Monday, February 24, 2020

Traditional Mass in Campion Hall

On Thursday 20th the first public Traditional Mass was sung in the chapel of Campion Hall, Oxford.

Campion Hall is the Jesuit house of studies, a Permanent Private Hall, in the University of Oxford. The building, including the fine chapel, was designed by Lutyens.

Mass was celebrated by Fr Joseph Hamilon, an American priest doing studies in Oxford and a regular celebrant of the Traditional Mass at the Oxford Oratory.

Fr Joseph Simmons SJ preached.

The Mass was organised by the Newman Society - Oxford's student Catholic society.

The Mass was accompanied with chant and polyphony by a group led by Dominic Bevan. It was a Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit.

New CTS booklet on the Traditional Mass

A new booklet from the Catholic Truth Society is coming out on the Traditional Mass. It is available for pre-order now and will launch on 3rd April. It is the standard pocket-sized CTS production, and priced at £3.50.

It is by me. Here is a little excerpt:

... attending the Extraordinary Form can be understood as the privilege of seeing, from a distance, something of great solemnity and holiness. The things which contribute to the distance between the priest and his doings, and the congregation, are essential to creating the corresponding sense of the sacred. The fact that we can’t see things clearly because the priest has his back to us; the use of Latin; silent prayers; the exclusion of the laity from the sanctuary, except for vested servers: all these things serve to remind us that we are looking in at something very special, from the outside.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Requiem for Colin Mawby: photos

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Last Saturday Mgr Gordon Read, National Chaplain of the Latin Mass Society, celebrated a High Mass of Requiem for the late composer Colin Mawby, who had been a Patron of the Society.

It took place in St Mary Moorfields in the City of London.

It was accompanied by Cantus Magnus under Matthew Schellhorn, with Officium Defunctorum by Victoria, and two motets by Colin Mawby: Jesu dulcis memoria and Hodie nobis de c┼ôlo. 

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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Sunday Masses in Holy Trinity, Hethe

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We have had some lovely Sung Traditional Masses in this historic church--the oldest Catholic parish church in Oxford, founded in 1839. And these will continue in 2020!

Quarterly Masses, Sung, at 11am, on the following:

22nd March, Laetare Sunday
31st May, Whitsun
1st Sunday of October: Our Lady of the Rosary, 4th Oct
Gaudete Sunday, 13th Dec

Holy Trinity Church
Hardwick Road
Hethe, Oxfordshire England
OX27 8AW

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Friday, February 21, 2020

Spring 2020 Mass of Ages available

In this issue: • We feature the Pontifical High Mass at Birmingham Oratory in thanksgiving for the Canonisation of St John Henry Newman • Joseph Shaw finds no evidence to support the idea that traditionally minded Catholics are 'rigid' • Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP reports on the success of the Priory Campaign • Charles A. Coulombe shows how the British Empire helped spread the Faith • Henry Walker is inspired by the number of young people attending the Traditional Mass • Barbara Kay reports on a visit to a new hybrid education venture in Bedfordshire • Jeremy Boot introduces a Muslim colleague to the beauties of the Traditional Mass.

Copies are mailed to members and available in many churches around the country for free: or get one here.

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Saturday, February 15, 2020

The liturgical reform and 'the missions'

A key part of the argument for the liturgical reform was that it was needed for 'the missions'. What was never explained was why a reform which responded to objections from Enlightenment thinkers to the liturgical tradition was appropriate for cultures to which such objections were completely alien, and indeed incomprehensible. The Emperor Joseph II, Voltaire, and the like complained about excessive ritual, supposedly superstitious veneration of holy places, images, and objects, the obscurantist use of sacred languages, silence, and so on and so forth. What on earth have these concerns to do with traditional societies? Unless, perhaps, one imagines that they are Rousseauist 'noble savages', like the lovers of 'noble simplicity' imaginatively projected in the Early Church by liturgists.

Daniel Dolley put paid to such fantasies about the native peoples of South America in his excellent article in the Catholic Herald which I commented on here, and this weekend Dr Pia Joliffe has had a letter published in the same place about the traditional culture she studied in Thailand, the Karen.


SIR – It was with great joy and interest that I read Daniel Dolley’s article on “how to evangelise the Amazon” (Cover story, January 24).

Dr Dolley’s point that the Amazon communities are more traditional in their approach to gender roles, religion and ritual action than those who advocate on their behalf is also valid for the Karen communities in northern Thailand, where I did my own ethnographic fieldwork for my DPhil in International Development.

Friday, February 14, 2020

The usefulness of Latin

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Mass during the LMS Priest-training Conference in Prior Park.

Letter published this weekend in The Catholic Herald.

Sir,

On Richard Ingrams’ reminiscences of his classical education (‘The Perils of Latin’, Charterhouse, 7th Feb), it is indeed astonishing how much time many of our predecessors spent on Latin and Greek. It didn’t seem to do them much harm: this was, after all, the generation which invented the computer, space travel, and the nuclear bomb.

Cobbett’s rejection of learning ‘what can never be of any real use to any human being’ (quoted by Ingrams) is corrosive of a humane education. Even in the sciences, the vast majority of what children learn, once they get beyond the kindergarten level, is not going to be of direct use to them in adult life.