...as the annual "Two Cathedrals" Procession of the Blessed Sacrament made its way across the Thames. This started back in 2011, in thanksgiving to mark the first anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI's wonderful visit to Britain. It usually starts at Westminster and goes to St George's Cathedral in Southwark - but this year we began at St G's. As we gathered, numbers seemed a bit bleak - but then as the procession started off, with Knights of St Columba marshalling us along the way, and the Bishop holding the Monstrance firmly, and Knights of the Holy Sepulchre in white robes etc, it was all fine. Inevitably, we at the rear of the procession were out of time with the singers at the front...but that's all part of the tradition too....
A couple of people crossed themselves as we made our way through Southwark and across Lambeth Bridge. Several stared. Lots took photographs. Some asked each other what it was all about. At Westminster it was rather a fine sight as we swung out from Ambrosden Avenue and made a big loop around and into the piazza before a final approach up the main steps and through those great doors. Knights and Dames went right up into the choir stalls at the base of the sanctuary - the first time I have ever been there. A glorious Benediction with Bishop Paul Mason of Southwark in fine voice.
An afternoon of Autumn sunlight and cascades of golden and brown leaves. A sense of time passing. After disrobing I made my way back to St George's to collect luggage etc...chatted to loveyl M.Teresa nuns and to various friends... it's all now become pat of this season in London...can it really be a full year since the last time I took part in that Procession?
At the Cathedral, a very grand wedding had just taken place, and I was able to duck out of sight just in time as the bride and groom emerged to a storm of cheers and rose petals.
This evening I am meeting a Catholic youth group for Night Walk along the Thames...I'm writing this over a glass of wine and some supper beforehand...
Saturday, September 30, 2017
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Gosh, you keep busy! I 'did' the Procession today and was knackered by the time I got back home. First time I've done something like that, it was very rewarding and it felt good to witness to one's Faith, especially in these dark times. I'm intending to do the Rosary Crusade to Brompton in a fortnight.
I was there too. Good to take part in such a procession. There was a strong voice in my section which kept us together. If several such voices could be positioned periodically along the procession, this would help keep us all together and help those in the middle from wondering whether to sing with those in front or those behind. Surely united singing would be a more powerful witness to the curious public.
Is the route changed permanently to be from St George's or is it going to alternate with the procession being from Westminster Cathedral every other year? I had difficulty finding St George's mistakenly ending up at the Elephant and Castle - four people I asked the way who said they lived in the area had no idea of its whereabouts! Fifth time lucky when I hit upon a parishioner! And as I arrived in good time the only place I could get a coffee was a pub which was full of men watching football on the tv! Nice coffee though!
I realise this is a London event but I don't think I am the only one coming up from elsewhere who would prefer to start in Westminster (I did spot another from Sussex)If the route is alternated then it would be interesting to see if the numbers are more when starting from Westminster. There did seem to be a lot fewer this year compared to previous years.
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