Tuesday 28 June 2011

Barney Life No. 37

Sunday, June 26th
After the wonderful day we had on the Saturday (see previous post), all the children returned to the church for Sunday Mass and took their places at the front of the congregation, so that the whole parish could see the new Communicants.
In the afternoon, we had our annual Procession of the Blessed Sacrament.  Some of the First Communicants returned to join in the Procession. The Procession began of course with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament;  with the canopy in place we left the church and processed around the church.  When we reached the tomb of John and Josephine Bowes, behind the apse, the procession paused and an outdoor Benediction took place; we recited the Litany of the Sacred Heart and sang the Benediction hymns, followed by the Blessing with the monstrance.  Then we continued around the house, through the garden and back into church, where again Benediction was celebrated.
Afterwards tea and refreshments were served on the lawn.  All the while the sun shone, until after the whole thing was over, there was a heavy shower.  I have been musing on the following syllogism: The Bible says that the sun shines on the righteous; the sun shone on us; therefore we are righteous! Or is there something wrong with that logic? An undistributed middle, perhaps?  Here are the photos of our Procession.

Exposing the Blessed Sacrament

The Procession begins

Arriving at the Tomb Altar

The Blessed Sacrament arrives

Prayers at the Altar

Preparing to leave

Leading into the garden

Coming through the garden

The First Communicants

Canopy Bearers

Children and Mums

Torch bearers

Returning to the church

Little Angels

Back in church

Saturday 25 June 2011

Barney Life No. 36

After weeks of preparation, today (Saturday, June 25th) has been First Holy Communion Day for fourteen of our children. Our preparation for the Sacraments of Confession and Communion began on the first Saturday of Lent and continued each Saturday, except at Easter, until today.   The children came to church for nine o'clock and were given half an hour's instruction by my catechist, Mrs Goldberg, and myself.  Their parents have been wonderfully supportive, bringing the children along on time each day.
This morning the church was crowded with families and friends of the children for the Mass which began at 10 am; the Mass was a Votive Mass of Corpus Christi, with the readings from Cycle C.  Before Mass the children processed into church to take their places in the front benches, the girls dressed like little brides and the boys like  pageboys. During the very short sermon, I told them that they were taking a big step forward in the best faith in the whole world, and asked them to be very quiet and still after they had received Holy Communion to tell Jesus that they loved Him and thanked Him.  They all took part in the Offertory Procession, and at the moment of Holy Communion they all received the Body of Christ with the utmost reverence. At the end of Mass, certificates were presented and photographs taken.
Outside, on the lawn and under the tent, a great feast had been prepared for our children, and tea and chat was the order of the day for the adults.  Everyone agreed that it had been a wonderful occasion - even the weather, which had been very drear up to this point, dried up and cheered up!
And there is more to come tomorrow! Here are a few photos of the event.
The Gathering
Coming into Church

After Mass - photo getting organised
This is us!
Us again!
Small group
There can never be too many photos!
The Communion breakfast
And from the other end!
The sun is a bit bright!
The Bun Fight
All swinging together

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Barney Life No. 35

Friday evening, June10th
I have a choice: the television; an invitation to the Bowes Museum for a preview, as a Friend of the Museum, of a new prestigious exhibition about Vivienne Westwood Shoes 1973-2011; or an invitation to Barnard Castle School Choral Society's Summer Concert.
The TV is ordinary; I am not into shoes (except the pair on my feet).  So I choose the third option.
The School is a fine building and has a good reputation, with a student body including many from the Far East (the Prep School is next door).  The School, besides producing clever people, is known for its prowess on the rugby field, and for producing fine choirs and musicians.  The student choir is best known for its Christmas  Carol Concert in the Bowes Museum each December.  But the School also hosts an adult choir made up of men and women from the locality, with the conductor and organist being teachers at the School.
Friday's Concert was held in the College Chapel.
The choir was formed about fifteen years ago, and has a strong reputation in the county and beyond. One of the highlights of this year's performances was Bach's St Matthew's Passion in Durham Cathedral in March.
On Friday evening, there was music by Franz Joseph Haydn, John Rutter, John Ireland, Edward Elgar, and finished with music by Charles Hubert Parry.  Rebecca Lowe, soprano, sang Let the Bright Seraphim by George Frederick Handel, and Matthew Atherton played an organ solo by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  The conductor was Mark Mawhinney.