mass
But left her with…the Pearl.

TL said...

Yes Joanna- think you are right- there is a new confidence in the Ordinariate.. it is a delight to be 'mainstream' and all sorts of links are developing between Ordinariate groups and 'established' Catholic congregations (not a sectarian body at all..)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the hope for the Ordinariate and the beauty of a profoundly lovely day in Britain! "Lift High the Cross" is one of my favorite hymns, too.

JMJ, Maryella