|Altar in the crypt of Chartres Cathedral|
The spirituality of the Chartres Pilgrimage is centred on the Rites of the Church which are now called the Extra-ordinary Form of the sacraments. Practically this means that the Holy Mass is celebrated according to the Rite of 1962. It is in Latin and all of the ways of assisting at Mass (being at Mass) are in accord with the ancient practices. Holy Communion, if received, is on the tongue, kneeling. Absolution during confession is also given in Latin.
It is important for the Pilgrimage that it reaches into the history of the Church to feed the spiritual needs of the present day. It is a wonderful thing to see that the young, and the average age of the Pilgrims is the mid 20s, desire the faith that has fed generations of Catholics. It is a time to ignite the faith, and to rediscover the faith of our youth. A Pilgrimage forces us to return to what is truly important in our lives – love of God and service of neighbour. A timeless message eternally old and forever new.
The Ancient liturgy, the liturgy of the Courts of Heaven, gives an anchor to the young in their lives – lives which are buffered by the demands and temptations of modern life. Today so much is transitory and disposable. The world says that what was once wrong is now right, and what once led to Hell is now the path to personal liberation. We need the things which are above to put the things below into perspective.
The devotion to Confession, Holy Mass and the Rosary puts to shame those who have ‘moved beyond’ such devotions. The spirituality of the Chartres Pilgrimage is quite simple. It is the love of God and the honour of His Holy Mother.