4 March 2011

no photos allowed

except outside, of course!Part of the Cassino group at the abbey in traditional costumes from Ciociaria, Italy.
The young bearers with the peace torch after the ceremony.
I would have loved to photograph the fabulous interior of the abbey, but obediently kept my camera in my bag.


Westminster Abbey was quite splendid, although smaller than I expected. The fabulous gothic spires seem fairy-tale like and taller because the church is quite narrow, and I could have gazed at the architecture for hours. But there were other things to see and hear as well... the choir boys so earnest, just as I imagined they would be, the pageantry of the Italian procession, the power of the organ music... the whole experience was great.

Thankyou to the Italians who invited me to go to London for the Lighting of the Benedictine Peace Torch, and to the Monte Cassino Foundation for Remembrance and Reconciliation for giving me a role at the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Fact for the day: Westminster Abbey was built by the Benedictines. I'd never have guessed that!

Oddity: Arriving early for rehearsal meant that we had the abbey to ourselves, not a tourist in sight. It also meant time for a coffee... in a partially covered cloister, where a modern coffee bar looked so temporary and incongruous against the ancient stones. Reading that "Near this place lies the body of..." as I sipped my excellent latte was disconcerting to say the least.

Photos are banned in the Abbey, but someone sent me this, with apologies for the quality of the image.

(poppies surround the tomb of the unknown soldier from WWI, his body being buried there, in the main entrance to the Abbey, in 1920).

Today I am grateful for a very interesting life.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Such beautiful photos!