Recently I've been dealing with a few issues about my life, my vocation and this blog, so I've had little spare time to post, this combined with my serving commitments and school have put a serious drain on my time, so please excuse any extended absences from Blogging.
Now on to the post. Yesterday the 19th of May was the day the shrine moved it's celebration of it's feast day due to the shrine being under the patronage of Our Lady Help of Christians. Why? well so as to allow people to come due to it being a Saturday and to avoid stealing faithfully from their weekly celebration of mass at their local parish. Above we can see the pilgrimages starting to flow in to the shrine.
Here we have the entrance procession. Once again I brought my set of acolyte candles for use at the shrine, I really do prefer them to small little candles some parishes use, but at least they are using acolyte candles. We had a fine young server from the diocese of Lismore come and act as thurifer, he is trying to serve for world youth day 2008 in sydney so please do keep him in your prayers. I was MC for the mass so I had on one of my favorite lace surplices.
The Mass was celebrated with great reverence by Rev Fr Peter Joseph the chancellor of the Marionite dioceses of Sydney (actually I believe all of Australia). Fr Peter Joseph was one of Fr Columba's seminary professors, I could see it. Fr Columba is in my opinion a reflection of Fr Peter Joseph , both holy, both Funny, both intelligent and both JP2 Priests!
Fr Gabriel proclaimed the Gospel.We even had a Marionite Priest Monk con celebrate the mass, unfortunately he did not have a Sticharion and Phellion, I really do love those eastern vestments, so I was a ashame we couldn't provide him with them.
Since it was the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, we had a statue of Our Lady and Fr solemnly incensed it. You can see the nice Marian chasuble Father was wearing and my Lace surplice.
Con celebrating along with Fr Peter Joseph were Fathers Gregory Jordan, Fr Columba the prior, Fr Gabriel and two other priest that I personally don't know, but I am sure they are good holy priests! It was a truly moving experience to assist that close (being the MC), To 6 holy Priests. They magnificently said the Roman cannon together and chanted the per ipso, truly a moving experience.
Finally for the first time at a mass I MCed the procession moved off at my mark, not at the celebrants, I can be very timid at times.
Although I do love a cassocked and surpliced male choir chanting Gregorian chant(The dream), These pious women, singing the mass is an uplifting and pleasing experience. I also love the light blue robe they have, it's better then having women look like cross dressers by having them in cassocks and surplices. I do wish these women, many happy years singing at the holy mass and assure them of my prayers.
After the mass we had an Eucharistic procession.
For the procession I switched roles with Sean, the previous head server at Marian Valley, he does a great Job and is more experienced with processions then I. The switch gave me the wonderful opportunity of trying out my new appareled alb.
Fr Columba changed into the much loved mantle of his order.Although I quite disapprove of using torches as processional candles, it is a rational option if they are going to constantly blow out! Now I wish someone, may be even one of my faithful readers would point out were i am to obtain a accessory that will protect the flame of my prieviously mentioned acolyte candles.To wrap up the day, Fr prior masterfully lead chanted the divine mercy chaplet.
It was a great day!
Mary help of Christians! Pray for US!