Faithful parade to ‘sacred’ Altar Glen for Corpus Christi
HUNDREDS of parishioners in Killeeshil marked the Eucharistic Congress on Sunday with a sun-lit evening procession and benediction in a glen used hundreds of years ago to say Mass.
The colourful stream of worshippers, which included local children who had made their First Holy Communion and their parents, set off from St. Joseph’s Ackinduff at 7.30pm.
Amid prayers and hymns, the body of the procession passed by deep hedgerows along the half mile route to the Altar Glen, in which Mass was celebrated up until the early 1800s.
An ancient cross, used in Penal times, formed the head of the procession and was carried by Seamus Hughes and Kevin Hughes, followed by the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, borne in a silver monstrance under a special canopy, and carried by Parish Priest Father Pat Hannigan.
The route was adorned with flowers, candles and pictures of the Sacred Heart.
The solemn ceremony, which concluded with prayers in the altar glen, marked the culmination of a year of eucharistic adoration in the parish.
Also taking part in the benediction was P.E. Fr James Crowley.
Killeeshil Parish pastoral council had worked hard to organise the event, which was an re-enactment of a traditional Corpus Christi celebration that once took place every year in the parish.
The tradition has strong spiritual and historical roots in Killeeshil parish with many of those taking part reminiscing on processions that took place over the past fifty years.
Father Hannigan thanked the pastoral council, the people who decorated the glen, the stewards and canopy barriers, and those who provided parking.
“It was a wonderful spiritual and historical occasion, and our way of marking the beginning of the Eucharistic Congress”, he said.
“The altar glen is a very sacred spot, and it was a terrific turnout from the parish including the First Holy Communion children, and a very dignified and lovely occasion.
“The theme of the congress is one of communion, and the procession demonstrated our way of being in communion with Christ and one another.
“It was an opportunity to focus on the importance of the Eucharist in the community especially during these times.”
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Weather for Dungannon
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North