Monday, March 19, 2018

Easter Triduum in London; Lassus Tenebrae

Cross posted from Rorate Caeli.

The Holy Fire is lit outside the church's back door, from which it is a short procession
through the streets of the City of London to the church's front door.

This Holy Week in London, a rare opportunity to experience one of the oldest services in the Catholic Church along with a feast of sacred music rarely sung in its proper context.

Beginning on ‘Spy Wednesday’ with the ancient office of Tenebrae, The Latin Mass Society will be celebrating Holy Week with a wealth of traditional Latin liturgy at St. Mary Moorfields in the heart of the City of London.This year’s Triduum celebration will be directed by professional musician and classical pianist, Matthew Schellhorn with his group ‘Cantus Magnus.’

Matthew Schellhorn, the LMS Director of Music for London, said:

“It is once again a great pleasure to be making the musical preparations for the Latin Mass Society’s flagship celebration of the Sacred Triduum in the Archdiocese of Westminster.

“Music by Franco-Flemish renaissance Orlande de Lassus (1532–94) will enhance the Office of Tenebrae, which will be particularly special with not only the haunting four-part Responseries but also the great five-part Lamentations of Jeremiah. These glorious masterpieces, date from the 1580s.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Join the pro-lifers at London's St Patrick's Day parade

From 'Right to Life'

Dear Supporter,

Last weekend saw the All Ireland Rally for Life in Dublin, at which up to 100,000 people marched for life, for mothers and babies and to save the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution!

Especially if you’re Irish or have Irish ancestry (but even if you’re not or don’t!), to signify your solidarity with this campaign, please join London Irish United For Life as they attend the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

LMS Priest Training Conference: book now! April 9-12th

The Latin Mass Society will be holding a residential training conference for priests, deacons, seminarians and laymen wishing to learn to celebrate or serve Mass in the Extraordinary Form. It will be held at Prior Park College near Bath from Monday 9th April to Thursday 12th April 2018.

Tuition will be in small groups. For clergy and seminarians, this will be provided by priests experienced in the Extraordinary Form, for servers this will be provided by laymen with years of experience in the Extraordinary Form.
Low Mass, Missa Cantata and Solemn Mass will be covered, although participants will be expected to be proficient at Low Mass before progressing to the more complicated forms.
No previous experience is necessary, and participants will be divided into groups, according to their abilities.
There will be daily Mass intended to be an example of best practice.

The conference will start after lunch on the Monday and conclude before lunch on the Thursday.
Full board and lodging is provided in basic single rooms (not en suite).
Lunch on the Monday and the Thursday can be booked at extra cost, £5 per lunch for all participants.
The fee for attending is: £120.00
Full-time students: £60
Seminarians: FREE OF CHARGE

Support the work of the LMS by becoming an 'Anniversary Supporter'.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

SCT Family Retreat: booking reminder


Don't forget to book for the St Catherine's Trust Family Retreat, taken this year by Canons Montjean and Tanner of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

It is taking place at the Oratory School near Reading over Low Sunday Weekend: 6-8th April.

Book online here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Mass in Tyburn last Saturday

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Last Saturday a Traditional Sung Mass was celebrated in the Relic Chapel of Tyburn Convent in London, by Fr Serafino Lanzetta. It was celebrated with Low Mass ceremonies, and just one server, accompanied by two singers. This Mass was sponsored by the Latin Mass Society.

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The occasion was a youth conference organised by the Catholic Medical Association (and on Facebook), on the subject of conscience. I gave a talk, as did John Smeaton of SPUC and s sister of the convent. Fr Lanzetta gave a sermon on the same subject.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Traditional Mass returns to Holy Trinity, Hethe

Archbishop Bernard Longley celebrated Pontifical Low Mass in Holy Trinity in January 2017
I am pleased to be able to announce that thanks to the good will and hospitality of the Archdiocese and of the Parish Priest, Canon John Batthula, the Traditional Mass will once again be celebrated on Sundays at Holy Trinity, Hethe.

In the absence of a resident priest, there will be Sung EF Masses at Hethe at 12 noon on the 2nd Sunday of each month and on the last Sunday of each month. The first of these will be Palm Sunday, Sunday 24th March, to be celebrated, with the blessing of palms, by Fr James Mawdsley FSSP.

Holy Trinity Church is outside Bicecester: Hardwick Road, Hethe OX27 8AW. (Map)

Support the work of the LMS by becoming an 'Anniversary Supporter'.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Do we want to solve the problem of sacrilegious Communions?

Holy Communion at a High Mass in the Domincan Rite at Oxford's Blackfriars
Sometimes people like to complain about problems but do not, really, want to solve them. If you offer a solution, they are uninterested, or even angry. The problem is important to them. It may even be a way for them to get something they want: perhaps to extract a concession from someone. So I ask: does anyone (anyone in authority) actually want to solve the problem of sacrilegious communions?

Pope John Paul II pointed out the problem way back in 1980 (Dominicae Cenae):
Sometimes, indeed quite frequently, everybody participating in the eucharistic assembly goes to Communion; and on some such occasions, as experienced pastors confirm, there has not been due care to approach the sacrament of Penance so as to purify one’s conscience.

The situation is now vastly worse than in 1980. Many go without real reflection. Others, who might be thinking about how they ought to go to Confession first, find it embarrassing or even physically awkward to avoid going up too. It has become a common attitude that if you don't go to Communion, you've not been to Mass properly: you've not fulfilled your obligation. And all this is to say nothing of the problem of those who feel excluded, or the priests who feel they need to exclude them, because of notorious public sin, a problem which is the root of the greatest crisis in the Church, according to some, since Arianism, and which is threatening to cause a schism.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Guild of St Clare Sewing Retreat success


There was a moment -- well, more than a moment -- when I thought the sewing retreat was not going to happen last weekend. The snow, which started falling during the week before, starting falling again on Friday afternoon, and the final approach to the Retreat Centre up a steep hill became impassible to all but four-wheel-drive vehicles. Luckily we worked out an alternative route, and the great majority of the retreatants made it. Only a few perished in the snow (only kidding!)


From the Guild: The Guild of St Clare held its second Sewing Retreat in the teeth of the Beast from the East last weekend. The Carmelite Retreat Centre, where it took place, is in a delightfully rural location, at the top of Boars Hill. The roads were untreated, and retreatants defied the blizzard and the snowdrifts to make their way finally to the peace of sewing, spiritual conferences and, most importantly, the traditional liturgy. 

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

FIUV Magazine relaunched

Cross-posted from Rorate Caeli.

I have pleasure in presenting the new edition of the quarterly magazine of the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce (Una Voce International), Gregorius Magnus: the 4th edition.

It can be downloaded as a pdf here:

Gregorius Magnus 4

The 4th issue of Gregorius Magnus (February 2018) is 24 pages about:

• Position Paper 32: The Extraordinary Form and Islam
• UV General Assembly in Rome, Nov 2017
• Book Review: History of the FIUV
• Irish Abortion Referendum
• Una Voce in England, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Nigeria

This is a re-launch for Gregorius Magnus, which was published briefly in 2012. We hope that it will provide a truly international space for news and discussions important to the Traditional Movement, as well as an attractive platform for the FIUV.

Support the work of the LMS by becoming an 'Anniversary Supporter'.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Book review: History of the FIUV by Leo Darroch

This review is in the current edition of the Latin Mass Society's magazine Mass of Ages. Cross posted from Rorate Caeli.

Una Voce: the History of the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce 1964-2003, by Leo Darroch (Gracewing; 467pp)
Review by Joseph Shaw

Buy it from the LMS bookshop,, or Gracewing

Leo Darroch has produced a substantial and fascinating volume on the FIUV, commonly known as Una Voce International, from its beginnings up to the end of the presidency of the late Michael Davies. Davies’ predecessor, Eric de Savanthem, was President for 30 years, from the early days of the organisation, so the book revolves around these two remarkable men.

Because of the nature of the material, the book is episodic in character. Some of these episodes are very revealing about the state of the Church at the time they took place, so I will devote this review to three of them.

The first is the interview and associated correspondence which took place between de Saventham and Archbishop (later, Cardinal) Giovanni Benelli, then Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, in 1976 (pp127ff). De Saventham summarised Benelli’s position in a letter to him following the meeting:

Monday, March 05, 2018

The Epistles of the first three Sundays of Lent

St Paul
Peter Kwasniewski has an excellent discussion of the contrast between the Epistles (first readings) of the first three Sundays of Lent given us by the ancient Lectionary, and the Second Readings of Sunday Mass, usually Pauline Epistles, offered us by the 1969 Lectionary. Since there are three years of readings in the Ordinary Form there are nine passages to compare with the three of the EF. Not one of these nine passages so much as mentions the major theme of all three of the EF's selections: the importance of repentance from a sinful lifestyle, above all in relation to sexual sins.

So concerned were the compilers of the reformed Lectionary to avoid mentioning sin that they even cut out of the passages bits where the subject came up.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Letter on older Traditionalists, in the Catholic Herald

The LMS Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Caversham last weekend.
Today the Catholic Herald has published my letter answering Michael Davis (not to be confused with the late Michael Davies), who criticised the older generation of Catholics attached to the Traditional Mass.

I have written a blogpost about his article here.


Michael Davis’s attack on the ‘older generation’ of Traditional Catholics (Comment, 16th Feb) misses the mark. The tone of the mainstream lay movement for the preservation of the Traditional Mass, represented by the Latin Mass Society and it sister organisations around the world, was set by men like Dietrich von Hildebrand and Eric de Saventham, both of whom risked their lives for their opposition to Hitler; Hamish Fraser, a convert from Communism; and Hugh Ross-Williamson, deselected as a Labour parliamentary candidate for being too left-wing. The extraordinary devotion of Traditional Catholics to the Papacy, over decades when they received little but hard knocks from the hierarchy, prevented them from taking the easy option of leaving the structures of the Church. Now that their central argument has been vindicated—the ancient Mass was never abrogated—we can see that their obedience to the bishops of their day was supererogatory.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Position Paper on the Sanctoral Cycle

Today I publish the last of the FIUV Position Papers: The Sanctoral Cycle of the Extraordinary Form. Go over to Rorate Caeli to read it.

Researching the calendar, specifically the cycle of saints' days, has been very interesting. It has underlined how reletively empty of saints the 1969 calendar is (although the Novus Ordo has picked up a few more over the decades since then). If you go to a weekday Mass in the Novus Ordo, the priest will more often than not be wearing green, during 'Ordinary' time, or violet in Advent or Lent, or white in Paschal time: the colour of a 'ferial' day, when no feast is being celebrated. I have heard of this being taken even further, and a preference for the ferial Mass taking over even on days when according to the rules there should be a saint. But in the Traditional Mass ferial Masses are downright rare. On the few days each week when there is no saint to celebrate, priests tend to say a Votive Mass.