Friday, 27 March 2015

Requiem fit for a (Catholic) King

Thought I'd post some photos of Mass last night - our Requiem for King Richard III. There was a great turnout, with people coming from across the Pennines in Yorkshire, local folk who had heard about it but were not Catholics and members of the Richard III Society, as well as LMS members and parishioners.  After Mass - with full Umph! from organist David-Scott-Thomas - we all thoroughly enjoyed singing a rousing rendition of Jerusalem! Followed by a themed buffet with such tasty morsels as Yorkshire pudding with venison sausage or duck in port sauce, Pye of pork meat made with paest royall, Ribbes of beef, Quail eggs and roasted chicken calf. So together with Traditional Latin Mass and good food and wine, we felt that we gave King Richard a properly Catholic send off. This was rather the point of the exercise, as my own stand is that wherever he was re-interred, it should really have been in a Catholic setting. He lived as a Catholic (including whatever sins he may - or may not have committed) he died as a Catholic and was exhumed from a Catholic burial site. 


A special mention must be made of the music - the singing Quartet was excellent.

The rest are all photos of the Absolutions and procession out. I think the photographers - Mike and Alan (thank you!) were sensible of not taking too many photos during the actual Mass, while they and others were praying.

Some final points, before any comments get posted:

1. Music and vestments were not an historically accurate recreation of the Sarum Rite circa 1485. We are the living Church not an historical re-enactment society.

2. Yes, I did remove the veils on the sanctuary statues just for this Mass.

3. Yes, there were some flowers in evidence despite Lent and it being a Requiem.

After all, it wasn't a Requiem Mass in quite the usual way and, having consulted others, decided that the occasion warranted such extravagances!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

King Richard III Mass

A reminder that we are offering High Mass (Requiem) for King Richard III this Thursday - the day of his interment at Leicester. While it is styled as being “in the manner of his day”, the intention is not to create an historically accurate re-enactment, like some set piece of theatre preserved forever in aspic. We are the living Church, not an historical re-enactment society, praying for one who was baptised into that Church. 

Not that I would be adverse to wearing a Sarum vestment loaned by the V & A or Sir Harry Christophers turning up with the Sixteen but we will manage a good showing, none the less.  In fact, I'm very pleased that the singing and chant is now being provided by a new young singing group based in Manchester - the Manchester Singers - an exciting new a cappella vocal ensemble whose members include talented young artists just embarking on their professional careers. 

There is a buffet and wine afterwards - again with a Ricardian theme, although I can't guarantee there might not be some more prosaic fare amongst the swan stuffed with widgeon!

Cardinal Vincent Nichols said at his Mass for King Richard this week:
"We know that Richard was a man of anxious devotion who kept and marked his own book of prayers and who must have attended Mass throughout his life.
During this week, Mass is being offered in many Catholic Churches for the repose of the soul of King Richard III. Rightly so. That is exactly what he would have wished."

So, its the intention to offer King Richard Catholic rites that more closely resemble what he might have expected on the day of his death. Those we hope the Fransiscans at Leicester gave him, no matter what the defeated and unceremonious arrival at their gates.  Our intention is to offer the grace of Christ’s sacrifice that every soul would surely wish for and stands in need of in approaching the Gates of Heaven and the Judgement Seat of the Creator.

Thursday 26th March
At St Catherine’s Church
Stanifield Lane
Farington - Leyland - PR25 4QG
(Off Junction 1 M65 or Junction 28 / 29 on M6
& between Farington Park & Kew Gardens locally)

A Requiem Mass in the style and manner of his day.
Sung High Latin Mass
with the Manchester Singers.

A light Buffet with wine will be served afterwards.
All Welcome.

For any further details 
Telephone 01772 421174   

Monday, 23 March 2015

Warrington Choral Society and Orchestra

I went to the concert performed by the Warrington Choral Society and Orchestra yesterday evening and what a delight it was. I have to admit that I was not familiar with the music but the choice of Lenten music managed to be both powerful and charming.  The Society has only being up and running for about eighteen months, so full marks to Michael Wynne, its founder and Director and a special mention for the First Violin - Matthew Fields, I think -  for the solo during the Rosary Sonatas, though the standard throughout was very high. We listened to:

Buxtehude: Jesu meines Lebens Leben
Biber: Rosary Sonatas. Sorrowful Mysteries
Schutz: Die seben letzen Worte Jesu

The music was enhanced by the beautiful setting of St Mary's Church in Warrington town centre. Formerly a Benedictine parish but now being looked after by the Archdiocese. In a side note, I'm glad that the parish priest there follows my own line of thinking  - that church's don't have to be cold. The heating system was obviously in full working order and made for a comfortable visit, even in this big church. Like quite a few others, I had taken a warm coat with me, expecting the usual freezing ecclesial edifice - they were all shed pretty quickly!

A closer view of the High Altar.

There is also a charming side chapel dedicated to the English Martyrs.

A detail of the English Martyrs.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

New Bishop for Arundel and Brighton

FROM TH VATICAN BULLETIN FOR TODAY. I don't know much about him at all. I pray that he is orthodox and looks after his priests.

Appointment of the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton (England)

The Pope appointed Bishop of Arundel and Brighton (England) Msgr. Charles Phillip Richard Moth, until now Bishop Military Ordinary for Britain.

Msgr. Charles Phillip Richard Moth

Msgr. Charles Phillip Richard Moth was born on July 8, 1958 in Chingola (Zambia). He completed his primary and secondary education in Catholic schools in Kent. He received priestly formation at the seminary St. John's in Wonersh, Surrey, and St. Paul at the University of Ottawa, he obtained a licentiate in canon law and the Master.

Or was ordained July 3, 1982 for the Archdiocese of Southwark.

Later he held the following ministries: Assistant pastor, Judge of the Metropolitan Court of First Instance of Southwark, Chaplain "part time" of the Army Medical Corps in Kennington, private secretary Archbishop Mons. Michael Bower, Master of Ceremonies, Director of 'Vocations Office and Vice-Chancellor, President of the Metropolitan Court of Second Instance of Southwark.

In 2001 he was appointed Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Southwark and Prelate of Honor; in 2003 Parish Administrator of Holy Cross , Plumsteas; in 2006 Parish Administrator of St. Joseph's , St. Mary's , Cray.

July 25, 2009 he was elected Bishop Military Ordinary for Britain, receiving episcopal consecration September 29, 2009.

Concert of Lenten Music

Buxtehude: Jesu membra nostri
Buxtehude: Jesu meines Lebens Leben
Biber: Rosary Sonatas. Sorrowful Mysteries

A concert of Lenten music at St Mary's church in the centre of Warrington with the Warrington Choral Society and Orchestra, conducted by Michael Wynne. This Sunday 22nd March at 7.30pm.

St Mary's is a fine church, 
all the interior fittings were designed by Peter Paul Pugin.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Ways to celebrate Holy Week and Easter even more gloriously this year!

On February 14, 2015, Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Astana, Kazakhstan, gave a talk in Washington, DC.  During the talk, he proposed concrete actions — ten essential elements — which should be implemented to accomplish liturgical renewal. I like them all!  Of course, many of these can be accomplished immediately in the Ordinary Form of the Mass by simply following the rubrics and exercising the variations that are allowed.  Ways to celebrate Holy Week and Easter even more gloriously this year!

1.  The tabernacle, where Jesus Christ, the Incarnate God, is really present under the species of bread should be placed in the centre of the sanctuary, because in no other sign on this earth is God, the Emmanuel, so really present and so near to man as in the tabernacle. The tabernacle is the sign indicating and containing the Real Presence of Christ and should therefore be closer to the altar and constitute with the altar the one central sign indicating the Eucharistic mystery. The Sacrament of the Tabernacle and the Sacrifice of the Altar should therefore not be opposed or separated, but both in the central place and close together in the sanctuary. All the attention of those who enter a church should spontaneously be directed towards the tabernacle and the altar.

2.  During the Eucharistic liturgy – at the very least during the Eucharistic prayer – when Christ the Lamb of God is immolated, the face of the priest should not be seen by the faithful. Even the Seraphim cover their faces (Isaiah 6:2) when adoring God. Instead, the face of the priest should be turned toward the cross, the icon of the crucified God.

3.  During the liturgy, there should be more signs of adoration — specifically genuflections — especially each time the priest touches the consecrated host.

4. The faithful approaching to receive the Lamb of God in Holy Communion should greet and receive Him with an act of adoration, kneeling. Which moment in the life of the faithful is more sacred than this moment of encounter with the Lord?

5. There should be more room for silence during the liturgy, especially during those moments which most fully express the mystery of the redemption. Especially when the sacrifice of the cross is made present during the Eucharistic prayer.

6.  There should be more exterior signs which express the dependence of the priest on Christ, the High Priest, which would more clearly show that the words the priest speaks (ie., “Dominus Vobiscum“) and the blessings he offers to the faithful depend on and flow out from Christ the High Priest, not from him, the private person. Not “I greet you” or “I bless you” but “I the Lord” do these things. Christ. Such signs could be (as was practiced for centuries) the kissing of the altar before greeting the people to indicate that this love flows not from the priest but from the altar; and also before blessing, to kiss the altar, and then bless the people. (This was practiced for millennium, and unfortunately in the new rite has been abolished.) Also, bowing towards the altar cross to indicate that Christ is more important than the priest. Often in the liturgy — in the old rite — when a priest expressed the name of Jesus, he had to turn to the cross and make a bow to show that the attention should be on Christ, not him.

7.  There should be more signs which express the unfathomable mystery of the redemption. This could be achieved through the veiling of liturgical objects, because veiling is an act of the liturgy of the angels. Veiling the chalice, veiling the paten with the humeral veil, the veiling of the corporal, veiling the hands of the bishop when he celebrates a solemnity, The use of communion rails, also, to veil the altar. Also signs – signs of the cross by the priest and the faithful. Making signs of the cross during the priest by the Eucharistic prayer and by the faithful during other moments of the liturgy; when we are signing ourselves with the cross it is a sign of blessing. In the ancient liturgy, three times during the Gloria, the Credo, and the Sanctus, the faithful made the sign of the cross. These are expressions of the mystery.

8.  There should be a constant sign which expresses the mystery also by means of human language – that is to say, Latin is a sacred language demanded by the Second Vatican Council in celebration of every holy Mass and in each place a part of the Eucharistic prayer should always be said in Latin.

9.  All those who exercise an active role in the liturgy, such as lectors, or those announcing the prayer of the faithful, should always be dressed in the liturgical vestments; and only men, no women, because this is an exercise in the sanctuary, close to the priesthood. Even reading the lectionary is directed towards this liturgy which we are celebrating to Christ. And therefore only men dressed in liturgical vestments should be in the sanctuary.

10.  The music and the songs during the liturgy should more truly reflect the sacred character and should resemble the song of the angels, like the Sanctus, in order to be really more able to sing with one voice with the angels. Not only the Sanctus, but the entire Holy Mass. It would be necessary that the heart, mind and voice of the priest and the faithful be directed towards The Lord. And that this would be manifested by exterior signs and gestures as well.

Thanks to One Peter Five, where I found the report of the Bishop's talk.

I was fortunate enough to meet Bishop Schneider for the second time last year in London.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

A.W. Pugin Church of Our Lady and St Wilfrid

The church little church of Our Lady and St Wilfrid at Warwick Bridge just outside Carlisle is making a bid for Heritage Lottery Funding and is setting up a Friends Group. It is a beautiful little church, still in use. It is part of the parish of Our Lady of Eden. I assisted at Mass there last year. There are a few further photographs here.  

A group of parishioners has formed a Repairs & Fabric Committee with the aim of making a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund in order to restore this beautiful Augustus Pugin church. We have no way of knowing at this stage how successful we might be, but part of the process asks us to demonstrate our community links and with that in view we wish to establish a Friends of the Church group. This is not a new idea, and indeed the formation of the group will not be tied to the restoration only. We have the support of Our Lady of Eden Parish, the Diocese and Wetheral Parish Council.

There will be different sorts of Friends, but all in one group:

-  Those who wish to show solidarity but due to age, time or distance can do little more.
-  Those prepared to assist in particular tasks.
-  Those prepared to offer specialist advice.
- Anyone who wishes to support the community & congregation in keeping this unique church open and in good condition.
-  Parish, village councils; societies & historical groups.

The sort of tasks the Friends will be able to assist with:

-  Opening the church to the public on Saturdays.
-  Assisting our gardener to keep the gardens under control.
-  Assist in fundraising.
-  Learning about the church in order to become a guide for visitors.
-  Research on the history of the church.

Website; Newsletter: it is the intention to keep the Friends informed of developments and news. 

Please register your approval by joining the Friends:

To register please send your address, email address and phone number to:
Friends of the Church, The Rectory, Warwick Square, Carlisle CA1 1LB 
01228 521509