Prayer, praise, procession and pipes!
Having heard that the stewards were short of people to marshal the Blessed Sacrament procession, I volunteered to be an ‘extra’ in this role last night and found myself marching into position under the watchful eye of Steward leader Paul, an ex-army man, so the very person for the job! After distributing the Procession service leaflets, we witnessed rows and rows of priests pass by, ahead of the privileged people who raised aloft a golden canopy, under which the Blessed Sacrament was held high, which was then followed by thousands of pilgrims.
Walking, praying and singing, the procession made its way out of the RDS and onto the road. Until they walked back into the coverage of the sound system, pilgrims broke into their own prayers, mostly the Rosary, with one enthusiastic contingent from Jordan (judging by their flag) singing a lovely hymn led by two or three men, including at least one priest. Those of us walking with them were all able to join in their ‘Alleluias’.
On entering Simmonscourt, after winding its way around Anglesey Road and Merrion Road, the immense size of the procession became apparent. From my position, beside Hall 8, I could see thousands of pilgrims, with flags from India, Lebanon, Cuba, Portugal and Angola, just to mention a few, along with the numerous papal flags. Despite the range of nationalities, the universality of our faith was illustrated with what can only be described as an eruption of praise towards the end of Benediction, with Tantum Ergo resounding throughout the vast area.
At the end of the ceremony, heading towards the bus, I was drawn (like any ex-piper!) to the sound of St Patrick’s Day and Garryowen, played by five pipers and two side drummers from the Defense Force Pipe Band. Their music was certainly appreciated by the small gathering, who would have listened to much more if ‘time’ had not been called by an official – since the lads were working the next day!
Great piece, Brigid. Wish I had been there to witness this wonderful spectacle. You painted a great picture!
Posted on : 15/06/2012
Thank you for your kind words, Mark. Here is a link, also on this site, to a video one of the filming volunteers made of the Blessed Sacrament Procession: http://www.iec2012.ie/index.jsp?a=2125&n=4209&p=101
Posted on : 24/06/2012