Monday, October 05, 2009

Annual Portsmouth Mass

I have now returned from some time on holiday in Scotland and then a trip to Yorkshire. Term is about to begin in Oxford but we found the time to attend the LMS Annual Mass in Portsmouth Cathedral.

This is the tenth anniversary of these Masses (the first took place in 1999); they always take place in early October. In 2004 it was a Pontifical Mass celebrated by Bishop Rifan; this year, as usually, it was a Solemn Mass. The celebrant was Fr Andrew Southwell, and the subdeacon Fr Armand de Malleray.
2009 10 04_4374_edited-1
The deacon, Rev Mr Simon Harkins, a Fraternity seminarian who hails from Edinburgh, preached a most interesting sermon on the priesthood, pointing out the link between the day's propers and the Ember Saturday which would originally have preceded it. This link throws into perspective the story of Our Lord curing the man with the palsy by forgiving his sins: this is the Gospel of the day because it is a priestly action.

The Cathedral was restored not long ago and is a magnificent building; it is wonderful to see a Solemn liturgy here. The Mass was well attended and was accompanied by Haydn’s 'Missa Brevis St Johannes de Deo' to mark the 200th anniversary of the composer's death; this was sung by the Cantores Michaelis directed by Keith Davis.
2009 10 04_4389_edited-1
Congratulations to the local LMS Rep, David Joyce, for organising this Mass as he has for many years, and thanks to Richard Luzar for the loan of these vestments, which are brand new.

For more photographs see my Flickr page.


  1. Thanks for your report Joe, and for taking the pictures. I left my camera at home!

    The vestments were indeed magnificent, and the polyphony quite beautiful.

    To clarify, this was the 11th such Mass (the 10th anniversary, the first in 1999); the deacon was Rev. Mr. Harkins with Fr. de Malleray as sub-deacon (so that Rev. Harkins could preach); finally, Bishop Rifan celebrated a Pontifical Mass in Portsmouth in 2004.

  2. Thank you, David, corrections made!