Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Mary's Month of May

If you've not yet read this piece by AN Wilson then here it is for your enjoyment. Members of the WG were in attendance at the Society of Mary's May Devotion at S. Silas, Kentish Town. An excellent day was had by all and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't been!

The Society of Mary 'seeks the glory of God revealed in Our Lord Jesus Christ, born for us as Perfect Man and Perfect God. Christ was given to us through Mary, His Blessed and Ever-Virgin Mother. As Members of the Society of Mary, we love and honour Her, who is shown to us in the Bible as ‘Blessed among Women’ and who was loved and honoured by Jesus.'

The Diary: AN Wilson

By AN Wilson

Published: May 9 2009

Sirens whined, traffic honked. Blocking the buses and the cars, was a long religious procession. The image of Our Lady, borne shoulder high on a bier, teetered forward. Little girls threw flowers. From the doorway of a Brazilian bar a heavily lip-glossed waitress, with cascades of raven hair and 5cm of mini-skirt, made the sign of the cross.

The nutters in the procession, who included myself, sang, “Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!” Behind the 250 people were an army of clergy in exotic rig, and the rear was taken up by two prelates arrayed in costumes that would have been a bit on the dressy side at the coronation of Pius IX – yards of lace, gauntlets, and jewels the sizes of over-ripe strawberries on their hands. One was the Suffragan Bishop of Whitby and the other the Dean of St Paul’s, who preached an excellent sermon at the Vespers of Our Lady that followed the procession and bun-fight. For we were not in São Paulo, or Lourdes, but in Kentish Town. And the clergy at this May Devotion were (just about) Church of England – what writer John Osborne in a superb joke called “Walsingham Matildas”.

These beautiful ceremonies are only the cherry on the pudding – the rest of the time the inspired and inspiring parish priest who is responsible for them is a key figure in the local primary school, tireless in his local knowledge and care for all of us, from the lonely alkies (and that’s just the writers) to the schoolchildren, the criminals and the housebound. Community may be an overused word but it isn’t an overused phenomenon. What else in today’s Britain could bring together people of so many varied ethnic and social backgrounds?

If you happen to be in Oxford on Saturday 23rd May then you could attend the Oxford May Devotion. This will begin at St Barnabas, Jericho, with High Mass at 3pm, followed by a procession to Pusey House; this will be followed by Benediction and then a party in the Pusey House gardens. The preacher is Fr Graeme Rowlands, Chaplain–General of the Society of Mary.

"O Mother! I could weep for mirth,
Joy fills my heart so fast;
My soul today is heaven on earth,
Oh could the transport last!
I think of thee, and what thou art,
Thy majesty, thy state;
And I keep singing in my heart—
Immaculate! Immaculate!"

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