Friday, 16 October 2009

The relics of St. Therese at the Knights of Malta conventual chapel

Yesterday evening the relics of St. Therese of Lisieux made a stop over at the Knights of Malta conventual chapel at St. John's and St. Elizabeth's hospital, St. John's Wood, London. I was asked to come down and sing for the pontifical English high mass and veneration by a friend of mine, where we sang Missa Surge Propera by Victoria and Surge Amica Mea by Guerrero.

The place as to be expected was packed out, as you can see above as the relics arrive. Naturally the sick were given priority for veneration, but in the chaos everyone managed it in the end. For us singers, we had to rehearse outside the chapel in the hospital corridors, as patients were being wheeled in and out!

We sang from what were very cramped balconies, and had to put up with several on - duty nurses barging their way through us singers to get a glimpse of the relics during the mass. Such is the popularity of this saint! When we had a few spare moments we all took some photos.

At the end there was slight hiatus, and then the relics were borne off to the sound of a piper, a most poignant moment, and very quickly the throng dispersed and went their separate ways. As for me, I stopped over on the way at a pub to Marylebone station to have dinner, and then catch the late train home to Birmingham.

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