Monday, June 23, 2014

...and all over Britain...

...Processions of the Blessed Sacrament were taking place on Sunday. The tradition slumped for a while but has now been revived  on a wide scale and there are processions in hundreds of parishes...

I missed the opportunity of taking part in a Procession in the morning, as I was busy with the Martyrs' walk (see below).  But  the splendid Fr Alexander and team at St Patrick's in Soho always organise an evening one, preceded by an International Mass. And so I hurried there and at 7pm, with groups from Brazil and from China and so on, we set off through Soho, an acolyte bearing a great Cross and attended by servers with tall candles, then a long train of us all, and then Fr Alexander, holding the Blessed Sacrament aloft in its monstrance, beneath a great canopy. Lots of singing, wafts of incense...

But in the packed and noisy streets of Soho, no one seemed to notice or care! When I first went on this procession, 6 or 7 years ago, we got quite a few people crossing themselves, bowing in respect, or simply standing still and looking interested. This year...nothing - just the talking and shouting, the rock music blaring out, the noise of Soho...and Christ unnoticed by the crowds  despite the bells and incense and singing and praying of the faithful walking along with Him...

We finished with Benediction in the churchyard of St Giles, where the Rector always makes us welcome. We had Benediction - the Tantum Ergo wafting up above the noise of Soho and traffic - and then the Rector and members of the parish served wine and fruit juices and there was friendly chat and it was good to be there...

1 comment:

Jeanette said...

Hello Joanna,
Good to hear your parish takes the initiative - if the locals were indifferent, then so much the more they needed the presence of Jesus brought to them! Here in my small part of the NW of England, my priest has claimed " No one wants that..." for the past 15 years, and refuses to make an effort. However, we finally found a local church which does have the processions annually, and I took my children for their first experience of Corpus Christi procession, and they absolutely loved it. I am glad it is on the increase. Praise God!