Sunday, 1 December 2013

Youth All-Night Vigil for Youth Sunday and CAFOD's Philippines Appeal

Prayer Vigil for the World in St Erconwal's, Walton on Thames
In a first for the parish of St Erconwald's, Walton on Thames, 23 of their young people took part in an amazing all-night vigil on 23-24 November, culminating in Mass on the Sunday morning to celebrate National Youth Sunday. 

The event took place in church, in the hall and around the town and involved lots of activities, fundraising and bearing witness. The group built a shelter outside the church to find out more about what life is like for the homeless. They baked cakes, decorated gingerbread houses and made cards and decorations which were sold after Sunday Mass, raising over £180 for CAFOD's Philippines appeal

At midnight they walked around the town, stopping en route to pray for the local community before returning to church to spend time in the shelter. Through the night they were woken in shifts to spend an hour spending time at various ‘prayer stations’ as well as keeping watch in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Mass on the Sunday morning was, according to one parishioner, one of the most moving and powerful masses he had ever witnessed. The group enacted Christ's crucifixion during the Gospel and led the congregation in prayer and song. Their confirmation candidates were also enrolled at this mass. After selling their wares and running a raffle, and after tidying up the church and the hall, all went home to their families for a well-earned sleep!

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