Monday, March 26, 2012

York Pilgrimage

Bishop Drainey: after processing in, he visits the Blessed Sacrament.

I have returned from a few days in Yorkshire, including the LMS Pilgrimage to York in honour of St Margaret Clitherow. As last year it was a great occasion, this time led by Bishop Terence Drainey of Middlesbrough himself. Solemn Mass in the church of St Wilfrid (just yards from the Minster) was celebrated in his presence by Fr Michael Brown, the LMS Regional Chaplain for the North. This means that the bishop sits on a throne (he is in his own diocese of course), and takes part in the ceremonies without being celebrant: he blesses the incense, for example, and gives the final blessing at the end. He also vests in the sanctuary at the beginning, and di-vests at the end; during Mass he wears a cope.

Bishop Drainey preached extremely well on moral reletism and St Margaret Clitherow, led the procession past her house and the site of her martyrdom to the church of the English martyrs, and led our veneration of her relic, and Benediction. This was all very impressive - it is a long procession, through the crowded streets of York, and we attracted a few mockers as well as the usual bewilderment. Good for Bishop Drainey! I hope he'll be able to do it again next year.

Bishop Drainey, preaching
There was a good turnout - about 270 in Mass, 120 on the procession. It was the same day as the blessing of the Shrine of SS Peter and Paul and St Philomena in New Brighton, another Solemn Mass in the presence of the local bishop, Bishop Davies of Shrewsbury. The clash of dates was unfortunate, but with bishops involved it's not so easy to move the dates of events! But what a remarkable fact, that on one day two of our English ordinaries were at Solemn Masses celebrated according to the 1962 Missal.
I have more photographs uploading; I'll do another post on the procession and the end of the pilgrimage.

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