Search This Blog

Saturday, May 19, 2012

UK: Carmelite Pilgrimage to Knaresborough

Carmelite Pilgrimage to Knaresborough

15 May 2012


knaresborough2012pilgrimage09 On Sunday 13th May 2012 the Carmelite Family in northern England made its annual pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of the Crag in the Yorkshire market town of Knaresborough.

A Carmelite pilgrimage has been coming to the Marian chapel carved into the rockface alongside the River Nidd since before 2008 when the shrine celebrated its 6th centenary.

The chapel was carved out of the rockface by 'John the Mason' in 1408, probably as a wayside shrine en route to the Trinitarian Priory a mile downriver.

A new statue of 'Our Lady of the Crag' was installed in the chapel in the year 2000.

Pilgrims at prayer outside the Chapel of Our Lady of the Crag.

Parishioners from the local Catholic Church of St. Mary's and others joined the Carmelite pilgrimage which included members of the Carmelite Spirituality Groups in Leeds and York, and also from York Carmelite friars from the More House community and Corpus Christi Carmelite Sisters.

Altogether some 30 pilgrims took part in a celebration of the Eucharist led by Fr. Antony Lester, O.Carm., Prior of the Carmelite friars in York.

Fr. Antony (right) leading pilgrims in prayer.

Carmelite friar Brother Gerard Walsh, O.Carm., proclaiming the word of God,
under the enigmatic carving of a knight who has 'guarded' the shrine
since at least the Early Modern period, and possibly earlier.

During his homily Fr. Antony preached about how pilgrimage enables Christians to carry on with the tasks of daily life, strengthened and renewed. He spoke of coming to Mary as a mother who teaches us how to pray. 

Fr. Antony reminded those gathered that coming on pilgrimage does not make us 'more loveable' in God's eyes, but gives us the strength we need to continue on life's journey, following in the footsteps of Jesus.

Lay Carmelite Miriam Purcell led the prayers of intercession.

In the Eucharist Jesus nourishes his pilgrim people.

Sr. Ann Parker, O. Carm., of the Corpus Christi Carmelites,
assisted with the distribution of Holy Communion.

At the end of Mass the Province banner and a Carmelite candle were carried into the chapel.

The interior of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Crag.

A candle will burn every Sunday for the rest of the summer pilgrimage season
as a symbol of prayer for the whole Carmelite Family.

Knaresborough is a beautiful medieval town, and members of the Carmelite Family took the opportunity of their visit not only for prayer but for sightseeing and relaxation, as pilgrims have done for centuries.

Carmelites enjoying the spectacular view of the River Nidd
from the vantage point of Knaresborough Castle.