Sunday, 24 June 2012

Diocesan Pilgrimage to Pluscarden Abbey

This year's pilgrimage coincided with the Feast of St. John the Baptist, who also happens to be one of the patrons of Pluscarden Abbey, so a double celebration in a way.  Bishop Hugh was back in his old stomping ground and looking rather happy to be so, especially garbed in his monastic habit and without his zucchetto - a bit like the old days!

Although we have not had floods in the north as yet this year, the day was rather wet to say the least which meant the usual procession to St Benedict's garden at the end of the Pilgrimage Mass had to be abandoned.  Nevertheless we Scots are a hardy bunch and the Abbey was full of pilgrims.

On arrival the diocesan MC approached me and requested if the Knights of St. Columba would carry the Diocesan Banner, (I am the Provincial Grand Knight for the North of Scotland).  You can see the brothers designated for the honour in the photo below.

Diocesan Pilgrimage - June 24th 2012

Among the many highlights of the day was the Bishop's sermon on St John the Baptist.  Perhaps he will publish it one day.  What an orator and what meat to the subject he brings.

Diocesan Pilgrimage - June 24th 2012               Diocesan Pilgrimage - June 24th 2012

We were also blessed with two choirs at Mass; the Diocesan Choir and the African Choir.  Both sang very well but my favourite was an African hymn which contained the words Oshe Baba (Yuroba language for "Thank you Father").  During my years living within the Yuroba nation I used to sing a variation of that song at Mass almost every week - Happy memories!

Diocesan Pilgrimage - June 24th 2012

I cannot miss out the youth.  Pilgrimages should be as much for them as old codgers like me.  It was a joy to see them actively participate in the Mass and I could see the young crosier bearer was enthralled with his duties and beamed whenever he had a task to perform.  The picture below shows some of them on "The stairway to Heaven".  More commonly known as the dormitory stairs leading to the monastic cells.

Diocesan Pilgrimage - June 24th 2012

As usual more photographs from the Pilgrimage may be accessed HERE.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this informative post and the excellent photographs.