Apologies for the backwards nature of the pictures. They are in reverse order.
The procession wends it's way down the High Street.
At the graveside.
Before the Mass.
This picture is worth expanding if you like looking at Father TE Jones.
Well, I am back. Reseal the champagne and clad yourselves in black, the party's over. Or purple, if you're not really that sad, like at Walsingham last Monday.
What a lovely time I have had, in Walsingham and Stamford, that most perfect of Georgian towns and what a lot of pictures I have to share with you over the coming days, notwithstanding the High Mass for the Assumption tomorrow at St Hilda's, which will also be covered in glorious technicolour. So thank you to my co-bloggers as well as to Thom, our guest blogger, for proving to me what I had long hoped was true, that I am dispensable. To be able to go away for a week or so and see the output in number and quality of posts maintained if not bettered is a relief. Thank you to all of you. And thank you for reading, and continuing to read all our efforts. I am actually starting to enjoy reading this blog for the first time, rather than just worrying about it!
So, a week in Walsingham. A week of spiritual moments and mundane niggles, of glory and concern, of joy and sorrow. Twice I thought myself in heaven, never did I think myself in the other place, even when confronted with such interesting vestments for Fr. Hope Patten's requiem Mass. The Requiem was otherwise perfect, and felt rather like a 'family affair', which was good. Processing out to 'Faith of our Fathers' and seeing a contingent from the Orthodox Church and the RC Shrine Director with the mourners made me realise, again, just how much Fr Hope Patten accomplished, giving us once more this place where the footprint of God is so clearly visible. Father Davage's sermon was the second time I have witnessed spontaneous applause after a sermon and it was well merited, he echoed the mood of the day and the feelings of the vast majority of us perfectly, in an inspired piece of rhetoric. I shall ask him for permission to publish a copy. The procession to the grave was prayerful and slow, as it should be and gathering round in the (rare) sunshine singing the Salve Regina was very, very touching. The grave was lustrated with Holy Water many, many times, whether to add to the solemnity or to make sure that he was still dead I was unsure. But happy the soul who receives so many prayers and such palpable love.
We are also very pleased with the new Administrator of the Shrine and hope that you will be too, when his name is announced. Pray, however, for the new incumbent at this time when, as I came to realise this last week, we need the grace of Our Lady of Walsingham more than ever. The time has come to get out the old flags and songs and beat the drum to the tune of the kingdom of God once again. I was wrong, we are to fight and we are to fight under the banner of God, that all may be one.
That will probably do for now, there is much for me to do to 'get back to normal' and time is marching on. These are all the pictures I have of the Requiem, but there are plenty more of ever more interesting things. Know that I prayed for you all at Our Lady's Shrine. For those of you unfamiliar with Walsingham, I have some pictures of the place itself to show you and I shall post about the wonderful work done at the shrine soon. I had a wonderful week away and feel much refreshed, physically and spiritually, thank you for your prayers and good wishes.