Tuesday, 31 May 2011
The Pilgrimage Starts Gently...
The first morning will be deliciously relaxed - the baths are first on the agenda, but anyone with access to a child can go straight in, so no queuing. The men don't seem to have to queue for long either - I think it's because we women have lots of fiddly clothing. The towel is trickier to apply as well... and it fair takes one's breath away when they put it on. There's rather more of oneself in contact with the wet towel... the men have it much easier.
All part of the penance.
I have to admit that, when the helpers instruct me to say a prayer as I walk through the water, I rarely get further than "Oh God... it's so cold! Get me out!" Only mentally. It's impossible to speak coherently through chattering teeth.
At 3pm our group is booked on a guided tour of the places in the town Lourdes associated with St. Bernadette - the Cachot, the parish church, and so on. Mass (in the Extraordinary Form) will be at 6pm in the St. Gabriel Chapel (to the left of the entrance to the Crypt of the Immaculate Conception Basilica.)
Finally, the torchlight procession starts at 9pm. If you're around, keep an eye out for the parish flag, and pop over to say hello!