Parishioners in St Michael’s Huntingdon gathered for a Mass of thanksgiving for the life of service of Her Majesty the Queen. On Thursday June 2 about 70 people gathered for Mass, joined in singing and celebrated with joy; Fr Philip Shryane spoke about the Queen’s life of commitment and service and the example of family life that she offers to us all. At the end of Mass, the congregation all prayed the prayer for the Queen and then sang two verses of the National Anthem.
After Mass those gathered enjoyed an international shared lunch. Food was laid out in the Good Shepherd Room from many different parts of the world: from India, the Philippines, from England and from Rwanda and Poland, as well as a BBQ: very interesting spread.
The weather was the best of the Jubilee holiday, warm and sunny and so people were all able to sit in the garden, enjoy lunch and the chance to meet one another and chat the afternoon away. “It was a lovely gathering,” said Fr Philip, “wonderful to have the chance to meet socially after so long and to build our community once more.”
St Pancras in Ipswich held its first Corpus Christi procession this year for some time. “Attendance at the deanery procession, which used to take place in the grounds of St Joseph’s School, had dwindled to the point where it was felt necessary to suspend it, leaving behind memories of rose petals, rain-washed lawns and hymns that we rarely sing on any other day of the year,” writes Mim McMahon.
On June 19 the rose petals were back. The previous night, violent thunderstorms had powered through Ipswich area, and although the afternoon itself was fine, the group confined themselves to the church. With pomp, love and reverence, Fr Joseph Welch and about 50 parishioners took part in a procession with the Blessed Sacrament while children scattered petals and the choir sang ‘Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All’.
“It is an act of witness,” writes Mim. “Because we are saying that, in the Sacrament, Our Lord is still physically present in the world; our present, every-day, messy world riven with disease, poverty and war. Bella premunt hostilia; da robur, fer auxilium (Our foes press hard from every side; thine aid supply, thy strength bestow).”
Sea Sunday will be held this year on July 10, an opportunity to remember seafarers and fishers in your prayers. Many parishes will hold a second collection for Catholic charity Stella Maris (formerly called Apostleship of the Sea).
The war in Ukraine is once again highlighting the importance of seafarers to the world economy. Stella Maris is providing practical and pastoral support to seafarers and fishers in the UK and around the world, including those affected by the war in Ukraine. Your prayers and support are greatly needed. To support the charity’s work, please go to www.stellamaris.org.uk/donate . To download the Sea Sunday Resources go to www.stellamaris.org.uk/seasunday
Pictured above is the Platinum Jubilee celebration and Huntingdon and, below, Fr Joseph Welch carries the Blessed Sacrament during the Corpus Christi procession at St Pancras. Photograph: Sue Manley