It was a gloriously hot and sunny start to the day, by 10am Walsingham was already alive with people buzzing about and coaches dropping people off.
The first item on the agenda was the Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament at the Church of the Annunciation.
This was followed at 12:30 by the crowning of the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, she was sprinkled with Holy Water and honoured with incense, we prayed, had a reading from the Gospel and sang a hymn.
For me this was the most moving part of the day.
Then we all set off behind the Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham on a silent procession to the Shrine.
We actually went along the road and not down the old railway path, luckily there were marshals there to stop the traffic, a peaceful walk is a good time to reflect, the silence was broken by the birds in the hedgerow, I managed to see Gold Finch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Oyster Catcher, Lapwing as well as the usual ducks, geese and rabbits. I was quite glad that we had processed down the road as there was shade given to us by the trees as the sun was now beating down on us.
On arrival at the Shrine we gathered in front of the Chapel of Reconciliation for the Penitential Litany, prayers and a hymn. It was now time for Lunch and a sit down preferably in the shade.
After Lunch and a bit of shopping, Janice now has a new hat and statue, we met with Fr Tony our priest at St. Anthony in Fakenham. Fr went off to get in to his robes ready for Mass and we found a seat in the centre of the gardens ready for Mass.
Mass was splendid, the choir sang beautifully and all the while the sun kept on shinning, this was the first outdoor Mass I had attended at the Shrine as on previous occasions the weather had been too bad to hold anything outside. At the end of Mass we were introduced to our youth representatives who are going to Brazil for the youth pilgrimage later this year.
Janice and I then set off back to Walsingham village to catch our bus back home, we decided to walk back along the old railway path as the road could prove a little dangerous with all the people making their way back home by car
On walking back we both noted how much quieter it was than the silent procession we were on earlier!!
The Diocese of East Anglia Pilgrimage to Walsingham was over and now we are looking forward to the 2nd Annual Ordinariate Pilgrimage to Walsingham which is on Saturday 22nd June.