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History of the Glastonbury Pilgrimage

Though some were troubled when Concelebration was introduced in 1981, it has proved acceptable. Likewise there were many debates over the form of the Mass until Series B and Rite A became our standard in 1982. The music of Dom Gregory replaced Merbecke in that year.

In 1974, the Council voted against women playing any part in the Mass, neither reading nor serving. Sentiments changed for in 1980 St John, Glastonbury provided servers, many of whom were ladies. In 1983 a young lady read the OS. lesson at Noon. At the same service licensed lay assistants, robed, of both sexes administered the chalice. Now many women deacons organise and bring parish parties to the Pilgrimage.

Ecumenically, the Pilgrimage has steadily broadened, Archimandrite Denis Kiwitz of the Orthodox Church joined the Pilgrimage in 1961 and since, in most years, the Orthodox have held services in the Undercroft, morning, afternoon or both.

Until the '80s there was little contact between the organisers of the Roman and Anglican pilgrimages until the Convent and adjoining field was sold and the Romans chose to hold their service in the Abbey. Traditionally this was on a Sunday, so it made sense for both pilgrimages to be held on the same weekend, sharing facilities. This has happened since 1985 when all Glastonbury clergy have processed together in the afternoon at each others pilgrimages in a show of Christian unity.

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