Parents and friends please note: the pilgrims are flying home from Europe on Sunday, so there will be no Skype nor blog update. For those assisting with transfer of pilgrims and luggage, our flight from Newark is United 1269, arriving into West Palm Beach at 5:13pm.
ALL pilgrims and facilitators will go directly from the airport to the altar of St. Joseph’s (prior to unloading bags) for our short ending of the pilgrimage prayers. All family and friends of St. Joseph’s are welcome to join us upon our return at St.Joseph’s for the short service. If someone is there before us to open the church and turn on the lights, I would be most grateful.
We are scheduled to celebrate our pilgrimage with the sharing of our collects during the 9:30am service next Sunday (August 10). The reading of the collects will be repeated at a 11:45am service that will be scheduled in conjunction with our Stockholders’ Dinner later in the fall.
LLL Fr. Marty
Well, the pilgrimage of the sun just ended its streak
With rain, cold and wind, the weather turned bleak.
But the blessings abounded even as Lindisfarne we departed
For a special Celtic Exhibition by Mary Fleeson had just started.
We were able to walk down to St. Cuthbert’s Centre,
And participate in the hands-on with husband Mark as our mentor.
Then with final hugs goodbye we got on the bus.
And at the causeway our returned rocks were thrown by each of us.
Then we went to the Borders to Jedburgh and Melrose Abbey
With a stop in between at Scotts Views where the youth were a little crabby
They stayed out of the weather on the bus – they’ve been spoiled by the sun,
But the weather didn’t keep the facilitators from still having fun.
We stopped at our favorite Orkney ice cream shop (thank you Paul Wegner for paying –
When I announced your generosity on the bus, all the pilgrims were hurraying.)
We made it up to Rosslyn just in time for Maureen’s talk at 5pm.
The attentiveness of the youth showed that this place was special now to them.
Then Fiona sat us down as the crowd was ushered out,
she had a private talk with us about Rosslyn’s history and layout.
Then Fiona and her husband George and Maureen the Rosslyn guide
Joined us for our closing Eucharist with only them and us inside.
It really was a special treat to enjoy the quiet beauty of the space,
We’re grateful to the folks at Rosslyn for worshipping in this holy place.
Then we drove to our last night’s hotel near the Edinburgh airport,
We said goodnight to George (who finally goes home tonight – he’s been quite a sport).
And an added bonus to pilgrims of old: Ian Morrison joined us at dinner
He’s the coach driver from pilgrimages of recent years, and he really is a winner.
We reminisced and shared our prayers at a final meal together,
It’s been a wonderful final pilgrimage day despite the rainy weather.
We received permission from the authorities to gather at the Priory outside
It was so quiet and peaceful — we were all alone – the tourists stopped by the tide.
We remembered all the pilgrims who had gone before and worshipped on this location
You could sense a spirit of holiness here even though all that’s left is the priory’s foundation.
We could see and hear the birds around as they fluttered all around
And in the distance the singing seals in the bay added a soothing reflective sound.
We prayed and had our Eucharist choosing hymns that we could best sing
And since it was Sophia and Anna’s birthdays, we ended with birthday blessings.
The youth requested free time to enjoy their last day in this place,
So we used the afternoon for exploring and cleaning up our space,
And then cooked up all our food as has become our last night tradition,
Inviting over all our friends (and this year was quite an ambition).
We had Andy and Anna and Martha Raine, and Mary Fleeson came with all the rest,
Including husband Mark, daughter Aurien, and Callum their son (the girls liked him the best).
We enjoyed the feast and celebrated birthdays with ice cream and brownies and more,
And our guests left the party with bags of food as we hugged them all out the door.
This group really bonded with our Lindisfarne friends – perhaps because we’re a smaller in number,
But saying goodbye to this island and our new Lindisfarne friends, tomorrow will sure be a bummer.
The cathedral at Durham has stood the test of time
It is awe inspiring and majestic with its beauty sublime.
The same could be said for guide Lilian Groves today
For awe inspiring love for her God and Bede does she display.
She spoke to our pilgrims about how friendly a cathedral building could be.
And then led us on a walk, the cathedral’s highlights to see.
We had started our visit with a Eucharist next to Bede’s tomb.
Then down to the undercroft, our lunch in the cafeteria to consume.
Another highlight of the day was our visit to Cuthbert’s shrine.
Where for over 900 years pilgrims have prayed to God divine.
We lit candles and then prayed for those in our lives needing healing,
And then raised our voices and sang “Create in Me” as we were kneeling.
Lilian had written a prayer that she prayed for us at the end
Then after a few final words, we hugged goodbye our Durham friend.
With the tides still in till late, we had to stop somewhere for dinner
And the huge Indian buffet in Newcastle surely was a winner.
There were lots of new things for this adventurous group to try,
And ending with the dessert buffet, the pilgrims’ energy was high.
We traversed the Millennium Walking Bridge for them to burn off steam.
And they cheered each jogger that passed their way with a teenage girlish scream.
Then a walk back to the bus where they slept most of the way,
Which wasn’t too surprising since it had been a long, long day.