Yesterday was a cold day, with strong blustery winds. Still, it was the day of our May Procession in honour of Our Lady. I usually like to say the Rosary in front of our statue of Our Lady in the church grounds, but in the circumstances I decided that it would be better to process around the outside of the church and grounds before returning to the church for the Rosary. Hymns to Our Lady were sung all the way during the procession. After the Rosary had been said, I reminded the congregation that I had decided to call our staute of Our Lady "Our Lady of Barnard Castle" - this is her home, just as St John took Mary into his home after the words of Jesus on the Cross. The statue of Our Lady in the church was then crowned by two little girls whilst the congregation sang "O Mary, we crown thee..." from the hymn Bring Flowers of the Rarest. Finally we celebrated Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
The congregation was large and enthusiastic, probably the best we have had in my time here at Barnard Castle. All our regulars were joined by the Holy Family Guild who came with all their children, babes in arms and toddlers aplenty. I don't think I have ever had to sidestep so many prams as we left the sanctuary after the service!
Normally after a Procession we go out onto the lawn for tea etc, but in the circumstances (the cold wind) I told everyone to go into the house - and what a crush! Standing shoulder to shoulder with the children squishing past, but the atmosphere was joyful and delightful. Everyone was enjoying each others company.
One being was not so enthusiastic about the proceedings - and that was my dog Storm. Since he is frightened of strangers and large groups of people, I had put him in a back room out of the way; after all had departed, I let him out, and he was practically sulking - he went outside into the back yard, and refused to come back in for over an hour. It took a long time for me to bring him back to his normal self (what is normal for him anyway!)
Now I am looking forward to our Blessed Sacrament Procession on the Feast of Corpus Christi.