Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Students protest about Christian conference

My latest on LifeSiteNews.

One of Oxford Univeristy’s constituent colleges, Worcester College, has apologized for allowing an Evangelical campaign group, Christian Concern, to book its facilities for a residential event during the summer break. 

The fact that the event had taken place at all only became known to the college’s radicalized students when one of them found a flyer from the event lying around. Since the students were not in residence at the time, they missed the chance to be upset by hearing any of the talks or discussions, or traumatized by meeting any of the attendees. They had to make do with their distress at the fact that the college’s hallowed meeting rooms and corridors had felt the presence of a wider range of views than has become usual. 

Read the whole thing there.

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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Server training and vestment mending at Spanish Place


Our activities at St James' Spanish Place were jolly affairs as usual on Saturday, and well attended. The Guild of St Clare vestment making and mending was in the basement, and the Society of St Tarcisius server training was in the church upstairs.


As well as lots of progress being made on various vestments belonging to the Latin Mass Society, we had several groups of server trainees going through Low Mass and a team looking at the rubrics of Missa Cantata. We were fortunate to have four excellent instructors (I don't count myself!).


Friday, September 24, 2021

A Sacristan's Reflections on the Walsingham Pilgrimage

Charles Bradshaw assists Fr Henry Whisenant with the Blessing of Pilgrims

The New Liturgical Movement has published a lovely reflection on the LMS Pilgrimage to Walsingham by Charles Bradshaw, who was our Sacristan.

We’re on the road again!” The past few years have seen a sharp increase in off-grid living, and with it a deep desire to give the modern world the heave ho. Off-grid traditional Catholicism is certainly what it feels like as you pack the car for the annual Walsingham Pilgrimage, not just with your backpack and tent but an entire sacristy, from vestments right down to grains of incense. Blessed with Solemn High Mass on each of its three days, the pilgrimage offers a chance to shed the cares of this world for a brief moment and connect with the essential: God; carefully lifting every second of the liturgy from suitcase to sanctuary.
Read the whole thing there.

High Mass in the Chapel of St Margaret, Oxburgh

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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Server training in London this Saturday: last call for bookings


This Saturday we are holding another Server Training day with the Society of St Tarcisius, in St James' Spanish Place, from 10:30am. We conclude at about 4pm. 

Please book a place: this gives us an indication of number and of what people want to learn.

No previous experience is necessary, and there is no fee.

25th September: St James' Spanish Place, London 

(booking page) (info about the venue)

20th November: St James' Spanish Place, London 

(booking page(info about the venue)

As usual, there will be a Guild of St Clare Vestment Mending Day running alongside these events: see here for more details.


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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Videos from the Guild of St Clare

The Guild of St Clare is releasing a series of instructional videos about how to do simple repairs on vestments and a bit of domestic sewing--one episode to come will explain patching children's trousers.

This is the introduction to the series.

This one explains how to thread a needle, and how to stitch down loose braid. Yes, pretty well anyone can do a simple thing like this, and with a bit of patience and practice, and the right advice, can do it to a decent standard.

A lot of vestments in parishes bear the marks of incompetent repairs: certainly the LMS vestment collection does, as is noted in the video. This is not necessarily the fault of the people who carried out the repairs, who were often pressed to do it by priests who did not know anyone else who could have a go. The problem is that while every parish contains a few people who can sew, the techniques and skills needed for vestments, while not necessarily more challenging, are different. If you want to do repairs properly, even quite skilled sewers can pick a tip or two from this series.

A real eye-opener on the distinct nature of traditional vestment-making is the way stoles are made, a technique applicable to many other things. You can sign up to an online stole-making course here for 30th October (10am-4pm).

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Monday, September 20, 2021

LMS London events and Masses at Corpus Christi Maiden Lane


As I have mentioned before that the Sung Masses have recommenced under professional leadership on Mondays at Corpus Christi Maiden Lane, which is a Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament (like SS Peter & Paul and St Philomena in New Brighton, which is looked after by the ICKSP). Another, a Requiem, will take place this evening, for the repose of Fr Wilfrid Elkin who died in March. It is being accompanied by the new polyphonic consort with Victoria's setting, a fitting tribute to a lovely priest who did so much to support tradition.

Enquire about joining the singing of polyphony or the chant on Mondays at Maiden Lane by emailing southwell@lms.org.uk; more info here.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

The challenge of a new school year

Quiz at a St Catherine's Trust Summer School a while back. We've not had the Summer School
for two summers due to the pandemic.

My first article in a new initiative, a weekly Digest (bulletin) from Voice of the Family.


Two recent news articles greeted the start of the academic year. The Irish Times informs us that official statistics confirm that since teacher assessments have in whole or in part replaced anonymised formal examinations, the relative performance of boys against girls has fallen. In the Daily Telegraph, Melanie McDonagh complains that her 14-year-old daughter’s Catholic school has brainwashed her into being a woke activist.

These are both troubling claims, and they may seem extreme, but the people making them are far from marginal. The problem of systemic bias against boys has been acknowledged by the Irish government, which is hardly a bastion of cultural conservatism. It was in fact established on the basis of world-wide statistics some years ago, in a study sponsored by the OECD. The creation of a generation of school-child activists all saying the same things about race and gender has been denounced by Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University. Lest anyone imagine she is some conservative culture warrior, she recently made headlines apologising for Oxford’s education of the prominent Conservative Party politician Michael Gove.


Read the whole thing. You can subscribe at the bottom of the page.
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Friday, September 17, 2021

Iota Unum talks in London are back: Jamie Bogle on 24th Sept

Fr Edward van den Bergh giving the last Iota Unum talk of 2019

After a long break necessitated by the epidemic, we are returning to our face-to-face talks in London.
The Latin Mass Society's 'Iota Unam' talks take place on Friday evenings in Our Lady of the Assumption Warwick Street (please enter by the back entrance into the basement: 24 Golden Square, W1F 9JR): click for a map.

6:30pm for 7pm. Refreshments provided. £5 on the door.

Confirmed talks:

Sept 24, James Bogle: Bl Charles of Austria

Oct 22, Joseph Shaw: Headship and Hierarchy in the Family

Nov 19, Dominic Sullivan: Spanish Integralism

Dec 10, Sebastian Morello: de Maistre on Liturgy and Politics

Jan 29: Tom Pink: 'The Papal Monarchy: the exercise of power in the Church, its theological and legal basis, and its limits'

During lockdown we have been doing podcasts: have a listen!
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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Why priests should learn Latin

Bilingual Vesting Prayers in the Sacristy of Westminster Cathedral

My latest on Catholic Answers. The LMS is putting its money where its mouth is: clergy and seminarians in or from England and Wales can get an 80% discount on the fee of an online Latin course.


There is an amusing video on YouTube showing an American Latinist engaging priests in the Vatican in spoken Latin. He remarks that he spoke to a dozen priests, but only three were brave enough to go on camera with him and use Latin in actual dialogue.

Spoken Latin might sound like the preserve of hobbyists, like spoken Elvish or Klingon, but being able to speak a language is the ultimate test of fluency, and for the Church, Latin isn’t just any other language. As well as being the sacred language of the liturgy, it is an indispensable key to the Church’s theology, history, law, philosophy, and poetry. As Pope Benedict XVI described it, it is the language the Church considers as her own.

It is for this reason that Latin has always formed an essential part of the education of the clergy. The Second Vatican Council’s decree on Priestly Training, Optatam Totius, says seminarians “are to acquire a knowledge of Latin which will enable them to understand and make use of the sources of so many sciences and of the documents of the Church” (13). This means a serious grasp of the language: being able to sit down and read St. Augustine, for example—not as a homework exercise, but because you want to know what he says about something.

Read the whole thing there.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Introductory video from the Guild of St Clare

Produced by the great Peter Jones of One of Nine fame. More 'how to' videos are to follow.

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Thursday, September 09, 2021

Statement of the Religious Superiors (and Taylor Marshall)

Cross-posted on Rorate Caeli.

The Superiors General of the Fraternity of St Peter, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, the Institute of the Good Shepherd, and a number of other Superiors General of priestly institutes and religious communities attached to the Traditional Mass (including three communities of women), have issued a joint letter in response to Traditionis Custodes. Here it is, on the FSSP website. It is addressed to the Bishops of France, not, as some have assumed, to the Holy See.

As befits such a document, it is carefully worded. In principle, Traditionis Custodes creates an impossible situation for the signatories. They are founded on the charism of the Traditional liturgy, and the Letter accompanying Traditionis Custodes tells us that it is the intention of the document that in the longer term this liturgy should entirely disappear. Furthermore, the justification for this given in the Letter is that the clergy and faithful (who are not distinguished) are detached in some sense from the unity of the Church.

The argument which needs to be made to the Bishops of France at this point is thus a delicate one. Negatively, it should be obvious that to strike a defiant attitude, to threaten disobedience to Traditionis Custodes or the Bishops, or to suggest that they might go over to the Society of Pius X, would serve to confirm the purported justification of Traditionis Custodes. It would be directly counter-productive. 

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Monday Masses at Maiden Lane: professionally-led singing returns


The Latin Mass Society has a very long association with the historic London church of Corpus Christi Maiden Lane, located in Covent Garden, and we organise a Traditional Sung Mass there every Monday at 6:30pm. This practice was disrupted by the epidemic, but maintained as far as possible with two singers and no servers.


We are now back, and last night we had the first Mass with the newly formed Southwell Consort. This is led by Dominic Bevan and consists mainly of men and women with musical training who have chosen not to pursue music as a career. It is an opportunity for them to sing some lovely sacred music in the liturgical setting for which it was composed. Last evening they had a whopping 17 singers. They sang Missa O Quam Gloriosum, Victoria; Ave Maria a 8, Victoria; Panis Angelicus, Rebelo, and I must say (hearing this from the sanctuary where I was serving) it was extremely impressive.

Friday, September 03, 2021

LMS Walsingham Pilgrimage: more photos

TLM pics-84

These are by the photographer and videographer Peter Jones, who runs the One Of Nine YouTube channel.

TLM pics-79

Thursday, September 02, 2021

LMS Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham, Part 2


The little girl in red managed the entire walk, 56 miles over three days.


Our fantastic non-walking volunteers, on Saturday evening in Great Massingham.


Some of the tents at Great Massingham.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

LMS Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham: Photos, Part 1


In thanksgiving for the easing of the Covid regulations, allowing us to have this event, I decided to do two new things, personally. One was to do a pre-pilgrimage, walking from Cambridge to Ely: extending the pilgrimage backwards. The other was to do the walk in a kilt. So there I am, above, looking a bit the worse for wear outside the Catholic Shrine on the final day: photo courtesy of Peter Jones. (The rest in this post are mine.)


It was by far the biggest walking pilgrimage we have done. There were about 120 people walking and 12 non-walking volunteers: cooks and drivers. For the first time, we had four chapters, which walk, sing, and pray, as a group, with gaps between chapters to let cars overtake more easily on roads: the same system as is used on the Chartres pilgrimage.