The cancellation of our annual diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes was borne with great disappointment early this year. As the weeks of lockdown and social distancing passed, however, we discovered a Church that was ready to embrace technology in order to creatively share and live our faith.
So, for the first time ever, we embarked on a #VirtualPilgrimage to bring the processions, music, liturgies direct to our pilgrims in the comfort of their own homes.
Brum could not go to Lourdes, but Lourdes most definitely came to Brum. #Lourdes2Brum. If you missed it, our would like to re-live it, here it is all in one place.
We joined Archbishop Bernard Longley, Mgr Timothy Menezes and Fr Dominic Cosslett LIVE from St Chad’s Cathedral, for the opening Mass of our virtual Lourdes pilgrimage.
It wasn’t quite the same as being gathered with hundred of pilgrims in the familiar surroundings of L’église Sainte–Bernadette côté Grotte… But the warm welcome from His Grace, the thought-provoking homily from Fr Dominic, moving messages from some of our key Lourdes leaders and, of course, the music led by Jo Boyce, gave more of a taste of Lourdes than we’d dared hope for.
Music used during the Mass include:
- Responsorial Psalm for the 7th Sunday of Easter, Year A, “I am sure I shall see the goodness of the Lord.”
- With Mary We Ask You Intercession Response
- Jo Boyce’s setting of the Magnificat
- Gospel Acclamation, Holy Holy, We Proclaim, Doxology & Great Amen, and Lamb of God from the Mass of St Bernadette
- Be Still and Know I am With You by Anne Conway
- Holy Virgin By God’s Decree by Jean-Paul Lécot
TORCHLIGHT PROCESSION – GLORIOUS MYSTERIES
On Sunday night, we prayed the Glorious mysteries of the Rosary with Archbishop Bernard Longley in the first virtual Torchlight Marian Procession of our Lourdes@Home virtual pilgrimage.
SERVICE OF HEALING
Had we made it to Lourdes, Monday morning would have seen us celebrating our joint English-speaking Grotto Mass with friends from the Diocese of Middlesbrough.
So the Monday of our virtual pilgrimage began with Mass from Middlesbrough celebrated by Bishop Terry Drainey
On Monday, continuing with the 2020 tradition of doing it a little differently, we had a Zoom Service of Healing and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament led by Fr Tony Rohan.
Music featured in this liturgy includes:
- Lay Your Hands by Carey Landry
- Sing Over Us by Mike Stanley
- 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman and Jonas Myrin
TORCHLIGHT PROCESSION – JOYFUL MYSTERIES
On Monday night, we prayed the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary in our virtual Torchlight Marian Procession, led by Fr Craig Szmidt.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS
Our Tuesday morning Mass was livestreamed from Our Lady and St Brigid, Northfield with Fr Cecil Rogerson.
In our afternoon Zoom liturgy prayed the Lourdes ‘high Stations‘ led by Fr Craig Szmidt. It was a really beautiful meditation on the Lord’s Passion, and with the fabulous images of the high stations on the slides, it was almost like we were really there.
TORCHLIGHT PROCESSION – SORROWFUL MYSTERIES
On Tuesday night, we prayed the Sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary in our virtual Torchlight Marian Procession, led by Fr Chris Yule.
In Lourdes, Wednesday would normally be the great gathering in the under basilica for the International Mass. For our virtual pilgrimage programme we had a Youth Mass from St John the Baptist, Alton with Fr Paul Whieldon and the KYY Mission Team
This liturgy was a celebration of all that our wonderful young people contribute to our pilgrimage and the ministry of the Hospitalité each year.
VIRTUAL BLESSED SACRAMENT PROCESSION
On Wednesday afternoon, we journeyed with the Lord in a virtual Blessed Sacrament procession. Unable able to taking the familiar route around the domain of the Lourdes sanctuary, we took a route across five churches of our Diocese.
Music featured in this liturgy includes:
- Cornerstone by Hillsong Worship
- Sweet Sacrament Divine from Age to Age Vol. 1
- Behold the Lamb by Jo Boyce & Mike Stanley
- I Am the Bread of Life by Susanne Toolan
Thursday morning’s Mass was livestreamed from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Bulkington with Fr Michael Gamble
On Thursday afternoon, we joined together again to seek and celebrate God’s love and mercy in our Reconciliation Service, themed around the Year of the Word and led by Mgr. Timothy Menezes.
Music featured in this liturgy included:
- Gentle as Silence by Estelle White
- O Word of God by Ricky Manalo (featured in 10 Songs for the Year of the Word)
- Thy Word by Amy Grant
- O Word of My Lord by Damian Lundy
TORCHLIGHT PROCESSION – LUMINOUS MYSTERIES
On Thursday evening we prayed the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary in our final virtual Torchlight Marian Procession, led by Fr Simon Hall.
The Closing Liturgy of Thanksgiving for our Virtual Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage was led by Bishop David McGough. Readings and prayers were led by key leaders and representatives of our Hospitalité, nursing team, youth section, and Mac group.
Music for this liturgy:
- May Your Love by Jo Boyce
- O God You Search Me by Bernadette Farrell
- Magnificat by Jo Boyce
- We Give You Thanks by David Haas
- Hail Mary, Full of Grace by Mike Stanley
- Immaculate Mary by Jean-Paul Lécot
We certainly wouldn’t have chosen a virtual pilgrimage in lieu of the real thing. But, in the end it was a truly blessed and wonderful virtual journey and the feedback from the many pilgrims who participated is testimony to that.
How was your experience of Lourdes this year? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below…