Friday, March 4, 2011
Pilgrimage in honour of 'The Pearl of York'
Pilgrims are expected to converge on York on Saturday 26th March to pay their respects to St Margaret Clitherow, a former resident of York, who was crushed to death rather than deny her Catholic faith. The pilgrimage is being organised by the Latin Mass Society, an organisation dedicated to the promotion of the Mass in its more traditional Latin form. There will be a sung Mass at the High Altar of York Minster at 1.30pm. This will be followed at 3pm by a procession which will pass through The Shambles, where Margaret Clitherow lived, over Ouse Bridge, where she was executed, and finish up at the Church of the English Martyrs in Dalton Terrace. Benediction will be given there at around 4pm, followed by veneration of the relic of Margaret Clitherow, which is normally kept at the Bar Convent. The Latin Mass Society is delighted to have the use of York Minster, which is by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter. Margaret Clitherow, who is often referred to as the Pearl of York, would have been very familiar with the Minster, although she would not have worshipped there after her conversion to Catholicism at the age of 18. She would also have been familiar with the Latin Mass in its traditional form, as she harboured priests at her home in The Shambles where Mass was regularly said in that form. Indeed it was for harbouring priests that she was arrested and put to death in 1586 by crushing under a great weight of stones. The Mass on 26th March, which is the feast day of St Margaret Clitherow, will be sung by Fr Stephen Maughan, and the music will be provided by the Rudgate Singers. The Mass setting will be by Byrd, the great English composer of liturgical music and contemporary of Margaret Clitherow. The Mass in York Minster will be open to all, regardless of religious denomination, and no tickets are required. Similarly, it is hoped that the public will join in the procession, and attend Benediction at English Martyrs' Church.