Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Requiem in London: on silent and hidden liturgy

Yesterday I attended a High Mass of Requiem in London, in the lovely Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Warwick Street. I was able to take photos from the gallery, which is enormous: not just a choir loft but a large seating area, curving round both side walls of the church so that the wings are close to the sanctuary of the church: a brilliant place from which to see what is happening.

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It struck me how much of the Traditional Mass is not, in fact, intended to be seen at all. Even from this advantageous viewpoint, I only saw glipses of the priest's hand gestures (each of which has a distinct meaning), the blessing of the incense, the pouring of wine and water in the chalice, the lavabo, and so on. It was a High Mass, and in certain points the deacon and subdeacon formed a more complete screen than the servers usually would.

Friday, July 21, 2017

My reply to Cardinal Sarah on 'liturigical reconciliation'

It seems that the most trad-friendly Prelates of the Church actually want the Traditional Mass to disappear. Thus, Cardinal Burke said in 2011:

It seems to me that is what he [Pope Benedict] has in mind is that this mutual enrichment would seem to naturally produce a new form of the Roman rite – the 'reform of the reform,' if we may – all of which I would welcome and look forward to its advent.

Cardinal Sarah has now said the same thing.

It is a priority that, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can examine through prayer and study, how to return to a common reformed rite always with this goal of a reconciliation inside the Church,

Cardinal Sarah's concrete suggestions point to an intermediate state, in which the two 'Forms' have converged somewhat. I have addressed these suggestions in a post on the Catholic Herald blog here. Notably, the Novus Ordo Lectionary cannot be simply be inserted into the Vetus Ordo Missal, because it reflects a liturgical vision which is completely different from that of the ancient Mass: which is why all the other changes were made at the same time. A compromise between these two two understandings of what the liturgy is for and how it should work will not produce a perfect synthesis, but a muddle.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Photos of the LMS Fatima celebration

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The Latin Mass Society organised a Mass and devotional day to mark the centenary of the apparaitions at Fatima, with the World Apostolate of Fatima's statue of Our Lady of Fatima, and their relics of the seers. Photos by John Aron (more here). It took place at St Dominic's, Haverstock Hill, and the Mass was in the Dominican Rite.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Victoria's Requiem in Warwick Street on Saturday

All welcome.
High Mass of Requiem at 11am
Our Lady of the Assumption, Warwick Street, London, W1B 5LZ

Accompanied by Victoria's Requiem, sung by Cantus Magnus under Matthew Schellhorn



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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Guest post on The Tablet blog: and factionalism


The day that Damian Thompson decries 'factionalism' is the day irony dies. Nevertheless, he has a point: the temperature of internal debate had gone up in recent years to levels not seen since the 1970s, the immediate post-conciliar period of ecclesial introspection and the ferocious persecution of those thought to be innsufficiently in tune with the 'spirit of Vatican II'.

The reception of Amoris laetitia has similarly stirred up a hornet's nest. I feel in fact that the frayed tempers on social media reflect something really worrying. A lot of Catholic commentators, from across the spectrum of opinon, feel as though they are in a pressure-cooker. Careers and livlihoods are on the line, along with fundamental issues of the Faith.

Here is something I wrote about factionalism back in the innocent days of November 2012. I've reposted the linked piece which had been on The Tablet blog on my philosophy blog, since it is no longer available on The Tablet website.

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Today The Tablet has published a guest post mine on their own blog: see it here. It is a response to George Weigel's article in last weekend's Tablet, which itself was a response to John Haldane's article calling for married clergy.

See if you can spot the pattern here. In introducing his remarks, Haldane takes a moment to describe the two dominant traditions in the Church, conventionally called the 'conservative' and 'progressive' (or 'liberal') approaches, as, respectively, 'nostalgic and slavish' or 'faithless and craven'. Having thus established his bona fides as a non-partisan, independent thinker, he proposed the most predictable and re-heated item on the liberal menu, the ordination of married men, as the solution to the Church's difficulties.

Fighting for a theocracy? Fr Spadaro speaks

Vatican II called for a practical ecumenism. In Unitatis redintegratio 12, the Council Fathers proclaimed:

In these days when cooperation in social matters is so widespread, all men without exception are called to work together, with much greater reason all those who believe in God, but most of all, all Christians in that they bear the name of Christ. Cooperation among Christians vividly expresses the relationship which in fact already unites them, and it sets in clearer relief the features of Christ the Servant. This cooperation, which has already begun in many countries, should be developed more and more, particularly in regions where a social and technical evolution is taking place be it in a just evaluation of the dignity of the human person, the establishment of the blessings of peace, the application of Gospel principles to social life...

The official channels of ecumenism, such as the 'ARCIC' talks between Catholic and Anglican theologians, have been spectacular failures in practical, just as in theoretical terms, but this passage is not aimed primarily at such efforts, but at ordinary believers at the coalface, as it were, of social and political activism. Such collaborative efforts must, indeed, be seen in the context of the mission of the laity as expressed in another Vatican II document Apostolicam actuositatem, which also talks about cooperation with 'men of good will' (8, 10, 11), and proposes as a proper role of the laity the attempt (19):

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Young Catholic Adults annual RetreatL 20-22 Oct



Young Catholic Adults Weekend 20-22 October 2017

During the weekend of the 20-22 October 2017, Young Catholic Adults will be running a retreat at Douai Abbey, it will feature Fr. Lawrence Lew O.P., and Canon Poucin ICKSP.

The weekend will be full-board. YCA will be running the weekend with the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge of Cambridge who will be holding Gregorian Chant workshops.

There will also be a Marian Procession, Rosaries, Sung Masses, Confession and socials. All Masses will be celebrated in the Extraordinary form.

Please note to guarantee your place this year Douai Abbey have requested that everyone books in 3 weeks before the start of the weekend i.e.29th Sept 2017.


Prices start from £18.50 per person per night.
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