A Travellerspoint blog

Friday in Walsingham

Time in the Holy House; Village wandering; Institution of new Vicar @ the Village Church

rain 49 °F

Friday was a stay around the Shrine sort of day. Thursday’s weather of sun and almost warmth was replaced by overcast skies and chill, and by late afternoon it would be raining steadily. I spent significant time in the Holy House with the image of Mary, Mother of God, before me, and tried to listen to God’s voice.

Much of this time of renewal has been travel and sightseeing; not unlike any other tourist, I suppose. To be a pilgrim, as I am, doesn’t exclude some of the touristy aspects of travel; think of Canterbury Tales!

And, thankfully, there have been moments of God bursting in: High Mass at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin with a wonderful choir; Ascension Day Mass at S. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin where it was only us three priests at ‘Holy Communion’, but which was quiet and meditative; the sad wonder of wandering through S. Brigid’s Cathedral, Kildare with it’s stark simplicity and apparent neglect (the Holy Virgin of Kildare seems more venerated almost everywhere else but Kildare; certainly at S. Bride’s).

But it was at Walsingham where all my pondering, questions, and seeking after God came to a head. As I said in a prior post, God can be encountered anywhere; He is God, after all. He is not limited to shrines or place. But I always find God at Walsingham; or, perhaps better, He finds me. In the beauty and grandeur of this holy place, I experience His presence in a way that strips away all my pretense and lays my soul bare, and I sense myself being healed even when I didn’t realise I was broken and in need of healing.

I didn’t spend all my time in the Shrine Church, of course. I wandered round the village, which as they say is ‘quaint’ and which seems as though one has walked through a time warp, and found oneself transported to the 13th century … except for the cars charging up the High Street.

Friday night was the Institution and Induction of Fr Andrew as the new Vicar of the Parish Church of S. Mary the Virgin. I walked through the village and found a good seat, and the Church was packed. This was a Village and civic event, as well as a religious one. No separation of Church and State here. The Bishop of Norwich was there to Institute, the Patrons of the Living (benefactors of the parish) rose to speak in favour, and so on. The Archdeacon did the Induction. It was a bit familiar, where water for baptism is presented, etc., but with very proper Anglican ceremonial.

The Parish Hall is located about a five minute walk, up on the High Street, and a party was given after the Institution. After a few minutes, it was absolutely jammed with people, and more people were crowding in (free drinks and food after all!), so I went outside into the rain, and walked home to S. Hugh’s cottage, where the heat was on once again on this cold and rainy May evening.

Posted by stbrides 06:47 Archived in United Kingdom

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