There were 23 pilgrims on the Latin Mass Society pilgrimage to Lourdes - somewhat fewer than I had expected, and it seems that many had decided that the cost at £500 to £600 was too great. I have to agree that that is beyond the budget of many people.
Despite the small numbers, the pilgrimage was a great success. Mass was celebrated each day by Fr Michael Brown, with three of the five being sung. I had doubted whether such a small group could support sung Masses, especially since some of our number were not Catholics at all; but whith the help of David O'Neill was was able to sing the propers to a psalm tone, we made a reasonable job of it. In fact the congregation sang the ordinary parts with great enthusiasm, and the sung Masses were perhaps the highlight of the pilgrimage.
One of the sung Masses was in the village of Bartres, and this excursion also included a visit to Lac du Lourdes for a picnic lunch. Another was in the Ukrainian Catholic Church, which was a fair walk from our hotel, but a delight to visit. We were made very welcome by the sister in charge. Our third sung Mass was at the chapel of the Sacred Heart in the Hospital Saint Frai. This chapel was a great discovery and ideal for the traditional Mass.
The group did most of the usual things including visiting the grotto (many visited it several times) and taking part in the processions. We also took the Way of the Cross high up the mountain that overlooks Lourdes. Some of our number were inspired to purchase an enormous candle (20 kg I think). This was inscribed with the words Latin Mass Society 2012 and should be burning for many weeks to come, close to the grotto.
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