Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Ordination: The Processions

The preparations over, the Cathedral staff (and no doubt Bishop Patrick and Fr Michael) a little nervous, the procession begins its way through the garden of Cathedral House, heading for the Cathedral's main west doors. The servers were a combination of diocesan seminarians, Cathedral parish servers and an Augustinian brother.

Behind them, over 200 deacons and priests stretched the full length of the path before the bishops and cardinals followed on. Quite a sight for passers-by! A few people waited in the garden and on Balmoral Road to see the procession make its way past.

The bishops - over 30 in total - followed at the back of the procession, eagerly watched by turning heads in the nave. The turnout was impressive: the Cardinal even joked in his homily, "I didn't know we had so many bishops!" The rousing organ music led into the whole-hearted singing of the entrance hymn, 'Be Thou my vision'.

At the back, Bishop Patrick entered his Cathedral, which he was soon to share with his coadjutor. Judging by the blurring in this picture, he must have been making good speed - a sign of eagerness, perhaps!

Lots of pictures of the ordination rite over the next few days - keep visiting! For now, though, a couple of photos of the final procession, now with an additional bishop. The two matching mitres of Bishop Michael and Bishop Patrick can just be seen above the servers. The procession set accompanied by a full-voiced rendition of 'Hail Queen of Heaven', a hymn written by Fr John Lingard (1771-1851), who worked as a priest in Hornby, a few miles from Lancaster.

Finally, the mitred heads of England and Wales (and even a couple from Ireland) make their way through the garden, ready to return home. When will they next visit?