On Friday at a priest`s funeral, I bumped into Fr Adrian Dixon, our diocesan liturgist. Fr Dixon is my successor at St Joseph`s and St Wilfrid`s in Gateshead. The Latin Mass continues on a Sunday at St Joseph`s: recently Fr Dixon has learnt how to say it and seems to be the celebrant most Sundays now. While disappointed not to be involved any more myself, I must say that it is a great breakthrough to have the diocesan liturgist celebrating the traditional Mass in his own parish. I have always had respect for Fr Dixon and have consulted him on liturgical matters and he asked me canonical questions at times. A couple of years ago I was concerned as to how I would bless two paschal candles with only one Easter vigil. Unfortunately I can`t remember the answer now but may need to look it up again for next year.
On this occasion I took the opportunity to ask whether we have an indult in England and Wales for lay people to purify the vessels after communion. . This arose because of the indult for lay people to do so in the USA recently not being renewed by the Holy See. He told me we don`t have any such indult. It would be surprising if our bishops were to say anything, I suppose, but maybe it will be raised at the next ad limina. Fr Finigan had an article with a discussion about this matter on his blog which includes a response from the Liturgy office of the English bishops. I am reluctant to make a stand about this in the parish without a lead from the top as they will just think it`s me who has `dragged (them) back in time in the celebration of Mass` ( in the words of the petition I was given a couple of months after arriving in the Forest). Anyway, if the universal indult is coming soon, (here`s the latest rumour) then there will be less to worry about in all kinds of ways!