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Vigil and torchlight procession set for Norwich city centre

A silent torchlight Eucharistic Procession of the Blessed Sacrament through Norwich city centre will be followed by an all-night Vigil in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist on Friday October 27.


During the Vigil, prayers will be offered that all may come to recognise the dignity and sanctity of all human life.

Fr Henry Whisenant, one of the co-ordinators of the vigil, said, “When we carry the Blessed Sacrament in procession, we are carrying our eternal Lord and God, who makes himself small and silent and vulnerable in the host at every Mass, just as he willed to be born small and vulnerable at Bethlehem 2,000 years ago.

“So this procession will be a very appropriate witness to the dignity and sanctity of all human life”

There will also be talks and activities throughout the evening, aimed at young people and themed around the gift of life. 

Youth services director, Hamish MacQueen, said: “In the Narthex there will be activities for young people which will be designed so they can ‘come and go’ between prayer and activities,” said Hamish. “If they want to find a corner and have a little sleep, that’s also fine. There will also be refreshments available in the Narthex throughout the night.”

Hamish is looking for groups of young people (secondary school age and upwards) from different parishes across the diocese to lead a reflection on the hour throughout the night. 

“A reflection could be anything – leading prayers, readings, poems, songs, testimony for between 5 – 10 minutes,” said Hamish. “The theme of the vigil is ‘The Dignity and Sanctity of All Human Life’, but it doesn’t matter if a reflection isn’t explicitly about this.

As well as the young people, different communities within the diocese are invited to take part in silent adoration throughout the night.

The procession starts with a gathering at Norwich Castle Mall Mound at 8pm. If you would rather go to the Cathedral first, a group will be walking from the Cathedral to the Mound leaving around 7.15pm.

After the procession, the prayer vigil will begin with a short liturgy and continue until 9.30am when there will be Sung Lauds (Morning Prayer) with Benediction and Mass with the Bishop at 10am.

There will be booklets available on the evening, which will include a timetable of the vigil throughout the night, as well as prayers and meditations. 

More details of the event from Hamish at dys@rcdea.org.uk

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