Monday, July 22, 2019

AGM Mass in Westminster Cathedral

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I've been reading in the archive of the Catholic Herald about the first ever Mass for the Latin Mass Society to mark an Annual General Meeting: in June 1972. You can read it here. 2,700 people packed the Cathedral for the Mass and 400 attended the AGM itself afterwards.

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People are not quite so starved of the Traditional Mass today, and this one Mass doesn't attractice such an enormous crowd. About that many people, by my estimation, attend a Latin Mass on any given Sunday. Many of those at the Mass in 1972 probably hadn't attended any for a year or more. Indeed, most Masses were celebrated in the vernacular from 1965, and at the same time the rubrics and prayers began to chance quite radically.


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It is a reflection of the febrile atmosphere that the report of this Mass in 1972 is the first mention the Catholic Herald made to the 'Indult granted last year to England and Wales by the Pope at the Cardinal's request'. Why hadn't they mentioned it when it was granted? It had been reported in full in The Times, whose editor, William Rees-Mogg, was one of the petitioners, along with Agatha Christi, asking for it. The Catholic papers were told to keep it quiet.

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Although not as well-attended as in 1972, our AGM was, as always, a jolly affair. We provide sandwich lunch (with wine) to attendees (on payment of a nominal £5) and it is a chance for anyone to talk to the Society's Officers (and staff) formally, at the meeting, or informally, over lunch. We were addressed by Bishop Campbell who gave us a little talk about St Augustine of Hippo: he is an Augustinian. We look forward to seeing him again at the Annual Requiem in Westminster Cathedral, which falls on All Souls Day this year.

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