Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Questions and Answers.

This coming Saturday is the day out in Egmanton and Sunday sees what should be a reasonably busy High Mass. Next Sunday we have the May devotions in the evening, followed by a buffet, you are all very welcome. I have telephoned the Church from whom we borrow the processional statue (we actually have our own brancarde, which needs an artistic hand to repaint it, I have meant to do this for a while but have now resigned myself to not getting it done) and the brancardiers are also arranged, posters have gone out and the Church is gradually filling up with extra candles and drapes and other things of great holiness. Do come if you are around, it will be a lovely evening. Pray for fine weather so that the procession can go outside.

One other holy thing is this portable tabernacle which we use for the chapel of repose on Maundy Thursday night. It came from the Catholic Apostolic Church on Stretford Road in the South of the city when it closed down. Does anybody know about the CA's doctrine of the Eucharist? In the drawer are three compartments, maybe for oil, I thought, but the central one alone has a sort of well in the wood, lined in a white, hard material, possibly a plastic. What might this be?

The well is invisible from here, beginning half way down the compartment. I understand that in the cellars of the Church of Christ the King, Gordon Square, there is a Low Mass set reserved for the sole use of Christ when He comes again.

The gardens in Luther Kind House were heavy with a carpet of blossom yesterday as Spring contemplates giving up to Summer and the trees loose their finest season when the small leaves give greenery but still allow the branches to be seen.

I also found time in the morning to go to Venus Foods in Rusholme, from where I buy dried spices. The building used to be a roller skating venue (does anyone roller skate anymore?) but is home to a Turkish bakery, supermarket and spice blending plant. I get all manner of dried chili products, lime powder, coriander seeds, sumac powder, ras al hanoot and aniseed seeds from here at very low prices. I was drawn in by the baklava and the Iranian pastries as well yesterday, the smell of warm, freshly baked sweetmeats being too much to resist.

The broom in my front garden is flowering again, although not quite so lavishly as last year, which probably means that it is not long for this world. A few more seasons and it will need digging up. There are some excellent yellow brooms in Sheringham, a small town or large village to the North of Walsingham, some streets are clearly in a competition as to who can have the finest. I thought of Walsingham yesterday, I had hoped that the first thing I would do 'for' my old Parish and the friends therein after my ordination would be to go to Walsingham with them, but alas this is not to be. I will have to keep my eyes peeled for the 'Walsingham Way', the Milky Way which people before the reformation believed pointed the way to Walsingham, next year. Oddly enough, the people of Santiago de Compostela in Spain call the Milky Way the 'Road to Santiago', but they did not have Wycliffites telling them otherwise. As if an excuse were needed, here is an extract from one of my favourite pieces of literature, Piers Plowman (B version), which concerns pilgrimage, St James and Walsingham. It always makes me smile and I hope it does you as well.

Sleep and sorry sloth ever pursue them.
Pilgrims and palmers pledged them together
To seek Saint James and saints in Rome.
They went forth on their way with many wise tales,
And had leave to lie all their life after --
I saw some that said they had sought saints:
Yet in each tale that they told their tongue turned to lies
More than to tell truth it seemed by their speech.
Hermits, a heap of them with hooked staves,
Were going to Walsingham and their wenches too;
Big loafers and tall that loth were to work,
Dressed up in capes to be known from others;
And so clad as hermits their ease to have.

I found there friars of all the four orders,
Preaching to the people for profit to themselves,
Explaining the Gospel just as they liked,
To get clothes for themselves they construed it as they would.
Many of these master friars may dress as they will,
For money and their preaching both go together.
For since charity hath been chapman and chief to shrive lords,
Many miracles have happened within a few years.
Except Holy Church and they agree better together,
Great mischief on earth is mounting up fast.