Sunday, February 07, 2016

Blessing of Throats in Oxford

Blessing of the Faithful at the end of Mass, on the feast of St Blaise.

The Catholic life is a round of blessings. Having taken home candles blessed in the Candlemas service - for use in emergencies, such as storms, childbirth, or the Three Days of Darkness, as well as for the visit of a priest with the Blessed Sacrament - the very next day a pair of candles is blessed in honour of St Blaise, and these candles are used to bless the throats of the Faithful.

Blessing of the candles to be used in the ceremony.
Using a blessed or otherwise holy object to confer a blessing is, of course, a logical thing to do. It gives the proceedings a special solemnity, and in this case keeps alive the memory of St Blaise, a bishop and martyr who cured a little boy with a fish-bone stuck in his throat.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Prayer or bedlam before and after Mass? Which would God prefer?

Cardinal Burke leads the Prayers After Low Mass following his Prelatial Low Mass in
SS Gregory & Augustine's, Oxford.
I love this letter from the pseudonymous 'Pastor Iuventus' in this weekend's Catholic Herald, who has a weekly column there. (A few years ago the priest in question came on one of the LMS Priest Training Conferences and wrote it up in his column.)

SIR – Chris Whitehouse (Letter, January 29) makes the same mistake as many others who, like him, seek to justify the bedlam in many Catholic churches immediately prior to and after Mass on the grounds that “God doesn’t mind”. Fortunately we do not have to rely on such intuitions about what would please God in his house, as God’s express position is an unequivocal: “My house is to be called a house of prayer.”

Candlemas in Oxford


With the church filled with incence and lit by candles, crystal-clear photos are not to be expected! But it was a beautiful Mass, accompanied, with chant, by Oxford's Schola Ablelis with eight singers.

Embroidery training 12th March in Oxford with the Guild of St Clare

Cross posted from Guild of St Clare blog.

I'm delighted to announce that we will be holding another embroidery training day with Jacqui Macdonald, the RSN tutor.

On Saturday, 12th March she will be coming to Oxford to teach us. She is happy to teach any of a wide range of embroidery techniques including crewelwork, goldwork, whitework, stumpwork and surface embroidery techniques. 

Friday, February 05, 2016

Feb 19th for the next Juventutem London Mass

The next Juventutem London Mass  will take place, as usual, in St Mary Moorfields in the City of London (the postcode is EC2M 7LS: click for a map), on the last Friday of February, 19th, at 7:30pm. It will be followed by a social gathering with food (pizza) in the basement of the church for young people. (Linke to the Facebook event page.)

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Can non-Latinists pray the Latin Mass?

Eloquent gestures and expressive ceremonies in the Traditional Requiem Mass.
Dr Robert Kinney (his doctorate is in Pharmacy, interestingly) has argued over at the Homiletic and Pastoral Review that is it impossible actually to pray in a language one does not understand, or with a celebrant who is using a language one does not understand.

[A]s Catholics, we believe that the Mass is the most powerful prayer on earth. If the Mass is said in an unfamiliar or entirely unknown language, though, can it properly be labeled as a “prayer”? Or, are the words uttered merely beautiful-sounding syllables without willed meaning?

This would have some pretty radical implications for Catholics visiting foreign countries and Masses celebrated for international congregations: in Lourdes, for example, it is common to find Masses celebrated in several languages, one lection in German, one in English, a prayer in French, another in Italian, and so on. The thought 'they'd be better off using Latin' is one which Dr Kinney presumably shares, since praying just a snatch of the Mass, or hearing just one lection meaningfully, must count as almost pointless.

It also implies that the silent prayers (the 'priestly prayers', such as the Lavabo) of the Novus Ordo are so much mumbo jumbo, even when Mass is celebrated in the congregation's mother tongue. If you can't hear the prayer, you can't understand it, right? As so often, attacks on the Traditional Mass rebound on the 1970 Missal. That Bugnini and Pope Paul VI: they got it all wrong, eh, Dr Kinney?

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Juventutem London Mass: photos

The photographs of the Juventutem Mass can be seen here; I'm posting a selection.

Fr Stephen Morrison was celebrant, Fr Ian Verrier deacon, and Fr Cyril Law subdeacon.