Thursday, 29 March 2012

Some thoughts (& photos) about Margaret

I've just about recovered from the marathon sing that was the 2nd National Pilgrimage to York in honour of St. Margaret Clitherow. From our point of view, it was a success, albeit with one or two blemishes during the Mass, but far less stressful than last year. We even managed to cram all the singers into both choir lofts at St. Wilfrid's & English Martyrs' respectively. Heartfelt thanks to all the singers and Christian for enduring the marathon!

There are some reports about the pilgrimage here, here, here and here!

I'm at one with Fr. Brown regarding the length of the Devotions. At the end of a long and tiring day for both singers and pilgrims, they did seem to be over-long. I remember particularly when acting as cantor for the Litany, turning the page to discover that I wasn't even half way through the invocations! Others thought that walking to English Martyrs was possibly also a step too far and wondered why we couldn't go to the Bar Convent. This isn't unreasonable, especially as the convent was the original venue for Benediction last year, only to be changed because of the expected numbers being far too great for the chapel.

If numbers stay as they are, there's no reason why we shouldn't end there. However, we could very well have more pilgrims from North-west England who were at New Brighton this year which again may make the convent chapel too small a venue.

Next years date may also be a problem. The nearest Saturday to St. Margaret's feast day is 23rd March. This is the day before Palm Sunday, and some clergy (as well as pilgrims and even singers) may not be so keen on a major event the day before Holy Week. I personally would suggest moving the date in this case to coincide with the feast of the Holy English & Welsh Martyrs which falls on the 4th May. Not only is this on a Saturday next year, but it's also Bank Holiday Weekend. Surely this would be better?

There are some links to photos of the day below. I know there are two more sets of pictures to come as well as these, so stay tuned. I'll post the links as soon as I get them!