In praise of piety

Anthony Towey

In my youth, early summertime was marked by waves of holy loveliness. May was a time for First Communion which in our parish involved dressing up in pristine clothes and a communal breakfast in the school which I still recall culminated in a classic jelly and ice-cream dessert. I don’t often agree with Napoleon who deemed First Communion ‘the happiest day of his life’, but it is certainly a ‘top five’ moment for me. There was also the May procession replete with its nerve shredding climax as a seven year old girl in a long dress stood atop an ersatz step ladder to crown the statue of Our Lady as Bring flowers of the rarest resounded from the congregation. Later on, although some places had ‘Whit walks’, we had a pilgrimage to the local abbey on Trinity Sunday then got all dressed up again for a eucharistic procession around the village later that day. Over the top? Maybe. Unforgettable? Definitely.

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