Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Does the Cross need a raincoat?

This morning we were very warmly welcomed at Clermont. The entire Primary school and parish community had gathered under cover at the primary school, because it was raining intermittently. The Cross was laid on some gold material on the ground as the roof was too low for it to be erected. We prayed the ninth station of the Cross that is progressively being prayed throughout the Diocese and it was then dramatised by a small group of students.

Years 4, 5 and 6 students then set off with the Cross and their teachers on a pilgrimage to all the different Churches in Clermont. The rain was steadily falling but no one seemed to mind at all. The students were quite an amusing sight with some wearing oversized raincoats, others wearing makeshift garbage bag raincoats and one little boy wearing a tiny silver batman raincoat. As we traipsed through Clermont we stopped at the Uniting Church, the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church and the Assemblies of God Church. At each stop prayers for unity were prayed and “Were You There?” was sung. The students were superbly behaved and very proud of their town as they took turns in carrying the Cross through it.

We then traveled onto the small township of Capella. We were met by a group of parishioners who had gathered under the Capella Covered Arena, as the rain was coming down in steady sheets. The planned pilgrimage walk from the showground to the Church was cancelled because of the heavy rain. As the group silently venerated the Cross it was apparent how special their moment with the Cross was to them.

The rain fell consistently as we headed for Emerald. When we arrived we were disappointed to learn that the procession of the Cross through the streets of Emerald had been cancelled because of the rain. Instead, a mini procession was embarked upon from the school to the Church and the remainder of the planned events were held in the Church. The people of Emerald and surrounding regions demonstrated fantastic commitment to their community, given that what unfolded tonight was ‘Plan B’ due to the weather. Seven groups presented dramatic interpretations of the 10th Station of the Cross. The presentations focused on different themes and provoked reflection. A highlight for me was the 1st interpretation which was presented by members of the local Aboriginal Community. Unity, cooperation and drawing strength from the Cross of Christ were presented in a simple, yet very effective format. I reflected during the evening that the Cross means something different to each person who encounters it and the one it symbolises.

PS The Icon of Mary should be back on the road this Sunday - all things going to plan.
Jess :)

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