Wednesday, June 02, 2004

A Good Stretch of the Legs

Some of the pilgrims from Ireland.

Some pictures have already been posted (you can find them here) of last week's Pentecost Pilgrimage. This annual 72 mile walk begins on the steps of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and ends three days later with High Mass in Chartres Cathedral. The purpose of the pilgrimage is to plead for the restoration of the traditional liturgical rites for those whose spiritual lives depend upon them.

Many thousands participate each year in what is a fairly grueling trek through cities and countryside. The reception of the pilgrims has varied through the years. In the beginning the doors of both cathedrals were closed to the pilgrims. These days the old Mass is not permitted in Notre Dame of Paris but is made most welcome at Chartres. Celebrants have included Cardinal Mayer. If memory serves, Cardinal Lustiger did at one time permit an opening liturgy in Paris but apparently changed his mind at some point. "Wide and generous" apparently being a moveable feast.

Unfortunately the site noted above is only in French. Those of us whose French is not up to diplomatic standards will have to make do with the pictures. But what enthralling pictures they are. I would love to make that pilgrimage one day. Alas, even if I could afford Paris, my foot can only just about handle my two mile walk in the evening here at home. Maybe one day.

Solemn Mass at Chartres Cathedral