Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Franciscan 8th Centenary Celebration in Canterbury

On 10th September was a celebration day at the historic Franciscan site of Greyfriars and at Canterbury Cathedral to mark the 8th centenary of the Franciscan way of life, dating from papal approval of the friars' Rule in 1209. The day began with Mass in a marquee in Greyfriars meadow, attended by Franciscans from many branches of the movement and their friends, hosted by the Anglican Franciscan friars. The main celebrant was Br. Philippe Yates OFM, Principal of the Franciscan Study Centre. He preached on the humility of a little child as the attitude necessary to enter the Kingdom of God. The choir of St. Thomas' Church led us expertly in singing. After Mass was a shared lunch, where we mixed with the gathered brothers and sisters and met with our Sisters and friends who had travelled from Littlehampton.
above left: Shared lunch at Greyfriars (including tomatoes).

Srs. Rose (left) and Magdelene (right) getting to know Innocentia (centre) newly arrived in pre-postulancy and now based in Littlehampton.

After lunch, Br. Philippe (right) gave a talk on the history of the Franciscans in England, including every branch of the Franciscan family.

There followed a procession of all with singing from Greyfriars to Canterbury Cathedral behind a Franciscan banner.

out of Greyfriars Meadow...

through Stour Street onto the High St.

In the Cathedral Crypt, we were treated to an hour's presentation by a group of musicians of the music of the medieval troubadors, which had influenced St. Francis. Then, there were prayers in the Cathedral at the tomb of John Pecham, a Franciscan Archbishop of Canterbury. The celebration concluded with Evensong in the Cathedral Choir. The angelic boy choristers had prepared John Rutter's setting of 'All Things Bright and Beautiful' especially for this Franciscan occasion.
Our visitors from Littlehampton came back to Monte Bre for a buffet supper before making the return journey in the minibus. Our Sister Regina stayed with us, as she will be taking her holiday here. Praise God for a most successful and enjoyable celebration of our Franciscan life!