Sunday, 9 November 2008

Remembrance Sunday.

At about half past ten the procession wound its way down Whittaker Lane past Saint Hilda's on the way to the Cenotaph. We all stood outside and presented our wreath from last year to them to lay at the cenotaph. On a day when war threatens to intensify in AFGHANISTAN and when we fight ever more amongst OURSELVES we were happy to see local denominations marching together in peace.

After the band came the veterans carrying their wreaths, before the scouts and guides and cadets followed, each with their flags and banners. The weather held off, thankfully. The Police lined the route from about ten o'clock when I started sweeping the leaves from the front path. A blind eye was turned as I used the municipal waste bin to deposit the leaves which had fallen in our path, thus making them private leaves.

Here are the cadets marching past carrying their wreath. How much happier would we be if they were carrying their sheaves, as we sing in the Psalms, returning from a successful harvest.

Everyone else follows on, by now parents and friends are waving to their chums outside St Hilda's and shouting pious thoughts like 'see you in the pub after'. Some peel off here and come in for Mass, it being about ten to eleven. We started with the two minutes silence at the High Altar, facing East. Our serving team did us proud, carrying their candles and cross perfectly still throughout.

The Church was very busy, but we were without a Deacon, at the last moment, so for once we adopted the Anglican pattern of someone acting as Liturgical Deacon. I am not terribly fond of this practice, but needs must. I think our drape worked well as an altar frontal for the Mass. This is taken at the Offertory, of course, as we had no incense until then.

We sing the Angelus before processing to the War Memorial. We sang the National Anthem after the two minutes silence but one very holy lady said to me that she thought the Hail Mary should be our National Anthem, which I quite agree with, but in the other Kingdom, maybe, not this one until all is made new.

We say the customary prayers at the War Memorial and lay the wreath which has spent the Mass on the Altar after it is blessed with Holy Water.

The memorial and boards are blessed before Tim, our organist, launches into a hearty rendition of 'Land of Hope and Glory', thus earning him another honourable mention.

The War Memorial afterwards is the subject of much scrutiny, names on the boards tally with names on the electoral roll now.

After lunch I went to the Holy Name of Jesus Church in Manchester City Centre for the usual Remembrance Sunday High Mass in the Old Rite with the famous choir but, so things change, there was Low Mass.

Here is their Holy Souls Chapel, rather more professionally made than ours and looking resplendent in the afternoon gloom of a wet, dank day. Our icons will be ready very soon for our Holy Souls Chapel, watch this space!

Here you see their new Sanctuary Lamp shining in the gloaming. Further to the past the other day about bad Church lighting, the Holy Name used to be an exemplar of poor illumination but has invested in new lighting , so far, for the sanctuary, to great effect.

We are often accused of offering a 'sideways' view of things on AW, so here is a sideways glance of the Holy Name's Sanctuary.

And here is Father Ray Matus, their Rector, saying the Mass this afternoon. Being a keen liturgist, I take great delight in reading the rubrics for the Old Mass and seeing why each action is taken. The Holy Name try to have a 'dialogue Mass' using the Extraordinary Rite, but alas nobody seems overly interested in making the responses, unlike at the Sacred Heart, Broughton where participation is very audible!