Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tyburn Convent

With a moment of leisure in London today, I visited the Tyburn Convent. The convent is near the site of the Tyburn Tree, the public gallows where more than 100 Catholic martyrs were executed.

I arrived in the public part of their chapel (grilled off from the nuns' part) while they were singing the Office (in English). At it's conclusion the nuns processed out, but one came to kneel on a prie-dieu in front of the Blessed Sacrament: they maintain perpetual exposition. A most moving witness to the Presence of Our Lord.

Alas the altar and it's surroundings have clearly been 're-ordered' at a moment of particularly dismal taste. The altar is so arranged with the steps as to make Mass ad orientem as difficult as possible.

It is hard to imagine this situation surviving another twenty years!
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