Knights and Dames in London help revive Corpus Christi Procession
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The practice of public religious processions has stopped in most places in England. However, there has in central London in the last two years been a revival of the Corpus Christi Procession and local Knights and Dames of our Lieutenancy have given support by participating. Many Catholics joined this second procession of the Blessed Sacrament in central London on Sunday 7th of June. The procession began at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, and finished at St James’, Spanish Place, with a stop en route at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family in Exile next to Oxford Street.
Before the procession left Farm Street, Cardinal Vincent Nichols spoke to the packed Church saying that ‘today we take Jesus to our streets not as a stranger but as King and Lord of creation’. He thanked those in attendance for bearing witness to the Christ in such a visible way in the heart of the capital.
Behind them, children who had recently made their First Holy Communion dropped white rose petals onto the street in front of Blessed Sacrament which was carried firstly by Fr Dominic Robinson SJ from Farm Street to the Ukrainian Cathedral and then by Fr Christopher Colven from the Ukrainian Cathedral to his parish of St James. Behind them were Cardinal Vincent and Canon Christopher Tuckwell, Administrator of the Cathedral. A cantor led chants in Latin and English to accompany the procession, which included the Litany of the Saints and well known Eucharistic hymns. Members of the Order of Malta handed out small leaflets to the public explaining to them what was happening.
From Farm Street, the procession moved through Berkeley Square and then Grosvenor Square to enter Duke Street, where it made a station at the Ukrainian Cathedral.
Hundreds of onlookers, both the faithful and the curious, joined the procession through the streets of Mayfair, singing and chanting across Oxford Street, Wigmore Street and Manchester Square to St James’, Spanish Place.
At St James’, Cardinal Vincent concluded the procession with Benediction. He then celebrated Mass in the Church. In his homily, he spoke of the ‘unbounded joy for it is the Feast of the Love of God for us all, the love shown in Jesus.’
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Reportage: Diocese of Westminster