Wednesday, June 26, 2024

George Galloway on the Traditional Mass

George Galloway:
Official photo from the UK Parliament
Cross-posted from Rorate Caeli.

George Galloway, the radical left-wing politician vying for Muslim votes in Britain's current general election, who was too hot to handle for the British Labour Party and so created his own--first, the Respect Party, now the Workers' Party of Britain -- yes, that George Galloway -- loves the Traditional Mass and has advised the Pope not to restrict it.

This has emerged in an interview with Timothy Stanley in the Daily Telegraph. Galloway, who is seeking re-election as the Member of Parliament for Rochdale in England's north west, noted that he is a practicing Catholic, and a 'big fan' of Pope Francis.

Stanley, a Catholic convert who also has experience of the radical left, felt inspired to ask him about the Traditional Mass.

The article is paywalled (here) but this is the money quote:

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The Sign of Peace, for Catholic Answers

The Kiss of Peace at the LMS Walsingham Pilgrimage 2023: High Mass in the Shrine

The Pax, the Kiss of Peace, is one of my favourite ceremonies of High Mass: one of the most dramatic and easily understood symbolic actions. The celebrant kisses the Altar and given the deacon a stylised embrace; the deacon embraces the subdeacon, the subdeacon the MC, and if there are clergy in choir it can be passed on down a whole row of them on both sides of the church.

For a photographer it is easy to miss. It only happens at High Mass with deacon and subdeacon, and not at Requiem Masses or on Maundy Thursday. At Prelatial Masses and First Masses of newly ordained priests, you get an extra chance to catch it, with the 'Assistant Priest'.

This is the historical context for the ceremony in the Novus Ordo, which sadly can take a form that feels not only somewhat secular but even disruptive and an invasion of personal space. I always think of a letter to the Catholic press from one worshipper in Bristol some years ago:

In my church, one elderly widower tours the pews 'making a meal'; of his license to to make contact with female bodies. ... When the 'feel good' moment arrives, they approach me expectactly, but I ignore such cheap, shallow, bonhomie. I have often felt like adding 'a little peace before Mass would not have gone amiss.'

My latest piece for Catholic Answers is on this topic. It begins:

The Sign of Peace, the handshake that takes place at Sunday Mass between the Our Father and the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) before Holy Communion, is sometimes a source of friction and confusion.

The friction derives from the experience of it getting out of hand—being disruptive and even an intrusion. These problems were serious enough to raise the question, at the 2009 Synod of Bishops in in Rome, of moving the Sign of Peace to before the Offertory. Here, I want to shed some light on the meaning of the rite, which helps to put the question into some context.

At the LMS Annual Mass of Reparation in Bedford.

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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Learn Latin this Summer!


The Latin Mass Society offers 80% discounts to clerics, seminarians, and those about to enter seminary (trainee permanent deacons too!), if they are based in or come from England and Wales, to learn Latin either online or at our in-person course in August. Lay people are also welcome of course! 

In person teaching (more here)

Monday to Saturday, 12-17th August, at Park Place Pastoral Centre near Fareham in Hampshire. 
  • An intensive course to make the most of your time
  • Based on the Latin of the Traditional Mass
  • Three tutors to make sure everyone has exactly the level of Latin instruction they need
  • Daily Traditional Mass celebrated by our chaplain
  • A Catholic ethos
  • 80% discount for clergy and seminarians
  • 50% discount for students
  • Another £55 off for LMS members
The course is very competitively priced even without the discounts!

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Getting men to Mass: for Catholic Answers

Men outnumber women at the LMS Walsingham Pilgrimage: sign up here!

My latest pieces for Catholic Answers is about the alarming typical imbalance between men and women at Mass in the West. I devote a chapter to the 'feminisation of Christianity' in my book, The Liturgy, the Family, and the Crisis of Modernity, and there is also quite a lot on the subject on this blog.

There is a certainly a marked contrast between the imbalance of the sexes at typical Novus Ordo celebrations and the more balanced situation in the Traditional Mass, with some activities associated with it, which are particularly appealing to men, such as walking pilgrimages, often showing a clear majority of men. This is beginning to enter the discourse as a fact accepted by all sides: after all, anyone can see it for themselves by visiting a few Masses on Sunday. But as I note in this article, the tendency among liturgical progressives is not to acknowledge that they might have something to learn from others, but rather that it must be the case that anything in the Church able to attract men must be misogynistic.

That would be a pretty grim conclusion: that men will only attend Mass if it is in some sense anti-woman. It conforms, however, to an unspoken idea that seems behind a lot of modern discourse, that men are intrinsically bad, and not worth trying to save: worthy only, in fact, of condemnation, for characteristics that they cannot help having, as if God were not pleased with His creation after all.

My article for Catholic Answers begins:

Monday, June 03, 2024

Corpus Christi Procession in the rain


I think special credit is due when a procession takes place in the rain. This one was onthe feast of Corpus Christi, last Thursday, at SS Gregory & Augustine's, Oxford.


After the procession we had Benediction.


We had previously had High Mass.


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