Thinking Anglicans

The Alban Pilgrimage 2014

This year’s Alban Pilgrimage takes place on Saturday 21st June 2014.

The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and John Bell of the Iona Community will be preaching at this year’s Pilgrimage.

More details on the St Albans Cathedral website here.

The timetable of the day:

11.00 Pilgrimage Procession begins through the City Centre
The route begins from St Peter’s Church, St Albans, and continues to the Town Hall and then we will process to the West End of the Cathedral.

c. 12 noon Festival Eucharist (following the Procession)
Preacher: The Most Rev’d Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. The service will be sung by the Abbey Girls Choir.

12 noon Children’s Worship and Activities
In the Abbey Primary School. All children must be registered to participate in advance – see here.

14.00 Orthodox Service and Veneration of the Relic at the Shrine of Saint Alban
Organised by the Ecumenical Chaplaincy and the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius – all welcome.

15.00 Anointing for Healing in the Lady Chapel.

16.00 Festival Evensong and Procession to the Shrine
Preacher: John Bell of the Iona Community. The service will be sung by the Cathedral Choir.

There is a booklet of information for pilgrims and you can read about the story of Saint Alban here.

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JCF
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JCF

Wish I could be there! Blessings to those who go…

Father Ron Smith
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Is this a recognition of the undoubted spiritual gifts of Bishop Katharine? If so, it is long overdue. Her courageous leadership of The Episcopal Church in the United States has need of recognition – by the Church that has so often been seen to vilify, rather than support TEC’s liberality in the name of Christ. I wish I could be at this pilgrimage. May God richly bless all who attend.

Congratulations to the Bishop, Dean and Staff of Saint Alban’s historic Cathedral.

Mary Clara
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Mary Clara

It sounds like a wonderful pilgrimage; wish I could be there. The booklet is very interesting, and I was intrigued to see that the pilgrimage features an Orthodox service “Organised by the Ecumenical Chaplaincy and the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius” — an association of Anglican and Eastern Orthodox going back to 1927. Here is a link to the website of that organization: http://www.sobornost.org/ . Fascinating history there, well worth a read! This makes it all the more encouraging that Bp. Katharine has been invited to preach.

John
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John

I’m all in favour of these public events. On the other hand, when it comes to ‘veneration of the relic’, I think we’re in the world of higher mumbo-jumbo and in danger of justified public mockery.

Daniel Berry, NYC
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Daniel Berry, NYC

@John: Have you ever loved another person so much that items in your possession that once belonged to them are precious to you? That’s how I feel about my father’s rosary, which, to me, is a symbol of love, fidelity and discipline. I’m willing to bet you can understand that perspective.

ian
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ian

On the other hand, when it comes to ‘veneration of the relic’, I think we’re in the world of higher mumbo-jumbo and in danger of justified public mockery.

Well, John if they were worshipping the relic, you might have a point. But they won’t be, will they?

John
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John

Daniel, I do understand it, but seems to me a different case.

Ian: always found ‘veneration’ a difficult concept.

I’m sticking with my formulation (though I know it’s offensive to some, but more important issues seem to me at stake).

JCF
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JCF

I once heard the formulation “the ‘idol-worshipper’ worships what *s/he* sees, not what the non-believer doesn’t see.” Whether we’re speaking of worshipping or “veneration”, that remains the case.

If you don’t feel that sense of (R. Otto) “mysterium tremendum et fascinans” in any particular place (or time), just move on. Don’t be a buzzkill for those that *do*.

John
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John

I think veneration of bones (and such-like) is basically pagan. I have no objection to paganism (I make my living from it) but I don’t think it should be confused with Christianity.

ian
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ian

I am told that one of the most popular relics in the middle ages was the index finger of John the Baptist ( bones ) The reason? because it was assumed that that was the finger that pointed to Jesus with the words Behold the Lamb of God..Those who venerated the said relic did so because it pointed them in the same direction. Simple, I know, but not pagan and not mumbo jumbo, and not I think, unchristian

Robert Ian williams
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Robert Ian williams

The veneration of bones goes back to Old Testament times, and the veneration of relics, like the handkerchiefs of the apostles ( see Acts 19:12) an established feature of New Testament Christianity. This of course was rejected by the English reformers and this disregard is intrinsic to the 39 articles.

Simon Kershaw
Admin

Fingers of John the Baptist? Presumably fake. Is it overly cynical of me to wonder how many such index fingers were claimed?

As for Alban, even the then Dean of St Albans, Christopher Lewis, said in 2002 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2074492.stm “Whether these relics are the bones of Saint Alban can never be known for certain.”

Simon the sceptic
(as opposed to my colleague Simon of St Albans)