St Sylvester’s Parish in Elgin celebrated the Solemnity of Corpus Christi on 18 June with a Eucharistic procession.
Sunday Mass in the parish church concluded with a procession from the church through the neighbourhood and grounds of St Sylvester’s School and ended at Greyfriars Convent with Benediction in the convent chapel. It has been over thirty years since similar processions were held in Elgin when the Sisters of Mercy resided at Greyfriars and directed the school. But when parish priest, Fr Colin Stewart, found the baldacchino in the attic of the parish house last autumn and brought it to the Dominican Sisters at Greyfriars, plans for a revival of this parish tradition began to develop.
Children who had celebrated their First Communion the previous day returned in their dresses, suits and kilts, carrying baskets of flower petals to strew before the Blessed Sacrament. Some of the recently confirmed children accompanied the Blessed Sacrament as torch bearers – although wind proved stronger than flame on Sunday. Fr Isaac Yaw Nsiah, who will soon be returning to Ghana after two years in Elgin, carried the Blessed Sacrament, escorted by four men carrying the processional baldacchino overhead, while Fr Colin Stewart led the congregation in singing traditional hymns in honour of the Eucharist.
The event depended on the assistance of volunteers of all ages. Some young people expertly assisted as altar servers and others beautifully led the music for Mass and Benediction. Adult parishioners helped prepare the route and convent garden ahead of time and assisted with traffic control and safety during the procession. And a team of volunteers extended St Sylvester’s well-known hospitality to all who stayed to enjoy a cup of tea at the convent following Benediction. It was a joyful celebration in honour of our Lord, which many hope will again become a parish tradition.