Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oxford Pilgrimage: Procession and Benediction

After Mass I and the singers went off for lunch, as did the other pilgrims, and we reconvened at Carfax Tower, Oxford's central landmark, for our procession. This year we had another processional item, a banner made for the late Fr Silk, of the Five Wounds, in additioin to the LMS banner made by the Guild of St Clare, and the processional statue of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Fr Thomas Crean led the procession; he was followed by the Schola Abelis, who led the Great Litany, which we sang all the way from Carfax, down Queen's Street, and into the Castle.
There were 55 or so people in the procession (there were 70 at Mass). It was a very respectable size. I 'marshaled' it myself while running around with the camera, which is why you won't see lots of people in flourescent vests in the photos.
On arrival in the Castle, we went to the site of the martydom of Blessed George Napier, the 60-year-old priest who was hanged, drawn and quartered for his priesthood here in 1610. The plaque recording this was blessed by Archbishop Longley two years ago.We sang the Te Deum, and moved off again.
Then we returned to Blackfriars, where Fr Crean gave us Benediction.
One of the mysteries of photography is why incense creates a denser and more impenetrable fog in a photo than in real life. I mean, Fr Crean and the monstrance were in reality quite visible. But the light was low; the church was principally light by the Autumn evening sun.
Providence was extraordinarily kind to us with the weather. It has been raining all week in Oxford, there were even localised flooding a few days ago, but the sun came out for us.

Another wonderful Oxford pilgrimage, thanks to the Dominicans and Oxford Castle, who are always very welcoming. Deo gratias!

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