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Thursday, December 02, 2021
Wednesday, December 01, 2021
|Mass last Saturday: annual Requiem in St Benet's Hall, Oxford.|
Mantel, like the author Philip Pullman, seems to have “issues”, as the modern jargon has it, with Catholic faith and culture. She has no intrinsic significance — there have always been strange people around — what is important is the use which has been made of her: she has been awarded all kinds of prizes and her repulsive novels have been adapted for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Pullman, another winner of multiple awards, has had one book made into a film and another into a play. Both writers have received the accolade of special editions of their works done for the bibliophiles of the Folio Society.
The publicity machines have nevertheless found it difficult to explain these peculiar individuals. Mantel was initially praised for the historical accuracy and realism of her work but, as real historians began to notice her material, she hastily rebranded it as a very fictional kind of historical fiction. After pocketing prizes for children’s books, Pullman decided, as his graphic descriptions of child torture began to get a bit out of hand, that this was just a misunderstanding; no, he was writing for adults.
Such U-turns would have sunk lesser folk, but the secularist establishment needs Mantel and Pullman. They possess some literary skill and their work can be used to counter-balance and even to exclude the Christian narratives given to us by writers of a previous generation: notably, Robert Bolt’s play and film, A Man for All Seasons, about St Thomas More, and the children’s books of C.S. Lewis. Literature and historical memory is being remade in the snarling image of secular modernity.
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
As well as presenting the distinguished conductor and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy with the De Saventhem Medal, the Federation had a Mass celebrated for the good estate of his family through the Latin Mass Society, on the feast of St Cecelia, the Patron Saint of music. (More about this here.)
It was a Missa Canata, celebrated by Fr Gabriel Diaz Patri, and accompanied by polyphony sung by the Southwell Consort led by Dominic Bevan.
Saturday, November 27, 2021
|Mass for Vladimir Ashkenazy and family at Maiden Lane last week.|
either one supports Vatican II and the reformed liturgy to the exclusion of the preconciliar liturgy, or one shows greater or lesser openness to the preconciliar liturgy, which seems to be equated with opposition to Vatican II.
He does not pause to explain what "opposition to Vatican II" might mean, but admits that not everyone falls into these two strictly opposed camps:
people who don’t fit neatly in either camp... [who] don’t see the preconciliar liturgy as particularly bad or harmful and don’t mind attending it at times.
Fr Ruff would like such people to realise
that the preconciliar liturgy is incompatible with the large advances made by the Second Vatican Council in ecclesiology and liturgical theology and inculturation and all the rest.
He gives the impression that he would like to see the Church become two armed camps snarling at each other from their trenches, with barbed wire, if not clouds of poison gas, marking out no-man’s land. But as for what these Vatican II "advances" might be, Fr Ruff does not say.
Sunday, November 21, 2021
Last weekend was the Autumn Retreat of the Guild of St Clare. These are 'sewing retreats': with daily Mass and other devotions, and spiritual conferences from the retreat-giver each day, the participants mend vestments. This retreat took place in Douai Abbey.
Saturday, November 20, 2021
Friday, November 19, 2021
|View from the choir loft at St Mary Moorfields, for the LMS' Easter Triduum 2018|
I'm late with this, but I think it is worthy of a wider audience: part of a Letter in the Tablet from the 23rd October issue. All credit to them for publishing it.
Mr Wells' transformative liturgical experience sounds to me like one of the Masses organised in St Patrick's Soho Square and then in St Mary Moorfield's by Juventutem London before the lockdown, which were sponsored by the Latin Mass Society. (These continue, at the moment, in St Mary Magdalen, Wandsworth, in a slightly different format: 7pm on Fridays.) The organisers, including the then musical director Matthew Schellhorn of Cantus Magnus, should be reminded that their efforts were not without fruit.
On graduation I returned to my home parish where, for me, the post-conciliar vernacular Mass that had worked so well in the university chaplaincy seemed arid in a parish setting; perhaps the church building was too big for the new informality. Anyway, one evening I went to a Tridentine High Mass in central London, and what a difference: Gregorian chant drifting down from the gallery, the sacred ministers involved in the ritual of the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, the gentle formalised approach of the whole service.
And that is what I crave when I go to Mass. I have no wish to split the Church or to denounce the present Pope. But I would like to worship God in the way that best leads me to him. Is that too much to ask?