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Sunday in Walsingham

Mass at the Village Church, Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding, and a Last Visit/Farewell to the Virgin of the Holy House


Sunday: Mass at the Parish Church at 1100 for Pentecost Sunday; so in comparison to the other days of the week, it was a late start (NOT my usual Sunday morning!). It was a packed Church. The liturgy was what we would call Rite II from the English Book of Common Worship, and it was a mostly full Church.

In contrast to the liturgies of the Shrine, the Parish Church seemed simply High Church; certainly not spiky. But my priest colleagues tell me that this is perhaps how most Anglo-Catholic parishes would be like on a Sunday morning.

The Church itself is beautiful, light and airy. About 50 years ago, it caught alight and ruined; when it was rebuilt the stained glass was not replaced, but plain glass was put in; not as dark, Victorian gloomy as previously.

It all had a very comfortable Sunday Morning Mass feeling to it; though few people receive kneeling here in the UK. I had a chance meeting with Stephen Parkinson, retired director of Forward in Faith. We had first met when I was in London for the 150th anniversary of the SSC in 2005. Fr Warren Tanghe (known to us at S. Bride’s) had introduced me. We had a good chat, and commented on his love of Paris and gave me some pointers. In retirement, he and his wife have bought a house in the Village; which seems to me to be a splendid retirement.

After Mass several clergy and staff had drinks (sherry) in the Administrator’s Cottage in the College, and then it was off to the Refectory for a Sunday dinner of beef roast and Yorkshire pudding. This was so filling (and late, about 1.30PM) that I wasn’t hungry for supper.

In the mid afternoon came the last visit to the Holy House, beginning with devotions and a Procession of the Blessed Sacrament. It was bittersweet, and the closing hymn certainly summed my feelings: that, as much as one would like to stay forever at the Shrine, Jesus calls us to the strife and struggle of daily life. Our times of healing and refreshment are not an end in themselves: they are to strengthen us for better service to our Saviour.

It was time to pack; reluctantly. God had spoken to me here, but he was asking ME questions. Usually I’m the one asking the questions. It will take me time to come to some resolution on these.

Posted by stbrides 02:21 Archived in United Kingdom

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