Yesterday, being the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, I made it a point, as I do year after year, to allow time to follow the procession in our area.
Our town is practically new, only some 22 years old, initially being home to a handful of families, but which now houses some 1000 families in all kinds of dwellings, not least of which are housing estates.
Over the years, I have seen the Our Lady of Sorrows procession develop from a small group of people walking behind a statue not more than 2 feet high to yesterday's procession which numbered, possibly, hundreds. We also have a new statue now...which was inaugurated yesterday.
People who attend the Our Lady of Sorrows procession do so for various reasons...the main one being to give homage to the Mother of all humanity, who personifies all the sufferings that a mother can ever endure. This thought is beautifully captured if you follow my friend's blog at http://www.doreenscreativespace.blogspot.com/.
While some do so in deep reflection, others of course, trudge along, literally indifferent to the prayers being recited and hymns being sung. I will not judge anyone's intention behind each one's participation at the procession, but I strongly belief that the lack of sufficient audio reaching to the back of the crowd walking slowly behind the statue, is a main factor in the distractions suffered by some of the attendees.
Ideally, speakers would be lined along the way of the procession, but in practice, this is not feasable. I have seen various parish priests battle with this problem. We have had cars with roof-top speakers driving slowly behing the statue, sometimes in the middle of the procession and at other times, at the end of it. Trolleys with large speakers being pushed along the roads, we have had as well. Nothing seems to work out.
In this day of instant communication, I would think that something would exist that would send a cordless signal from a speaker in front to another one at the back! Or maybe the microphone could do the trick. I really don't know, but I'm sure that something like this could very well solve the problem for those who are at the back of the procession. Not everyone can be up front, so a solution would help no end those people who want the Our Lady of Sorrows procession to be a prayerful experience.