Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Westminster Diocese Triduum cancelled

Cardinal Nichols will not permit the celebration of the Vetus Ordo Triduum in St Mary Moorfields this year. Here is our press release.


Traditional Latin Easter Triduum Services in the Archdiocese of Westminster cancelled

The Latin Mass Society is grieved to announce that the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, will not give permission for the celebration of the major services of the Sacred Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday) according to the liturgical books in use before the Second Vatican Council: the Traditional Latin liturgy or Vetus Ordo.


There has been a celebration of the Traditional Triduum in the Archdiocese, with the permission of successive Archbishops, since the 1990s: first in Corpus Christi Maiden Lane, and then in St Mary Moorfields in the City of London. In recent years these services have been attended by up to 200 people.

His Eminence places this decision in the context of his ongoing dealings with the Dicastery for Divine Worship in Rome, writing ‘My approach to these matters is to be within the parameters laid down by the Holy See while waiting for the judgment of the Holy See on which, if any, parish church may be used for the celebration of Mass according to the Missal antecedent to the reform of 1970.’[1]

His decision, he explains, was made ‘for the sake of the wider provision’.


Comment from the Latin Mass Society

The faithful attached to the Vetus Ordo, served by Sunday celebrations in St James Spanish Place, the London Oratory, and other locations, will now be denied the chance to attend the most important liturgical days of the year according to this liturgy within the Archdiocese of Westminster.

When Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter Traditionis custodes, which restricted the Vetus Ordo, was published in 2021, Cardinal Nichols summarised the Holy Father’s concerns, adding: ‘In my judgement, these concerns do not reflect the overall liturgical life of this diocese.’[2]

LMS Chairman Joseph Shaw comments: “In this decision, as in the earlier ending of the 50-year tradition of two annual Vetus Ordo Masses at the High Altar of Westminster Cathedral, and the 20-year practice of the Archdiocese providing the Sacrament of Confirmation according to the Vetus Ordo, it seems that Catholics attached to the older liturgy are being punished for misdemeanours that Cardinal Nichols believes they have not committed.

“We await with concern the decision of the Dicastery of Divine Worship concerning the current celebrations of the Vetus Ordo on Sundays and weekdays in the Archdiocese, which have enriched and consoled many hundreds of Catholics over the decades. This form of the Mass never ceased to be celebrated regularly in the Archdiocese, thanks to the pastoral solicitude of Pope Paul VI in 1971, and of successive Archbishops, in allowing it to continue. It is tragic to see that pastoral attitude now being put aside.

“At the same time, we can reassure Catholics attached to the ancient Latin liturgy that the Triduum will still be celebrated in London, outside Westminster Archdiocese, and that the Latin Mass Society will continue to support these and other celebrations of this venerable liturgy.”


Notes for Editors

The Latin Mass Society was founded in 1965 to support the continued celebration of the Catholic liturgy in the form it took at the eve of the Second Vatican Council: the ‘1962 Missal’, the ‘antecedent Missal’, the Vetus Ordo or Traditional Mass.

The Greater London area is served by three Catholic dioceses: Westminster, Brentwood, and Southwark.

The “English Indult” granted by Pope Paul VI in 1971 allowed the Vetus Ordo to continue to be celebrated in England and Wales without a break, even while it was prohibited in the rest of the world.

Services of the Easter Triduum began to be celebrated in Corpus Christi Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, by the parish priest, Canon McDonald, in the early 1990s; the full set of major services were celebrated from 1999. Ten years later these moved to the larger church of St Mary Moorfields in the City of London. They were not celebrated in 2021 due to COVID restrictions.

Latin Mass Society


Press contacts:

Communications Officer, Portia Berry-Kilby portia@lms.org.uk

Chairman, Joseph Shaw oxford@lms.org.uk


Registered Office: 9 Mallow Street, London EC1Y 8RQ

020 7404 7284



Registered Charity Number: 248388

[1] In an email of 23rd February to Fr Michael Cullinan, who was to have been the principle celebrant of the Triduum services. Quoted with permission.

[2] See the website of the Archdiocese of Westminster https://rcdow.org.uk/cardinal/news/cardinals-message-to-clergy-about-traditionis-custodes/

[Photos from last year's services.]

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Friday, February 23, 2024

Guild of St Clare Sewing Retreat: photos


Another successful Sewing Retreat was organised by the Guild of St Clare, for prayer, the traditional Mass, spiritual conferences, and the making and mending of vestments.

The retreat giver was Fr Edward van den Burgh of the London Oratory.


Thursday, February 22, 2024

Trip to Ireland, part 3: Waterford


The final stop of my trip to Ireland was Waterford, where I attended Mass in the very impressive St John's church, celebrated by Fr Patrick O'Donahue FSSP. I joined the chant schola for the occasion.


The Latin Mass Society of Ireland very kindly organised another occasion for me to give a talk, and although fairly short notice they filled a room in the Galmont Hotel to listen. I spoke about Catholic Families and Intentional Communities: spoiler alert, they aren't the same thing. You can listen to the talk here:

You'll find the Latin Mass Society's 'Iota Unum' series on any podcast platform.


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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Trip to Ireland, 2: Galway


At the Roundtower Association conference in Galway we had a beautiful Mass celebrated by Fr Philomeno of the Marian Franciscans, and a rosary procession through the streets.



Then the conference continued, with Robert Colquoun of 40 Days for Life, and me. With due acknowledgement to the Roundtower Association, you can hear my talk here:

Culture, Modernity and Post-Modernity

You'll also find it on any podcast platform by searching for 'Latin Mass Society' or 'Iota Unum' (the name of our series of talks).

Videos of all the talks will be available in due course.


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Trip to Ireland: part 1, Silverstream, Dublin, Knock


Last week I was in Ireland, to attend a splendid conference in Galway. Before going there, however, I visited Silverstream Priory, which is north of Dublin, where I met Prior Basile McCabe. 

The following day, I gave a talk in Dublin's Catholic Central Library, on the 'Family and Culture: Lose One, Lose the Other'. I introduced the idea of luxury beliefs, developing the argument of my book, The Family, the Liturgy, and the Crisis of Modernity.

I recorded my talk, so you can listen to it as a podcast (I've given it a slightly snappier title):

Families, Culture and Luxury Beliefs

You'll find the Latin Mass Society's 'Iota Unum' series on any podcast platform.


Before the Galway conference, which will be the subject of the next post, I and other conference participants visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock, where Fr Philomeno of the Marian Franciscans celebrated a Low Mass (in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel).


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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Ash Wednesday and St Valentine: for Catholic Answers


I'm behind with my blogging, but here's something I wrote for Catholic Answers and some photos of an Ash Wednesday Mass.

The article begins:

The Church’s liturgical calendar throws up some oddities sometimes. One set of Sundays, and other feasts and fasts, is fixed in relation to Easter, which moves around the spring. Another of feasts is fixed to Christmas, and a third is fixed to calendar dates. And so different occasions can coincide: a feast of the “sanctoral cycle” can fall on a Sunday, and all the feasts of the spring and early summer are vulnerable to being swallowed up by the events of Lent and Eastertide.

A feast day like Christmas will fall on a Sunday only approximately once every seven years. Even less frequent are the occasions when significant dates of the sanctoral and paschal cycles coincide. The most famous of these occasional coincidences is that between Good Friday and the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25. It last happened in 2016 and will not happen again until 2157.

This year, we have the coincidence of Ash Wednesday and the traditional date of the feast of the Roman martyr St. Valentine.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Talks and Endorsements for 'A Defence of Monarchy'

Buy the book from the publisher, Angelico PressAmazon.comAmazon.co.uk, the Latin Mass Society shop, and elsewhere. 

Short talks on the book from the book launch (you can also find these on pod-cast platforms under 'Latin Mass Society: Iota Unum):


HE Eduard von Habsburg, Hungarian Ambassador to the Holy See

This is an incredibly interesting and well done book. It is especially valuable that it makes the argument in favour of even a weak monarchy, in its constitutional powers and even in terms of the personal commitments of it representatives. Instead of giving way to despair, the book encourages us to continue to appreciate the constitutional and symbolic importance of monarchy, while we wait for a monarchy that embodies Catholic principles in their fullness.

Fr Calvin Robinson, Patron of the British Monarchist Society

This book provides many lessons to Roman Catholics on why the British monarchy is a good thing; how Christians can be united around the British institution, even with our differences; and a staunch reminder that British heritage is undeniably Catholic, and a strong preserver of Catholic tradition through ceremonies such as the coronation and funeral services of the monarch. The last thing any traditionalist should want to see is the end of Catholic tradition.

Gavin Ashenden, Chaplain to the Queen 2008-2017

This excellent and intriguing new book edited by Dr Shaw, defending the monarchy from a Catholic perspective, offers not only an informed perspective on  constitutional developments and realities, but makes a powerful case that the monarchy we have offers us a great deal more than would a republic. It also serves as a defence of the integrity of Elizabeth II against under-informed anxieties held by some passionate defenders of the rights of the unborn child.  The grasp of constitutional and historical development makes refreshing reading for anyone interested in our constitutional settlement not only as a matter of history, but also to furnish us with ways of judging the political dilemmas a turbulent cultural future may present us with.

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Saturday, February 10, 2024

Server training and vestment mending in London


One of our regular events at St Mary Moorfields, the Society of Tarcisius doing server training and the Guild of St Clare, in the basement, mending vestments.


The next dates are 

Saturday 20th April (booking page)

Saturday 8th June (booking page)

See the Society of St Tarcisius website, and the Guild of St Clare, for more information.

Thursday, February 08, 2024

Candlemas in Oxford


It's been too long since I posted images of a High Mass in Oxford. This was for Candlemas; we had polyphony, blessing of candles, procession, and the full works in SS Gregory & Augustine's Oxford. The celebrant was Fr John Saward, Priest in Charge.

The congregation for such Masses has been growing: this time it was close to 80; 50 used to be a good turnout.


SS Gregory & Augustine's is not a church in which I can easily sneak closer to the sanctuary with the camera; as a result, as Mass progresses the photos are taken through a bank of incense-smoke.


We are indebted to Tom Neal (right) and Dominic Bevan (left) for leading professional polyphonists and amateur chant singers on this and on many other occasions.


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Tuesday, February 06, 2024

Visit to Ireland

I shall be giving talks in Dublin and Galway in the next few days; all are welcome.

On Thursday 8th February I will be speaking at Dublin's Catholic Central Library T 7PM. 

Central Catholic Library,
74 Merrion Square S,
Dublin 2, D02 HH99

The talk will be called 'Culture and the Family: Lose one, Lose them both'.

On Saturday 10th, I am taking part in a conference in Galway, with Robert Colquoun and Fr Philomeno of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. The Conference is called 'She Will Crush Your Head'.

My talk will be called 'Modernity and Postmodernity, on the Liturgy and Marriage'

I will also be at the regular FSSP Mass in Waterford on Sunday 11th.

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