Friday, June 30, 2006

Oxford Pilgrimage 2005

On Saturday 25th June we had the first ever Latin Mass Society Pilgrimage to Oxford, to honour the four beati martyred in Oxford in 1589: the priests George Nichols and Richard Yaxley, and two laymen who had been protecting them in Oxford, Thomas Belson and Humphry Pritchard. A splendid Sung Mass in the Oratory was attended by more than forty people, at which the Oratory Choir sang a Mass setting by John Sheppard, the choir-master of Magdalen College under Queen Mary Tudor. The celebrant, Fr Andrew Southwell, then led a procession along the route taken by the martyrs, from prison to exec

ution, singing the Litany of the Saints. At the site itself we had a large gallows, with four nooses hanging from the cross-bar. With Fr Southwell and acolytes in cassocks and cottas, a processional cross and a silk banner, the procession of twenty five people was an impressive public witness to the Faith. The pilgrimage ended with Benediction in the Oratory, with prayers for the conversion of England. Thanks are due to the celebrant, to the Fathers of the Oratory, and to the Oratory Choir, for making this day a success; I hope that this will now become an annual event.

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