Sunday, November 30, 2014

Oxford Graduates: Oxford's dead need YOU

The Altar in the St Thomas More Chapel
set up for the EF Mass.
Reposted: final reminder. I hope to finish this off this week, the final week of Term.

Any Oxford graduate, former visiting student, or current student, or current or former employee, who would like to support a petition for a Traditional Sung Requiem in the Catholic Chaplaincy for their deceased predecessors and contemporaries, please email

with 'Oxford Chaplaincy' as the subject and your name, address, and current or former college or whatever.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Requiem for Alison Davis, 3rd Dec in Corpus Christi Maiden Lane

Corpus Christi Maiden Lane, Wednesday 3rd December. Mass will be at 6:30pm and will be High Mass, with Deacon and Subdeacon. More details here.

Alison Davis was a truly remarkable woman, whose life illustrates the power of grace to turn intolerable suffering into something beautiful. You can read her Telegraph obituary here and a blog dedicated to her here.

On the first anniversary of her death, let us lend her our prayers. And with all the Holy Souls, may she pray for us too.

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Position Papers: 2nd Edition published of hard-copy book

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.Over the last three years, the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce, the world-wide federation of Una Voce groups, has been publishing executive summaries on specific aspects of the Traditional Mass: why we don’t have Altar Girls, why we don’t give Communion from the Chalice, why we worship towards the East, why we have a season of preparation for Lent, what happened to Holy Week in the 1950s, and many, many more: 23 short articles, with lots of references to recent official documents, and the latest scholarship.

They have been published individually online, but here is you chance to buy the book, with all 23 little papers. The perfect gift for your pastor, the perfect briefing for those who don’t have time to read a long tome but want a carefully researched answer to the questions people ask about the Vetus Ordo.

The series is on-going; look out for the next papers which will be published first on Rorate Caeli blog.

'let me say simply that reading and ruminating over the FIUV Papers on the Liturgy could serve as a marvellous primer for how to address what often ends up being controversial in a very different and respectful manner.' Archbishop Thomas Gullickson, Papal Nuncio to the Ukraine.
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bill Murray on the liturgical reform

I'm not the sort of person who regards the words of the famous as having more weight than the words of people who actually know what they are talking about. But this is a personal impression, and it is interesting.

'I tend to disagree with what they call the new mass. I think we lost something by losing the Latin. Now if you go to a Catholic mass even just in Harlem it can be in Spanish, it can be in Ethiopian, it can be in any number of languages. The shape of it, the pictures, are the same but the words aren’t the same.”

Isn’t it good for people to understand it? “I guess,” he says, shaking his head. “But there’s a vibration to those words. If you’ve been in the business long enough you know what they mean anyway. And I really miss the music – the power of it, y’know? Yikes! Sacred music has an affect on your brain.” Instead, he says, we get “folk songs … top 40 stuff … oh, brother….”'

The whole interview is here.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

LMS Wall Calendar


The Society's ever-popular wall calendar, showing feast days on their traditional dates, according to the 1962 Missal. In addition to the feasts in the universal calendar, we have also included many English and Welsh saints that are only celebrated locally.
 Feast Days in accordance with the 1962 Missal
 Pictures of Traditional Catholic events in England and Wales and overseas
 More space to write your appointments etc.
 Spiral-bound with hanging loop (easy to change months)
 Printed on low-reflective art paper
 Spacious A3 size (no more staples across the centre)

£8.00 plus p&p Click here

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Photos from the Summorum Pontificum Rome Pilgrimage

CDO Photography: Populus Summorum Pontificum 2014 &emdash;

These are from Mass celebrated by Cardinal Burke in the Chapel of the Throne in St Peters, 30th October. The full set, from the photographer Christopher Owens, is here.

CDO Photography: Populus Summorum Pontificum 2014 &emdash;

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The problem of censorship

LMS Oxford Pilgrimage procession outside Worcester College.
Further to the extraordinary spectacle of an Oxford College, Christ Church, closing down a 'for and against' debate on 'abortion culture' set up by a student society, contributions to the discussion about censorship - for that is the name of the beast - have come in from the pro-abortion invitee, Brendan O'Neil in The Spectator, and Tim Squirrel, of all things the President of the Cambridge Union (a debating society), who thinks free speech and, as far as I can see, thought of all kind, should be suppressed, writing int the Cambridge student rag, The Tab.

Readers can go over there and see for themselves if I am exaggerating. Mr Squirrel tells us that, shock, horror, 'there are some individuals whose presence in a space can make people feel unsafe.' And, of course, 'universities are also our homes'. Ergo, the touchiest person in a University of over 10,000 souls should have a veto over every public conversation in the place - assuming this touchy person is touchy in a politically correct way. At least, Mr Squirrel has better be assuming that, or else disagreement between the touchy could lead to the exactly kind of debate Mr Squirrel is trying to suppress.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Saying goodbye to the Salve


Last Sunday we had a Missa Cantata in SS Gregory & Augustine's, in the Woodstock Road, Oxford. The next will be on 21st December; there will also be a Missa Cantata in Holy Trinity, Hethe, near Bicester, on Sunday 7th December, and on Christmas Day: all at 12 noon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Free Speech - Oxford style

On Tuesday a debate organised by the Oxford Students for Life was cancelled after what can only be described as a campaign of intimidation by pro-abortion extremists. (Here is Tim Stanley, one of the advertised speakers, on the circumstances.) Oxford Students for Life is a student society within Oxford University, the debate was to take place in a room they had booked in Christ Church, a college of the University, and it was ultimately cancelled because the Christ Church authorities got scared as the prospect of protesters turning up; as they expressed it on Facebook, since taken down:

We thought we should go and say hi! Bring your friends, and if you want take along some non-destructive but oh so disruptive instruments to help demonstrate to the anti-choicers just what we think of their ‘debate’.

Welcome to an elite university in Britain in 2014.

LMS Confirmations at Spanish Place, 2014

Bishop Arnold addresses the confirmands before the ceremony.
Last Saturday the annual confirmations organised by the Latin Mass Society and the Archdiocese of Westminster took place. These provide for children and adults from all over England and Wales, and beyond, who would like to be confirmed in the Extraordinary Form. Confirmation is given by one of the auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese: we have had Archbishop Stack of Cardiff, Archbishop Longley of Birmingham, and Bishop Hopes of East Anglia, when they were in the Archdiocese of Westminster, and this year we had Bishop John Arnold, soon to be Bishop of Salford.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Traditional Mass and the liturgy of the Christian East

If the reformers in the West can't cope with Rood Screens (this one is by Pugin),
how can they profess respect for the Eastern Iconostasis? 
The objections they make to the former apply a fortiori to the latter.
Today I publish a Position Paper from the FIUV on the EF and the Eastern Churches: go over to Rorate Caeli to read it.

Consistently since the time of the great Pope Leo XIII, and of course frequently, if not completely consistently, before that, the Holy See has presented itself as a special friend of the Christians of the East, and of their liturgical traditions. Faced with a complex set of groups, some in communion with the Holy See and some not, with distinct liturgical, spiritual, and artistic traditions, Popes, and the Second Vatican Council, laboured to emphasise that they valued these traditions, and that no compromise of them would ever be necessary for dissident groups which wished to be reconciled to the Holy See. Non-Latin Rite Catholics could help with this project by their own fidelity to their traditions, in many cases these being exactly the same traditions as those followed by churches not in communion. Were the Greek or Russian Catholics, for example, to 'Latinise' themselves, change their liturgical practices, their church architecture, their artistic traditions, their spirituality, to conform more closely with what is typical of the Latin Rite, this would be most regrettable, because it would create the impression that once you come under the authority of the Pope you will sooner or later bid farewell to the traditions of the Fathers.

Monday, November 17, 2014

'Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis'

I'm quoted in the blurb for this book; I have had the chance to read it in advance of publication and I recommend it very much. You can buy it with this button.

224 pages; $16.95 / £10.95

Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis:
Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church


Foreword by Jonathan Robinson, Cong. Orat.

SINCE THE TIME of the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has experienced an unprecedented crisis of identity, symbolized and propelled by the corruption of the greatest treasure of her tradition: the sacred liturgy. The result has been confusion, dismay, devastation. To the surprise of some, however, the same half-century has witnessed a growing counter-movement of Catholics who find in the Church’s traditional liturgy a perennial witness to the orthodox faith, a solid foundation for the interior life, an ever-flowing source of missionary charity, and a living embodiment of the true Catholic spirit.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Loftus on Cardinal Burke and Victor Hugo

Jesus welcomes sinners into the Temple
In his most recent two columns, Mgr Basil Loftus - no eschewing of princely titles for him - attacks Cardinal Burke. I admit that 'Loftus attacks Burke' could replace 'Dog bites Man' as the paradigmatic unsurprising newspaper headline; what gives it a little interest is the fact (although perhaps this is unsurprising as well) that Loftus feels he needs to lie about what Cardinal Burke said, and its context, in order to make his attack effective, and the touching hero-worship Loftus coincidentally accords the superstitious anti-clerical French writer Victor Hugo.

Loftus attacks Cardinal Burke in both Catholic Times columns, 7th and 14th Nov, but while the main attack is in the second, it is the first which is illustrated by a photograph of the Cardinal wearing a Cappa Magna. I wonder whether the Traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco, whose name is faintly legible at the bottom of the picture and presumably supplied it, realised that it was going to illustrate an attack on the man for whom they are urging a petition of thanks (go and sign it) and who appears so frequently on their website. Possibly not. They really should have done a little due diligence before agreeing - if they did agree - to their photo being reproduced in this rag.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Calling Oxford Graduates and Employees

The Altar in the St Thomas More Chapel
set up for the EF Mass.
I am preparing a petition requesting permission for a Traditional Requiem in Oxford University's Catholic Chaplaincy. As an 'occasional celebration' this need not be requested by a 'stable group', but by a group of people interested in the specific occasion. As a requiem for deceased members and employees of the University, I take the view that the petition can be signed by anyone who now or at any time has formed part of the community the Chaplaincy exists to serve. It is our contemporaries and predecessors for whose souls we would like to see intercession made, whether we can personally be present at the Mass or not.

I presented a similar petition just over a year ago, and the then Chaplain agreed to allow such a Requiem. It took place, in the St Thomas More Chapel in the Chaplaincy, on All Souls Day 2013; it was well attended and seemed to be regarded by everyone as a great success. It would seem that for it to be repeated a formal request under the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum is again necessary. It would made sense for such a Requiem to be an annual event.

No other Masses in the Extraordinary Form take place at the Oxford Chaplaincy, in contrast to the Catholic Chaplaincy in Cambridge, where weekly EF Masses are celebrated in the Chaplaincy as well as elsewhere in the town.

Accordingly, I would ask any Catholic reading this, who has studied (or is studying) in Oxford or has been employed (or is employed) in some capacity in the Collegiate University or its related institutions, who can support this request, to email
with 'Oxford Chaplaincy' in the subject line. On the petition I would like to note the nature of your association with the University and current postal address, just to demonstrate that you are real people; current students need only note their colleges. Details from this petition will be used for no purpose other than to keep you informed of the progress of the request.

I have put more information about the petition and its history here.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Guild of St Clare: Goldwork Training days

Recent Lace-making training day with the Guild of St Clare
The Guild of St Clare has two goldwork training days coming up, on 13th December and 21st February. Full details are on the Guild blog. Beginners are very welcome, and this will be an opportunity for people who have already done some goldwork to develop their skills to a higher level.

We would like to take this opportunity to collaborate on a joint project. Some years ago the Guild created the LMS banner, which is now a very visible part of almost every major LMS event, in particular the Walsingham pilgrimage when it is carried on foot by pilgrims from Ely to Walsingham over the course of three days. It's now time that we made our own banner, for use at events like the Rosary Crusade, and we would like to incorporate contributions from as many members as possible.

Anyone attending these goldwork workshops will be invited to contribute their piece to the Guild Banner. The design is still embryonic, but we envisage several small floral medallions circling a larger picture, probably of St Clare, our patron. If you have ideas, please don't hesitate to tell us!

The LMS Banner on the Walsingham Pilgrimage
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Monday, November 10, 2014

LMS Confirmations: 15th November

Reposted: the LMS-organised confirmation ceremony will take place this Saturday at 11:30am in St James', Spanish Place, in London.

Everyone is welcome to attend; come and say a prayer for the children and adults receiving this important sacrament.


Every year the Latin Mass Society arranges the conferral of the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form. It is conferred usually by an auxiliary bishop of Westminster Diocese; these photographs show Bishop Sherrington, shortly after his episcopal consecration in 2011.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

November Requiems


I have been very blessed in the last few days by being able to attend three beautiful and solemn Requiem Masses.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Remembrance Sunday in Holy Trinity, Hethe


There will be a Missa Cantata in Holy Trinity, Hethe, outside Bicester, tomorrow at 12 noon, for Remembrance Sunday. This is the first Sung Mass of what I hope will be a monthly series.

We will also have a Sung Mass on Christmas Day at 12 noon.

This is the centenary year of the start of the Great War, and Sung Masses will be celebrated on this occasion in the Extraordinary Form in a limited number of places. From the perspective of a resident of Oxfordshire, you can go north to the Birmigham Oratory (you'll get a High Mass there), south to the FSSP in Reading, and east to St Bede's, Clapham Park in London. The regular EF Mass in the Oxford Oratory, at 8am, is Low. This Sunday there is another option.

Friday, November 07, 2014

LMS Annual Requiem, 8 Nov

This is tomorrow! Come along and join us to pray for the dead.

2010 11 06_8075

Bishop John Arnold, auxiliary of Westminster, will celebrate a Pontifical High Requiem in Westminster Cathedral at 2.00pm for the repose of the souls of all our deceased members, on Saturday 8th November.

2010 11 06_8085

Everyone is welcome to join us. Come and see one of the Church's most solemn liturgical moments, a Mass for the dead, celebrated by a bishop in perhaps the finest church in Britain, accompanied by the Westminster Cathedral choir.

2010 11 06_8131

In addition to Mass the celebrant blesses a catafalque, representing the bodies of those for whom we are praying.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Breakthrough Traditional Mass in Norwich

Pontifical High Mass for All Saints Norwich IMG_1099

On Saturday, All Saints' Day, Bishop Alan Hopes of East Anglia celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary Form in his cathedral in Norwich, 'from the throne'.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Mr Bornhoft on the Latin Mass and evangelisation

Traditional Requiem for Michael Davies in St Mary Moorfields, London
Over on Rorate Caeli I've dissected a blog post or column by William Bornhoft claiming that the criticisms of the liturgical reform made by Traditional Catholics means that they are rejecting the teaching of the Church. Here I want to tackle another claim he makes. It relates to the title of his post, but he says very little about it; it comes down simply to this.

The liturgical renewal came about after the Church—no longer a primarily European institution existing in the age of medieval Christendom—realized that the Tridentine form made it hard to evangelize and communicate with the modern world. For TLM Millennials [ie Traditional Catholics], their personal preference for an older form of the mass is overriding the Church’s essential outreach efforts. It shouldn’t come to a surprise to Guzman, given his claimed expertise in this area, that most men may not be interested in attending an hour-long mass in a language they don’t understand.

This is what a lot of Catholics who don't know much about the Traditional Mass think, so it is worth explaining why it is wrong.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Jobs at the Latin Mass Society

The Latin Mass Society is seeking a new General Manager. This is the most senior of our employees; the job is full-time and carries a salary of between £32k and £38k.

The job involves administration and managing other employees and volunteers in our office in London, managing projects and events, and developing LMS initiatives and policy.

Our current General Manager is moving on to pastures new very amicably, and will be able to hand over the job in January.

The full details are here.

We are also seeking a part-time Press and Publicity Officer. This would be the equivalent of one day a week and could be done from home. We need someone dedicated to the website and relations with the press.

The full details are here.

The Latin Mass Society's London office, off Holborn.

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