Sunday, June 14, 2009

Corpus Christi Procession

Today we had the third (and last) of this year's First Communion Masses. Thanks be to God, over seventy children have now received Jesus for the first time in Holy Communion. It has been a lot of work and I am very grateful to the teachers and catechists who have dedicated so much time over the past year to preparing our First Communion candidates. During term time they have had lessons every week since September. Without our catechists and teachers it would not have been possible for them to be so well prepared.
When I first came to the parish I found the First Communion Mass (in those days we only had one) stressful. Well, to be honest, it was chaos. I remember one chap with earphones listening to the football, people wandering round, everyone talking and a great scrum at the moment of Communion. I couldn't believe it. Since then, of course, we have taken great care to ensure that everything goes smoothly and that the most important things are emphasised. No one walks around in the Church and we don't permit photos or videos except by a professional photographer. Everyone now comments on how prayerful and reverent the Mass is. I'm pleased about this because the significance of reciving Holy Communion for the first time is no longer obscured by the somewhat faddish excitement of a celebration.
Next week our children are invited to participate in the deanery Corpus Christi Procession that will take place at St Anselm's in Tooting. The parish is celebrating its centenary this year and it is nice to be able to have the Procession there - even though it will be a bit short because the roads are very busy round there. In his pastoral letter for the Feast of Corpus Christi the Archbishop spoke warmly of Corpus Christi Processions and I am glad that in our deanery they have been revived.
You've seen this before, but here once again is 'God in the Streets of New York'...

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