We travelled to Lyon for Easter Sunday mass. The bus trip was certainly eventful and provided occasion for us to recite “The Memorare” whilst the bus was in the midst of a three point turn beside the river. Fortunately we survived the turn with John McMahon and Michael Herry intervening to give the driver expert dircections. Our first stop after meandering to the Fourviere in a rather walkabout manner was the Chapel of the Black Virgin where Marcellin and his fellow Marists met for mass in 1816 and then subsequently to make a commitment to founding the Institute. The first thing that struck me about the chapel was its light and warmth. The statue of the Black Virgin is a remarkable centrepiece which is highlighted on all sides and above with intense gold filagree, other gold statues and softly hued blue. The atmosphere here was one of welcome – a sanctuary.
We then moved through to mass in the bascilica. The interior was decorated busily with the adoration of the artists in its mosaics, paintings, architecture, statues. The beauty of this experience difficult to put into mere words. The respectful and expectant congregation of which there were so many really did celebrate mass. The joyfulness of Easter Sunday captured by the celebrants and stamped with the uplifting and heartfelt singing of the magnificent choir – a truly memorable mass. From here we wandered through significant landmarks of Lyon. Initially down the 600 steps to the rivers Rhone and Soane, which were the gateway to tiered buildings hugging the side of the hills on which Lyon is built. The view from river level drawing all eyes up to the Notre Dame de Fourviere – awesome!!