Our thanks to Mr Mark Hamid, the director of the newly instituted Two Shrines Pilgrimage, for sending us this description of what will hopefully become a regular and flourishing part of the Church’s devotional life in Scotland, and to Mr Martin Gardner for the use of his photographs. Those are interested can contact the organizers about attending or supporting the pilgrimage at the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit their Facebook page.
The pilgrimage began with a Missa Cantata celebrated at the Lady Altar in St Mary’s Cathedral by the chaplain to the pilgrimage, Fr Anthony Mary of the Transalpine Redemptorists. Fr Anthony Mary is the chaplain of the Latin Mass Chaplaincy in Christchurch, New Zealand, but joined the pilgrimage from his regular (northern) summer visit to the Transalpine Redemptorists’ principal community on the island of Papa Stronsay, Orkney, accompanied by two of his brethren.
After the traditional blessing for pilgrims was given at the shrine, the chapter headed out of Edinburgh towards South Queensferry to cross the Firth of Forth; this is now possible using the Forth Road Bridge, but in mediaeval times pilgrims used a ferry endowed in the twelfth-century by Scotland’s queen St Margaret, secondary patron of the nation and a particular focus of the first day of the pilgrimage. The pilgrims then walked into Dunfermline, St Margaret’s town, where they received a blessing with her relic before taking dinner and retiring for the evening.
|photo by Mark Hamid|
|Arriving at St Andrews|
On the final day of the pilgrimage the pilgrims set out from Falkland for St Andrews, the route being generally flat and along quiet country roads through the picturesque Howe of Fife, course of the River Eden. The chapter arrived at the cathedral just in time to make a brief visit to the ruin before closing and processed, singing the Te Deum, to the town’s parish church, St James’, for a final Missa Cantata, a votive Mass of St Andrew. Thereafter, dinner was served in the church hall, providing an opportunity for pilgrims and supporters alike to relax and enjoy fellowship before dispersing.
There is already great enthusiasm for our second Two Shrines Pilgrimage, which will hopefully take place once again over the first weekend of August 2017. Anyone interested in attending or supporting the pilgrimage can contact the organisers through the dedicated e-mail address: email@example.com.