What is Pilgrimage?
Pilgrimage is an essential part of the spiritual life in all world religions. It is a journey in search of the Divine, sometimes to a holy place where something significant in the life of the religion has happened. The main pilgrimage site for Muslims is Mecca, a holy site where pilgrims have gone since the time of Abraham. The Western Wall or "Wailing" Wall, in the Old City of Jerusalem is the most sacred and visited site for Jews. And for Christians, the Holy Land has been an important destination for pilgrimage since the 4th century.
Often, however, a pilgrimage is to an unknown place, and the journey itself is as important as the endpoint. Pilgrimage can often lead to personal transformation, as the journey and the self – discovery lead to a revelation from the Divine and a change in the pilgrim’s life and living of it.
The purpose of Christian pilgrimage was summarized by Pope Benedict XVI in this way:
To go on pilgrimage is not simply to visit a place to admire its treasures of nature, art or history. To go on pilgrimage really means to step out of ourselves in order to encounter God where he has revealed himself, where his grace has shone with particular splendor and produced rich fruits of conversion and holiness among those who believe.
And so we invite you to make a pilgrimage to your place of worship after this long time of being away in the far off land of quarantine. Come home to the Cathedral and sit and pray, listen and remember, and encounter God in the sanctuary again for the first time.