Sunday, May 23, 2010

Solemn Mass halfway to #Chartres

One of the wonderful

traditions of the Chartres pilgrimage is the Mass on Sunday in the


It is Pentecost and we

have a Solemn Mass (yesterday it was Missa Cantata). There are ranks of priests in choir; others are hearing confessions, it seems behind every tree! They walk in cotta and purple stole, and hear many confessions as they go along, the chapters leaving space for them and if necessary coming to a halt when the penitent kneels for the absolution.

At the Mass, one particularly touching sight is the lowering of half a dozen banners by boy scouts at the Consecration. When they processed it, they made the same reverence to the Cruxifix before going to their spot to the right of the altar.

The singing is pretty good - very high and slow, in the French manner. There is a schola of clerics and a mixed lay choir. Their singing is amplified by gigantic loudspeakers.

The organisation of the pilgrimage, the setting up and taking down of the camps, marshalling the traffic and distributing water at the stops, is hugely impressive. I have walked all the way so far but my blisters are going to force me to take the afternoon off; with luck I'll be able to walk again tomorrow. Right now I can't manage much more than a shuffle!

I am taking better pictures with my real camera and they will be online in due course.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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