As Sydney sleeps, some keep vigil with Mary

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Young Belfield parishioners form a candlelit rosary procession as part of an advent tradition. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

See our photo gallery of a special votive Mass and candelit rosary procession held in honour of Our Lady at St Michael’s Parish in Belfield this month.

More than 100 young adults gathered in the inner western Sydney suburb for the event held in honour of Our Lady on 16 December. Beginning at midnight, the traditional sung Latin Rorate Mass was followed by the procession with rain unable to deter the worshippers.

Parishioner Bethany Marsh said the Mass was “the most beautiful reminder of Christ and the closeness between Him and us, between Him in Mary’s womb, and Him with us in the Eucharist”.

“Going to Mass in the dead of night, lit only by beeswax candles, makes the words of the prophet Isaiah, ‘let the earth be opened and bud forth a Saviour!’ so real,” she said.

In the advent tradition a Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary for Advent is offered just before dawn. “Our Lord came in the stillness and silence of darkness, and we anticipate His coming in the same way,” said Ms Marsh. “It is in stillness and silence that God speaks.”