Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Not everyone thought it was a bad idea to cut back the notices and it is not exactly splitting the congregation down the middle, but I just thought it brought to the surface some very interesting conceptions of what the church was for.
To me the church is where I come to worship God and participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and also the place where we are privileged to have the Blessed Sacrament reserved in a sanctuary of peace and calm, where one can go to pray quietly.
But it seems to me that we have replaced those things that were thought of as traditionally Catholic, processions, devotions, exposition, stations of the cross, confraternities, etc with an endless succession of good causes, social justice issues and environmental campaigns. Having jettisoned those things which made us feel good about the state of our souls it seems we still need ways of appeasing our consciences.
Just me rambling really
Monday, 27 October 2008
I don't really know what all the fuss is about Dawkins. I have read two of his books. They are exceedingly dull, operating at a very low level of intellectual argument. The man IS a fraud.
The Mass was exceedingly beautiful and was probably the first Solemn High Mass to be offered in Blackfriars since the liturgical changes. It was also exceptionally well attended. I arrived at 10.20am for an 11.00 start. The church was already half full. By 10.45 am they were putting out the plastic chairs and even then at least 30 had to stand. It was very notable that there were many young people and a wide spread of social and ethnic backgrounds. The Mass setting was Victoria's Missa trahe me post te and we had Tallis' Salvador Mundi, sacerdotes Domini by Palestrina and a polyphonic Salve Regina also by Victoria. This and the proper was sung by a choir called Cantores Missae, which was apparently drawn from several professional choirs. In terms of the rubrics not everything was perfect. That pesky gospel procession went wrong, ( as it did at the Cardinal's Mass at Westminster), on a number of occasions both deacon and subdeacon did things at the wrong time, and the servers left the sanctuary during the singing of the Salve. I'm not sure anyone really minded; it was such a special and moving occasion. We all knew why we were there.
The Mass was followed by a procession to the site of the martyrdom where a plaque was blessed by Bishop Kenney, who had earlier given a quite hard hitting homily at Mass which it would be unfair of my to try and paraphrase. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was given back at Blackfriars.
I did not stay for the procession or benediction. Parking in Oxford is HORRIBLE! Having got a parking ticket for being three, (3!), minutes late on a recent occasion, I wanted to take no chances. On arrival in Oxford I went to the underground car park beneath the bus station, five minutes walk from Blackfriars. It charged more than £3 an hour, the machines accepted only coins and you could not pay with a card. Back to St. Giles' where it is 2Hrs no return, I thought I remembered it was three. The streets of Oxford are patrolled by literally swarms of traffic demons issuing tickets at the slightest opportunity. After Mass having tried to move the car, not finding a space, and ending up a a maze of one way streets I gave up and went home.
Saturday, 18 October 2008
That's the FSSP anniversary celebrations in Rome BTW.
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Sunday, 5 October 2008
Saturday, 4 October 2008
Architecturally Tetbury church is very interesting in being an example of the very early Gothic revival, creating a large open space with very high open arcades. The Victorians could not cope with it and inserted a chancel screen and reredos which were ripped out some time towards the end of the 20th century. The chancel is now rather bare with a free standing table altar and some chairs in a line along the flat east end. I might be wrong but I have a feeling they may have copied this from the Catholics, ( just a thought).
Thursday, 2 October 2008
There will be no Mass on October 30th, but will resume on November 6th.