The sun smiled on two of our usual summer processions this year: the Feast of Corpus Christi, Sunday 18 June, and the annual Diocesan Pilgrimage, Sunday 25 June.
For Corpus Christi: our custom at Pluscarden is to process with the Blessed Sacrament around St. Benedict's garden after Conventual Mass at the usual time. During that procession we sing traditional English Hymns: "O Bread of Heaven", "Soul of my Saviour", "Sweet Sacrament Divine" etc. On return to the Church we begin a period of adoration, which lasts until the end of Vespers.
Mass for the Annual Diocesan Pilgrimage to Pluscarden began at 3.30 p.m. It was preceded, as usual, by a period of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the Lady Chapel from 1.00 p.m., with Priests also available for confessions at that time. As usual, this year there was a real sense of grace flowing abundantly from that opportunity, both given and grasped. In addition, the clement weather meant that our pilgrims this year could freely picnic in the grounds of the Abbey: a most pleasant experience! Ladies from the parish set up stalls in our new Appeal Hut, to serve teas and snacks for all comers, both at lunch time and after Mass.
Although the number of those attending this year was unfortunately rather diminished in comparison to former years, the liturgy went very well, enhanced by music from both the Diocesan Choir and the Aberdeen Nigerian Choir.
At the end of Mass, the whole Congregation was led out in a procession to St. Benedict's garden, all singing the Latin Litany of Loreto. The Greyfriars Convent statue of Our Lady was carried by four blood sisters from the Philippines. On arrival, Fr. Abbot led devotional prayers to Our Lady, before Bishop Hugh gave the final Blessing.
On the way back, the Nigerian Choir sang and danced, to the delight of all onlookers, and when they had finished, the sound of the Pipes echoed around our valley, to conclude another blessed and uplifting occasion.
Photographer: Br. Daniel