Thursday, December 15, 2011

Annual Mass in Mapledurham

IMG_8372 Due to problems with my PC over the course of the last few weeks I have a backlog of photographs to post. The annual Mass in Mapledurham took place on 26th November.

It is always a joy to hear Mass in the private chapel of this house, which sheltered priests and was the base of a local Catholic mission for centuries after the Reformation. Mass was said for many years in a hidden chapel in the attic. The present chapel was built after the Catholic Relief Act, at the end of the 18th Century.

Fr Anthony Conlon sang the Mass, and the Schola Abelis sang. These photographs show me serving - an unusual occurance, since I am usually singing! Mass was said with 'Low Mass ceremonies', which is to say with just one server, and no incense.
The chapel is 'Strawbery Hill Gothic', the very early, and not very authentic, Gothic revival, which is still very close to the Classical style of many Catholic churches built after the Catholic Relief Act. It thus avoids the 'Non-Conformist Chapel' look of some Catholic churches of the period (which can, of course, also be very attractive in its own way), with a conscious reference to the Catholic Medieval past.
We have a Mass in this chapel each year, thanks to the hospitality of Mr John and Lady Anne Eyston, the heirs of the Blount family who lived in the house throughout 'Penal Times'.

More photos here.

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