Tuesday, June 29, 2010

LMS AGM



At this year`s Ushaw conference it was announced that I was to be the chaplain to the LMS for the North of England, following the LMS` decision to have regional chaplains as well as a national chaplain. When approached about this I asked what it would involve and was told it was to be available for LMS events for the North of England area. As there haven`t been any of these in recent years I thought it sounded safe to accept and enjoy the kudos without any responsibility.

No sooner than I had accepted I was asked to be the speaker at this year`s AGM and then to be assistant priest at a pontifical Mass at Westminster cathedral. I remember LMS AGM`s of old as being rather lively where the speaker might even be heckled by SSPX supporters or worse. However I thought it would be an interesting experience and agreed. I had been assistant priest to bishop Rifan on his British tour of 2004 and thought I could mug it up again. It is one of the benefits of the liturgical revolution that opportunities arise that probably wouldn`t have before `the changes`. For example, if a member of what we used to call the `indult community` (but now I suppose is the EF community), dies, then whereas before the council a person may have had a Requiem consisting of a Low Mass (maybe with hymns) now you get a full sung Mass and sometimes even a Solemn High Mass! So I get to be an assistant priest at a Pontifical High Mass at Westminster cathedral which may not have happened before the changes.
So I set to work on my talk which was to last 20 minutes and talk about the papal visit, the beatification of Cardinal Newman and the 2010 report by the world`s bishops requested by the Vatican on the implementation of Summorum Pontificum. On arriving at Westminster Cathedral Hall I sensed that this was not to be an AGM like I remembered. In the past the Mass was in the morning and the AGM after lunch. Now it is the other way round. This seems to have had the effect of reducing the attendance at the AGM which was about half full. I felt relaxed and after the reports from the secretary, treasurer and chairman, I spoke and found it much less nerve-wracking than I had feared.




We had had a rehearsal for the Mass on Friday afternoon. I had I thought learned my moves over the previous weeks but still found I went blank a couple of times. Bishop Hopes remained very calm throughout. In fact he seemed so assured I asked him afterwards whether he ever celebrates the EF apart from the LMS events at Westminster Cathedral but apparently he doesn`t. An added difficulty was that the bishop did not know by heart many of the prayers for blessing incense or at the foot of the altar etc., so our MC Gordon Dimon had not only to remember the usual things for a pontifical Mass at the faldstool but also ensure that various bits of laminated plastic with extra prayers were brought to the bishop. The pictures however look very good and the one of the consecration I am going to print off and frame!

After Mass bishop Hopes invited the clergy into cathedral house for a cup of tea. Fr Hayward our subdeacon had gone but Fr Irwin and myself went in. Fr Iwrin is a priest at St James, Spanish Place where he says the Sunday EF Low Mass. We also met the cathedral dean who is going to Downside in August to learn the EF.


I was glad of this opportunity to speak at the AGM and assist at the Mass. I thought the Mass was well-attended and enjoyed, amidst the heat and trying to remember what to do next, the singing of Victoria`s O Quam Gloriosum Mass.
I was grateful to Fr Briggs of Chislehurst for giving me accommodation on Friday night and enjoyed going out for a pizza with him and Fr Tim Finigan, Britain`s most eminent Catholic priest blogger. Many thanks to Joseph Shaw for the photos of the Mass.

Now for High Mass tonight with Haydn`s Little Organ Mass. My next visit to Westminster Cathedral will be to concelebrate Mass with Benedict XVI in September!

20 comments:

PP said...

Father,
Are all priests invited to concelebrate Mass at Westminster with HH?

Fr Michael Brown said...

PP all I know is that we had an email from bishop`s house saying there were ten places available for priests of the diocese to concelebrate at Westminster cathedral with the Pope, so I replied by return of email and got one. I`ve no idea what other dioceses are doing.

PP said...

Ah, thanks Father.

It must be being done differently down here.

I'm sure that it will be a wonderful and spiritually uplifting experience for you.

Anonymous said...

An assistant priest was usually the provost of a Cathedral or some other Collegial foundation.

Going up in the world Fr. Brown.

bess said...

Congratulations, Father
And I do like your new page.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Thanks Anonymous. I certainly never would have been assistant priest at a Mass at Westminster cathedral before the changes then!

Another anonymous said...

As Mass is celebrated in the afternoon, after lunch, then presumably Father you celebrated after fasting for one hour - i.e. following the norms of Canon Law now in force.

What then would you say the position is, with respect to the norms of Canon Law currently (1983) in force when celebrating the EF with regard to:

a) Communion under both Kinds and the reception of Communion standing;

b) Concelebration;

c) the use of female servers

d) the celebration of a Sunday (or Holyday) Mass on Saturday evening (or the eve of the Holyday).

Fr Michael Brown said...

Another Anonymous, the fasting laws were upheld.

Your questions seem designed to irritate devotees of the EF.

As for a)It is a difficult point as to how the EF is reconciled with the 1983 code. Holy Communion can be given under both kinds in the Roman Rite in England and Wales. However there is no formula in the missal for administering the chalice to the laity so I don`t think it can be done. Holy communion is normally given at the altar rail. If someone is standing then I assume it is because they can`t kneel. there is nothing in canon law to say that there is a right to receive Communion standing.
b)The rubrics make it impossible I would say, except at an ordination when the canon is said audibly. If it is inaudible I don`t see how it would work.
c) Female servers are now legal for the Roman Rite. However to introduce them into the EF would not be popular. Besides although they are legal it is still at the priest`s discretion whether they are used.
d) It is legal to have a Sunday (or Holy Day)Mass on the evening before. Not exactly in the spirit of things but it can be done.

another anonymous said...

"Another Anonymous, the fasting laws were upheld.

Your questions seem designed to irritate devotees of the EF."

Fasting rules as found in the 1983 Code were upheld, those in force in 1962 were not. Would that not be a clearer statement?

Irritation is caused to a lot of OF supporters by some EF supporters so clarification is useful for the harmony of parishes and the resolution of difficulties.

a) the rite of distribution of Communion was not, strictly speaking, part of the Ordo Missae (it probably could be argued that it should have been but...). The rite currently in force for the distribution of Communion outside of Mass contains formulae for the distribution of Communion under both Species. Having established, by your own example of fasting, that the current rules are in force, why cannot Communion under the Species of Wine then be given with the formula currently in use? Or, for that matter, why not simply extrapolate from the form used when the celebrant receives the chalice to Sanguis Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam? After all Anglo-Catholics who use the English Missal have been doing that for years.

I an uncertain but is there anything in current Canon Law that makes it mandatory to kneel for the reception of Communion?

b) At a (priestly) ordination those ordained read from a missal placed on a stool before them whilst kneeling in plano but use a (very) low voice - as does the celebrant. At an Episcopal ordination those ordained concelebrate from missals at the corners of the altar. Accepting the principle is the same then could not bishops extend the faculty for the EP to be said in an audible voice this, after all, would be an example of mutual enrichment between the two forms. Concelebration could then also be facultated by the bishop.

c) So a priest who wishes to advance harmony in his parish could celebrate the EF with female servers if he chose to do so?

d) Why is it not in the spirit of things? Both the EF and OF liturgical books presume that the eves of Sundays and Holydays will have had Vespers or other common prayer. It seems logical that a Mass celebrated after that should be of the Sunday/feast.

Clearly the rubrics in EF are subject to the norms of Canon Law now in force otherwise, as we have established from you having lunch, c.f. De defectibus IX, 1. you would have fasted for three hours. You could, of course, have chosen to fast for the three hours, following the rubrics in the EF. However, you didn't. Therefore surely other rubrics are subject to similar modification and must be viewed through the canonical norms currently in force.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Another Anonymous, thanks for your contribution. I am all in favour of harmony in parishes but we have to admit that for years anyone who showed any interest in the EF was accused of causing division in a parish. Those who are interested in the EF by and large are not in favour of theh suggestions you make. If they were introduced into the EF (and I assume you would be proposing to have Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion distribute the chalice as well as encouraging Communion in the hand) then while all these things may be legal according to the 1983 code they would only have the effect of driving people away from the EF who wanted it.

I understand that there are plenty of people who attend the OF who can`t understand why anyone should not be so completely satisfied with it that that they should want anything else but this is all about respecting differences. I celebrate the OF every day. We have Communion under both kinds, altar girls, standing for Communion and all the other things you mention. I doubt that introducing them into the EF would attract any of the OF devotees. Of course we could add Mass facing the people, use of the vernacular, use of unattractive modern vestments. All you would create would be something that no-one was happy with.

Maybe in the future we will see a mutual enrichment between the forms whatever that involves. At the minute this is all very new in the life of the Church and needs time to bed in. Those who have worked for up to forty years for the EF are hardly going to be keen on such innovations and to ask them to do so is to undermine the whole point of Summorum Pontificum.

1569 Rising said...

Father, you seem to be the victim of a case of entrapment. This classic and discredited tactic operates by posing seemingly innocuous questions as if from a genuine lay person. You answered the questions, then became subject to a quite viscious diatribe from someone who is far from being an "ordinary punter" who seems determined to score points.

His real object seems to be to rubbish the EF, Summorum Pontificum, and the Catholic laity who love and appreciate the EF.

I wish these people would leave us alone. All we want is to attend Mass in peace, and the EF saved this one lay Catholic from lapsing. I do not wish to be lectured by some clever expert who seems to lack any real feeling for the ordinary Catholic who happens to attend Masses authorised and encouraged by Rome.

I suspect an invasion of this blog by a TROLL.

Incidentally, I am more than happy for my name to be known, unlike Anonymous Anonymous

Terry Middleton,
Rowlands Gill

Em said...

I believe Another Anonymous does not want their identity revealed because I strongly suspect that he is a priest or someone "high up" in the hierachy of laity that seems to have developed in recent times.

Hestor said...

Fancy you concelebrating. And there was me thinking you were a trad!

Fr Michael Brown said...

Hestor, unfortunately there was no offer for clergy to attend in white choir. I`m not very keen on concelebration but what else is there to do?

Another Anonymous said...

1569 Rising, I am sorry to disabuse you but I actually rather like the rising sun and do not turn to stone when its rays fall upon me. Furthermore I do not believe in trolls, goblins, fairies or other extraordinary things.

Fr. Brown had commented in several of his recent posts how the liturgical situation now is, in many ways, superior to the time before the Council – the number of High Masses etc. The attitude of some, though by no means all, supporters of the ‘EF’ of wanting to preserve it in aspic as it stood at some late date in 1962 is, I would suggest, a hindrance rather than a help to its future establishment or otherwise.

We have established that use of the ‘EF’ does not mean that everything else that has changed since 1962 is to be ignored or treated as though it never happened. One of the reasons that the Constitution on the Liturgy was so overwhelmingly voted in favour of was the state of liturgy before the Council was very poor indeed, with some rare exceptions. Six mumbled Low Masses on a Sunday morning was the norm, as the post mentioning Fr. Harrison’s research illustrates well.

As to Fr. Brown’s point about the distribution of Communion from the Chalice that is clearly a diaconal function – deacons in the CofE have been doing that for years. The use of EMHC could easily be negated by the ordination of more permanent deacons and other ministers for parishes such as acolytes and readers. Mass facing the people was a liturgical fashion popular on the Continent and the USA in the 1940s and 1950s – it has no intrinsic association with the ‘EF’ or ‘OF’. Users of the English Missal have a tradition of singing high-quality vernacular translations of the Sarum texts. The use of Latin or the vernacular should depend on a congregations ability to understand the latter. I do not believe one should be too intransigent about excluding either. As to unattractive vestments there were plenty of those around in the years before the Council. Cheap, mass-produced ‘St. Sulpice’ work abounded and are loved by most ‘EF’ supporters – sandwich board style ‘Roman’ chasubles (with a cross on the back!) with the texture of sandpaper – those I would certainly describe as unattractive.

To bury one’s head, or go down a hole like a Hobbit, pretending the Second Vatican Council never happened isn’t going to produce a widespread interest in raising liturgical standards.

Another Anonymous said...

1569 Rising, I am sorry to disabuse you but I actually rather like the rising sun and do not turn to stone when its rays fall upon me. Furthermore I do not believe in trolls, goblins, fairies or other extraordinary things.

Fr. Brown had commented in several of his recent posts how the liturgical situation now is, in many ways, superior to the time before the Council – the number of High Masses etc. The attitude of some, though by no means all, supporters of the ‘EF’ of wanting to preserve it in aspic as it stood at some late date in 1962 is, I would suggest, a hindrance rather than a help to its future establishment or otherwise.

We have established that use of the ‘EF’ does not mean that everything else that has changed since 1962 is to be ignored or treated as though it never happened. One of the reasons that the Constitution on the Liturgy was so overwhelmingly voted in favour of was the state of liturgy before the Council was very poor indeed, with some rare exceptions. Six mumbled Low Masses on a Sunday morning was the norm, as the post mentioning Fr. Harrison’s research illustrates well.

As to Fr. Brown’s point about the distribution of Communion from the Chalice that is clearly a diaconal function – deacons in the CofE have been doing that for years. The use of EMHC could easily be negated by the ordination of more permanent deacons and other ministers for parishes such as acolytes and readers. Mass facing the people was a liturgical fashion popular on the Continent and the USA in the 1940s and 1950s – it has no intrinsic association with the ‘EF’ or ‘OF’. Users of the English Missal have a tradition of singing high-quality vernacular translations of the Sarum texts. The use of Latin or the vernacular should depend on a congregations ability to understand the latter. I do not believe one should be too intransigent about excluding either. As to unattractive vestments there were plenty of those around in the years before the Council. Cheap, mass-produced ‘St. Sulpice’ work abounded and are loved by most ‘EF’ supporters – sandwich board style ‘Roman’ chasubles (with a cross on the back!) with the texture of sandpaper – those I would certainly describe as unattractive.

To bury one’s head, or go down a hole like a Hobbit, pretending the Second Vatican Council never happened isn’t going to produce a widespread interest in raising liturgical standards.

Another Anonymous said...

1569 Rising, I am sorry to disabuse you but I actually rather like the rising sun and do not turn to stone when its rays fall upon me. Furthermore I do not believe in trolls, goblins, fairies or other extraordinary things.

Fr. Brown had commented in several of his recent posts how the liturgical situation now is, in many ways, superior to the time before the Council – the number of High Masses etc. The attitude of some, though by no means all, supporters of the ‘EF’ of wanting to preserve it in aspic as it stood at some late date in 1962 is, I would suggest, a hindrance rather than a help to its future establishment or otherwise.

We have established that use of the ‘EF’ does not mean that everything else that has changed since 1962 is to be ignored or treated as though it never happened. One of the reasons that the Constitution on the Liturgy was so overwhelmingly voted in favour of was the state of liturgy before the Council was very poor indeed, with some rare exceptions. Six mumbled Low Masses on a Sunday morning was the norm, as the post mentioning Fr. Harrison’s research illustrates well.

As to Fr. Brown’s point about the distribution of Communion from the Chalice that is clearly a diaconal function – deacons in the CofE have been doing that for years. The use of EMHC could easily be negated by the ordination of more permanent deacons and other ministers for parishes such as acolytes and readers. Mass facing the people was a liturgical fashion popular on the Continent and the USA in the 1940s and 1950s – it has no intrinsic association with the ‘EF’ or ‘OF’. Users of the English Missal have a tradition of singing high-quality vernacular translations of the Sarum texts. The use of Latin or the vernacular should depend on a congregations ability to understand the latter. I do not believe one should be too intransigent about excluding either. As to unattractive vestments there were plenty of those around in the years before the Council. Cheap, mass-produced ‘St. Sulpice’ work abounded and are loved by most ‘EF’ supporters – sandwich board style ‘Roman’ chasubles (with a cross on the back!) with the texture of sandpaper – those I would certainly describe as unattractive.

To bury one’s head, or go down a hole like a Hobbit, pretending the Second Vatican Council never happened isn’t going to produce a widespread interest in raising liturgical standards.

Fr Michael Brown said...

1569 and Em thanks for your support. AA,you sound rather similar to one Rubricarius who used to posr here.

I thinnk we agree that before the Council there were many problems. I would agree about the bad vestments before the council too. As I said I would have been probably equally frustrated then as I am now.

While distribution of the chalice may be a diaconal function, the reality nowadays is that is overwhelmingly a lay function. As for more permanent deacons, acolytes and readers you forget to mention that the biggest obstacle to this is that women can not be instituted into these ministries and that is why the modern church has no time for them.

Mass facing the people or facing with the people is not the issue. Facing East should be the issue. The problem is that people couldn`t be bothered ensuring that churches were properly orientated. However I think Mass facing the same way as the people has an intrinsic superiority to that facing the people. There are plenty of modern writers, including Ratzinger, who see that.

I suspect you could create the liturgy you think is acceptable by tinkering with the OF. However introducing such a liturgy into a parish would put one`s blood pressure at higher risk than introducing the EF and the problem reamains that you will have created your own version of the OF whereas the more restricted rubrics of the EF give a better sense of entering into an action that is bigger than oneself.As I explained in my other post, the evidence I have seen for `celebrating the OF properly` hasn`t been very encouraging as yet.

David O'Neill said...

One wonders about the sanity (or self worth) of anyone having (what they consider to be) worthwhile comments & yet not having the moral courage to identify themselves. I will always identify myself - unless I become 'hole-in-the-corner' like those calling themselves 'anonymous' or 'another anonymous'. Perhaps you are the bishop? Or even another 'pink liberal' (non political of course)?
I largely agree with what 1569 (or Terence to be precise) says

Another Anonymous said...

How interesting and refreshing to read Fr. Gary Dickson's measured and balanced article.

Quite a contrast I would suggest to much of the 'Traditionalist' world and much of what I was suggesting in my previous comments that seem to have upset misters Middleton and O'Neill.