Monday April 2nd
PALM SUNDAY IN LONDON
A glorious Palm Sunday. Procession of palms at Brompton Oratory: fabulous singing in the church with both the children's choir and the professional choir, prayers and the blessing of great palm branches and hundreds and hundreds of lesser leaves held aloft, then the great doors were flung open and we went out into the sunshine, round through past the Oratory House, with the processional Cross leading, and the choirs singing, and members of the Confratenity of something-or-other (Jamie is a member and looked splendid in his red-hooded robe). A great concourse of people, out though the gates and down that short stretch of road, just into busy London for a moment as Christ went into Jerusalem...and then back into the great church and the solmen chanting of Christ's Passion and then the Mass.
Afterwards, much milling about and greeting of friends - people flock to the Oratory for Holy Week. We had already made plans to meet the E. family there, and over refreshments with them in the parish hall we made plans: the men went off to get supplies of picnic food while we organised the children and soon we were all off to Kensington Gardens. The Princess Diana Memorial playing-ground is excellent, with its pirate ship and (my personal favourite) its musical paving-stones and quiet corner where you can stand by some magic posts and hear the sounds of the sea (yes, really! Recordings hidden in the posts, I suppose, but it's a lovely corner, all planted with sea-grass and drifting with sand and pebbles). We had a delicious picnic, the four children (the oldest, T. is my godson),scrambled about in bare feet and disappeared into the glories of the playground (did I also mention that it has Indian wigwams, innumerable places to climb,and a village of wooden Goldilock-style houses?)and we all sat and talked and relaxed and enjoyed ourselves.
Home late, palm branches and all, and supper on laps while we watched a borrowed DVD "The Winslow Boy" (v. good)