I hope someone told the nuns of Tyburn convent who was on his way ?!
It started early Saturday afternoon - the music, dancing, cheering, clapping - as various catholic groups from across the country presented the things they do within their parishes and communities.
Arriving about 4pm - the procession of many parish banners and catholic organisations was beginning - snaking right across the park - many hymns were sung and choir pieces heard and still the procession went forward!
What a lot we do!!
A mum and dad then began to speak and it seemed like the whole of Hyde Park fell quiet. They spoke of their son - Jimmy Mizen - having just reached his 16th birthday, he’d thanked them for their present and said he loved them! Later they laughed as he went off to buy his first lottery ticket. At a local bakery shop, an hour later, in the arms of one of his brothers
- he died - the result of another young mans moment of anger. Their moving but simple request to all - “do not be angry”.
“The Priests” later sang as Pope Benedict began his journey towards Hyde Park. The popemobile was shown travelling along the Mall towards Buckingham Palace, with the Papal flags and Union Jacks alternating magnificently the entire length of the Mall. (Of course one had to walk in the tyre tracks of the popemobile the next day!)
Yes - the cheers roared out as Pope Benedict entered the park with the echoes of Handals Hallelujah Chorus fading into the background.
“Christ be beside me” was sung in a most un-catholic way?!
(that is ‘resounding’ across the park with flags flying!). Candles were then lit which are to be taken to every parish in the country.
The main focus of the vigil was exposition and benediction.
For the second time in the day an incredible silence fell across the whole gathering - for a considerable time - as Pope Benedict asked us to pray……
A ‘Litany of the Sacred Heart’ echoed again the theme
‘Heart speaks unto heart’ with John Henry Newmans words
‘Lead kindly light’ being sung as you suddenly realised
just how dark it had become!
The nuns of Tyburn convent keep a prayer vigil 24 hours, 7 days a week, under a symbol representing the ‘Tyburn Tree’ - the site of which can be found close by - I wonder if they took a ‘peek’ across the park?!
Thanks to “all” for the Hyde Park vigil,
A group of 35 parishioners travelled to Birmingham to see the Holy Father and be present at the beatification of the now Blessed John Henry Newman. We arrived before dawn and had quite a walk carrying picnics and chairs to Cofton Park. It was difficult to keep track of everyone but about 8 of us managed to stay together.
We got places really near the front at the left of the altar and just in front of the 2,000 strong choir and we settled down for the long wait. Of course it rained and rained but it couldn't dampen our spirits.
The cheers were so loud when we saw the Papal helicopter circling around the park and the crowd rose as one. We watched the landing on the big screen and slowly the clouds began to roll away and chinks of sunlight appeared. When we saw him it was wonderful. We were quite along way from him but could still see him quite clearly... some people were moved to tears. The popemobile moved slowly through the park with the Holy Father blessing us all and kissing several children who were handed up to him.
The service of beatification was surprisingly simple but beautiful and the following Mass included some of Cardinal Newman's hymns. The sun shone throughout the services and we felt doubly blessed.
An unforgettable event for us all. I am sure the Holy Father's visit has refreshed everyone and his messages will be treasured and acted upon for many years to come.