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Saturday, December 01, 2012
Sung Requiem in St Benet's Hall, Oxford
It gave me great joy to be able to arrange a Traditional Requiem in my own academic home, St Benet's Hall. St Benet's is a 'hall' (for most purposes a small college) of Oxford University. It was founded in 1897 to allow Benedictine monks the chance to study for Oxford degrees while living in a monastic community; it now admits lay men also. It belongs to Ampleforth Abbey.
The building had been an Ursuline convent before it became the Hall, but the chapel is unrecognisable...
I was encouraged to organise this Mass by a group of old and current members of the Hall, who include a good number of priests who say the Traditional Mass, and I hope this will happen again. One thing we discovered in the course of the Mass was that there is a smoke detector in the sacristy. So the fire alarm went off, which was interesting.
Mass was said by Fr Edward van der Bergh, who is an old member, and indeed a former President of the JCR. It was accompanied by the Schola Abelis, who, thanks in part to the wonderful acoustic, sounded superb.