Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Quarant'ore at Westminster Cathedral

After a long day and a rather wild Hallowe’en Party, those of us who gathered in the foyer of Newman House at 2am this morning were beginning to wonder whether a long walk followed by an hour of silence was really a good idea. However our doubts were soon cast aside. First the numbers of people gathered to take part in the Quarant’ore at Westminster Cathedral was inspiring, especially as many of these were people who live outside Newman House and so had made an even bigger effort to take part. We set off on the trek to the Cathedral with Fr. Peter striding out at the front, and after an hour’s refreshing walk (which had the added perk of seeing some top London sights by moonlight), we arrived at the Cathedral. The atmosphere inside was beautiful - the dark vault of the Cathedral made it feel like we were still outside in the night and all our focus was drawn to the sanctuary where the monstrance was illuminated by many candles. We spent a beautiful hour in adoration and I for one was surprised how quickly it passed despite the early hour. It was wonderful to see so many people at the Cathedral and some of them were obviously there for a lot longer than us - as evidenced by their blankets! We left the Cathedral feeling renewed and refreshed. With our spiritual side well fed it was now time to nourish our bodies so we trekked back to Newman House and were greeted by the aroma of bacon drifting down Gower Street. Our mini-pilgrimage ended with that symbol of Englishness - a cooked breakfast :) At 6.30am we were finally able to go back to bed… Thank goodness for the extra hour we get tonight…


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Freaky Friday...and spiritual Saturday (?)

This end of this week suddenly becomes busy! In less than 12 hours, we have on offer a party, and then a chance to spend some time in prayer as a community (to make up for the party...).

Friday (28th October) night is Hallowe'en Party night, and it's a fancy dress do, so do come looking as scary as possible for a traditional Hallowe'en, with the promise of a pumpkin competition. No, I don't know what this involves either, but sign up downstairs if this sounds like your cup of tea.

Then later that night (on Saturday morning) we are taking part in the Quarant'ore vigil at Westminster Cathedral, spending an hour in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. We will be leaving Newman House at 2 am, and our slot at the Cathedral is between 3 and 4 am. We should be back around 5 am, and I gather that there is going to be a sumptuous breakfast laid on for those who took part (no gatecrashers please...). Again, sign up downstairs.

See you around.