Monday, March 28, 2011

EF Mass in York Minster

I have been thinking today about writing up an account of the Mass at York Minster on Saturday but the LMS have beaten me to it! It was a truly wonderful and uplifting occasion. It must have been the first time the Roman Missal of 1570 (with its subsequent minor changes) has been used in York Minster and as said elsewhere, probably the first Latin Mass said at the High Altar of the Minster since the time of Mary Tudor. Fr Maughan`s sermon was memorable and I hope we will see it made available somewhere. The procession to English Martyrs` church was almost as remarkable as the Mass. It was good to see old friends again including quite a number of people from the North West who went on the 2007 LMS pilgrimage to Lourdes: they are looking forward to the arrival of thhe Institute at SS Peter and Paul`s, New Brighton.Most of all it was fabulous to see so many Catholics coming together for this event and for a form of Mass the desire for which is normally ignored in diocesan life. I`m delighted to say there was even a small party from St Mary`s Forest Hall. The only blight on the day was the collapse of the rail system on the East Coast. In fact I met one person who had spent four hours trying to get to York from Newcastle and so missed the Mass only to spend a few more hours trying to get a train back from York.

While there were ten of us priests in choir it was a pity that the only Middlesborough priest was the celebrant. In fact looking around the parish newsletters of the York parishes on the internet none of them mentioned the event.(UPDATE 01.04.11 Thanks to Yorkmum for telling us that two York parishes did in fact advertise the Mass: their newsletters are not on the internet.)

The Catholic Shinobi has an interesting report here. Here is the LMS report:

Huge Success for the Latin Mass Society at York Minster

Over 700 Catholics committed to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Latin Mass) converged on York Minster on Saturday 26 March to attend the first celebration of a Catholic Mass in the Minster since the Reformation. Sung Mass in the ancient Latin Rite, complete with beautiful vestments, ceremonial and incense, was celebrated at the High Altar by Fr Stephen Maughan of the Catholic diocese of Middlesbrough. (The Mass was a Votive Mass of a Holy Woman Martyr Not a Virgin).

Afterwards, the huge congregation processed through the streets of York in public witness of the Catholic Faith to the Shrine of St Margaret Clitherow in York’s historic Shambles before completing a memorable day with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at the Catholic Church of the English Martyrs.

The occasion was the Latin Mass Society’s first annual York pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret Clitherow, one of the LMS’s patron saints. The day was organised by Paul Waddington, National Treasurer and local Representative for the LMS who said: “I am overwhelmed by the response of so many hundreds of faithful Catholics. The number of young families with children in buggies was particularly encouraging”.

Permission for the Mass was given by the Dean, the Very Reverend Keith Jones, and Chapter of York Minster; the Dean and the Precentor, Canon Peter Moger, sat in choir during the Mass.

The Latin Mass Society had originally hoped to celebrate the Mass in the nearby Catholic parish Church of St Wilfrid’s, but unfortunately it was not available; however, the parish’s loss was York Minster’s gain.

The massive choir of York Minster was completely packed and over 150 people had to be accommodated in the nave with extra seating brought in. The music was provided by the Rudgate Singers, a local choir who specialise in the Latin Mass and who sang William Byrd’s polyphonic Mass for Five Voices.

Saint Margaret Clitherow, (1556-1586) who lived in York was an ordinary wife and mother who refused to renounce her Catholic faith and who was martyred by being pressed to death in the reign of Elizabeth I. She was executed on Good Friday 1586 and was canonised by Pope Paul VI in 1970 as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

Following the Mass, there was a procession from York Minster through the city streets to St Margaret Clitherow’s shrine in the Shambles, and then across Ouse Bridge, the place of her execution. The sight of so many Catholic pilgrims publicly processing and praying the Rosary drew the notice of Saturday afternoon shoppers, and a respectful silence fell as the procession passed.

The procession finished at the Catholic Church of the English Martyrs where a relic of St Margaret Clitherow, on loan for the occasion from York’s Bar Convent, was venerated and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was conferred by Fr Michael Brown, the LMS’s Northern Chaplain.

The occasion was widely covered by TV, radio and local press.

Michael Lord, LMS General Manager, said: “Something special happened in York on Saturday. Hundreds of Catholics gathered in this historic centre of northern Christianity to honour one of England’s bravest women in a quite extraordinary way. Indeed, some people travelled from as far away as London, Oxford and Dublin.

“This Mass in the ancient Roman Rite demonstrates quite clearly the suppressed level of interest in the Latin Mass, particularly amongst the young. I’m afraid many English and Welsh bishops are still very grudging in helping to organise celebrations of the Latin Mass but our huge congregation today shows that hundreds of people want to stand alongside Pope Benedict in his efforts to restore beauty and dignity to Catholic worship and to restore Christianity in its ancient European heartland.

“The LMS is already making plans for an even bigger celebration in honour of St Margaret Clitherow next year”.

The LMS offers its grateful thanks to the Dean and Chapter of York Minster, the Bar Convent, the Church of the English Martyrs and all those volunteer members of the LMS who co-ordinated the day’s events, and without whom such a happy and successful occasion would not have been possible.

Photographs of the pilgrimage can be downloaded here:

. . . . ENDS . . . .

For further information, please contact John Medlin, Publicist, or Mike Lord, LMS General Manager, on (T) 020 7404 7284; (F) 020 7831 5585;

(E mail)


1569 Rising said...

I really regret not being able to be present at this quite special and emotional day in York. I was thinking of all of you, and I offer my congratulations to the LMS for organising the event.
Also, grateful thanks to the Dean and Chapter of the Minster, and wasn't it delightful that the Dean and Precentor were present, vested, in Choir. I will make no comment at the unwillingness of our own Bishops to grace us with their presence.

St Margaret Cltherow, nee MIDDLETON, was no doubt smiling down on the event.

ScepticalBeliever said...

1569 is not really being just to 'our own Bishops' for not attending. Apparently there was some 'big match' (whatever that means) on the telly (as we need to describe it nowadays)on Saturday afternoon. So there you are!
It is always good to hear of missionary endeavours by our clergy (rare though that be) so I must congratulate Fr Brown on his success at Forest Hall when I read that 'I`m delighted to say there was even a small party from St Mary`s Forest Hall.'
The Hexham & Newcastle LMS website modestly (and unusually!) claims an attendance at York of over 600 whereas the national LMS press release claims 'over 700' only to be upstaged by its own Flickr (sic) entry claiming 'around 800' to be in the Minster. Surely someone could be delegated at such events to make an accurate count (or is it too difficult to do in Latin)?
An afterthought: I wonder just how many Tradional Catholics read (or even know about) Flickr? We should be told!

MDLXIX Rising said...

Tut Tut, Mr Septic, causing trouble again.
I made no comment as to where our Episcopacy were on Saturday afternoon - you were the one who alleged that they were watching football (or rugby?) on the telly.
There were lots of black clad figures smashing up Starbucks and the Ritz on Saturday afternoon, so maybe that was where they were. Or possibly in Hyde Park listening to Millipede comparing himself to Emmeline Pankhurst, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. The left-wingery would have appealed to some of them.
Is "Flickr" any relation to "My Friend Flicka", which I understand was a film about a horse?
I understand there were present at the Mass DCCXLIX.

ScepticalBeliever said...

I am distraught. My friend 1569 would never have misrepresented me yet this Latin (Italian?) upstart has the temerity to do so. Nowhere have I accused the bishops of watching either football or rugby on telly instead of going to York Minister. I simply mentioned ‘a big match’ which, for all my knowledge of telly programmes could have been a chess match (an event much more likely to have been watched by bishops intrigued by, and interested in, the plotting and scheming, subterfuge and trickery characteristic of that game. Or it could have been the week’s 121st episode of something called ‘Corrie’ who is probably quite a nice girl, of course) I simply don’t know.

MDLXIX illustrates the possible fault of counting ‘attendees’ in Latin. My informants are adamant; the numbers attending were actually DCCXLI.

On a rather more serious note (seriously, more or less!): a learned, even erudite friend of mind (therefore probably well known to all those contributing to Forest Rumours) was recently asked to become Patron of an Organisation. He declined on account of (so he tells me) because he was not in favour of the organisation and would rather prefer to be patron of a lesser-known but maybe better one such as the Knights of Columbia (he has always fancied a free trip to South America). The point is (at last) my friend had a choice. But, who decides that a saint shall be patron of this or that; do they have the option of declining the job (perhaps because they have never heard of it when on earth or would prefer to pray for another group of Catholics - only Catholics seem to appoint Patron Saints)? Do all saints get appointed to patronages or is it just the more famous ones? Is there a fixed term of office?

I see that the Latin Mass Society claims that St Margaret Clitherow is one (there are more?) of its patron saints Was the appointment made by the society’s committee or did they have to ask Rome? How did the Society of St Vincent de Paul (a most admirable organisation) get him as its patron? There are more examples, of course.

In the past I have been asked similar questions by non-Catholics . When next it happens I would like to be able to give at least a plausible answer.

Mike Forbester said...

In response to ScepticalBeliever an independant source - nothing to do with the LMS, put the number of those attending at around 800!

I WAS THERE said...

The Church has always venerated those it counts as its saints because they practised great virtue on earth, and in honouring those who are the chosen friends of God, we honour God Himself. So we give great honour by imitating their holy lives, by celebrating their feasts, and taking them as our models and patrons.

However, one has to be careful sometimes in choosing some saints as models because if we are enjoined to imitate their lives and virtues we might end of one day in facing the same choice as they did. And how many of us would pass the test that was put before St Margaret Clitherow (nee MIDDLETON)?

MDLX1X Rising said...

The Septic Believer puts up more hares than a Coursing Meeting, most of which run off into the rough, avoiding the jaws of the hounds.
He tells us about some hypothetical intellectual friend who was asked to take on some office (he doesn't say which), of an organisation (which one), then alludes to the very respectable Knights of St Columbus - except he calls it the Knights of Columbia, thus unseating the Saint after whom the organisation was named. He then suggests some jiggery-pokery (or should that be Bunga-Bunga see Burlesconi)in Latin America,but if said friend went to South America looking for some hanky panky, he would not find it in Columbia, since he probably means Colombia.
I WAS THERE answers the question on Saints and their role for us now, so Septic will no doubt be satisfied.(Some chance!)
Mike 4b estimates the attendance at
circaDCCC - good enough for me.
A final point on saints - in line with the Anglican Ordinariate - will they be celebrating the Feasts of King St Charles The Martyr, and Archbishop St William Laud?

It is good to see that the Septic Believer has got his "mojo" back. Dont ask me what that means, but I read the William Hague had lost his, but has found it again.

Yorkmum said...

"In fact looking around the parish newsletters of the York parishes on the internet none of them mentioned the event."

Our parish newsletter isn't published on the internet, but just to set the record straight, this event was advertised in it and as a result some parishoners attended who would otherwise not have known about it.

I know that it is sad that the event was not advertised more widely locally but two parishes did advertise.

ScepticalBeliever said...

It was very kind of MDLX1X Rising to welcome my finding my YoYo again. (That other fella, the Italian MDLXIX Rising doesn’t say such nice things.) In fact, it was never lost but the string snapped some time ago when I was ’Walkin’ the Dog’ and replacement strings never seem to work as well as the original. I now have a new YoMo, red with angels on it (well, pictures of…) which works quite well.

Unfortunately, MDLX1X Rising is in error. I never mentioned the Knights of St Columbus in my previous posting; I mentioned a far superior organisation entitled Knights of Columbia which has something to do with drugs. Considering their cost, probably for the NHS.

Another unfortunately: I remain unable to give a satisfactory answer to any Protestant enquirers since none of Forest Rambles contributors have answered my previous questions. Perhaps no one read my previous questions and thus answered the questions they thought I had asked or thought I should have asked. (Incidentally, I do know about the role of saints.)

May I ask a final question? Thank you! Can I appoint a Saint of my own choosing and without needing to get anyone’s permission to be Patron of my local Chess Club? Is that question clear enough?

There were probably under 900 at the Mass in York Minster. In 2009 at a Novus Ordo Mass in the same building there were an estimated 1500 people present. Makes one think.

If either MDLXIX or MDLX1X has made a typographical error perhaps we can be told?

Fr Michael Brown said...

Sceptical, there may well have been 1500 at an OF Mass in the Minster but when you consider the lack of support from those in authority for the EF Mass and lack of publicity or hostility I think 800 is very good.

ScepticalBeliever said...

Fr Brown, when I wrote 'In 2009 at a Novus Ordo Mass in the same building there were an estimated 1500 people present. Makes one think.' I stated what I had read elsewhere. It certainly made me think; made me think how they got that number when the Traditional Mass got far less. There could be many factors and I did not speculate. Had I done so in this forum I might well have suggested that the Novus Ordo benefitted from more publicity. But, all I said was: Makes one think. Your (commendable) defence of the numbers at York on the 26th was not really unnecessary!