Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bishop Seamus Cunningham at the Extraordinary Form

Last Sunday our bishop, Seamus Cunningham, went to St Wilfrid`s and St Joseph`s parishes in Gateshead on visitation. These were my former parishes until 2005. The Sunday Extraordinary Form Mass continues under the current parish priest, Fr Dixon. The bishop attended the EF Mass and sat in choir. I am no expert on pontifical ceremonies as I thought the prospect of my ever having to be involved in such were very slim although I have now been assistant priest at two Pontifical High Masses at the faldstool, the first being when bishop Rifan visited St Joseph`s, Gateshead in 2004.

I believe the Mass was attended by a congregation sixty strong. I hope these pictures or others from the event will maybe appear in the Northern Cross.

I still miss very much not having a Sunday Mass in the Extraordinary Form

Many thanks to Frank for the photos.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pugin: God`s own architect

I have just received information that this programme will be shown on BBC4 on January 19th. Readers may be interested to know that the programe will include the offertory from Solemn High Mass filmed in St Mary`s cathedral, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a Pugin building, at the end of last year.

From the photos above you will see the usual suspects were involved. Thanks to Pat for the photos.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dr Hall, the Tablet and the new translation

I see this week`s letter page in the Tablet carries a letter from one of our priests. It reads:

I propose a competition to find the worst translation of a prayer in the New Missal over the Christmas period. The 23 December Prayer Over the Gifts might take some beating: “May this oblation, by which divine worship in its fullness has been inaugurated for us, be our perfect reconciliation with you, O Lord, that we may celebrate with minds made pure the Nativity of our Redeemer.”
There is no doubt that this is not the language of the barbecue so despised by Cardinal Pell for our liturgy, but then I wonder whatlanguage it is at all. Herewith the proposed translation of the 1998 Missal. “Lord God, let the sacrifice you have given as the full expression of the Church’s worship establish us firmly in your peace, that we may celebrate with untroubled hearts the coming birth of our Saviour.” No “barbie language” this, just simple and elegant English!

(The Rev. Dr) Sean E. Hall Washington, Tyne and Wear

I read this and smiled. I smiled even more when I read the offertory prayer yesterday:

May your people`s oblation, O Lord,
find favour with you, we pray,
that it may restore them to holiness
and obtain what they devoutly entreat.

Not too bad I suppose and not eligible for Fr Hall`s competition as it is outside Christmas time, but I`m struggling with the frequent use of `oblation`. It`s not as easy a word to pronounce as `offering`. I got distracted by this and had so lost the train of thought by the end of the prayer as I wondered what the subject of `obtain` was. I also smile at `therefore` at the minute as one priest said to me his impresssion of the new translation is that everything is `therefore`. I have heard priests say that this at times somewhat stilted English is maybe meant to make people think that we may as well just have Mass in Latin but this tends to come from those not in favour of Latin. Anyway I`m not really interetsed in the Ordinary Form in Latin: I believe it was conceived as a vernacular liturgy and hearing for example Eucharistic Prayer 4 in Latin is just very distracting.

I`ve not studied the 1998 proposed translation at all but am still very glad we have got rid of the old ICEL translation which irritated me much more than this new one ever has.

While on the subject of the Catholic press, I picked up the diocesan paper at the weekend and as usual went first to the inside back page to see if there was maybe a black and white photo of an Extraordinary Form Mass, such as the November cathedral Mass, stuck among the adverts. Finding there wasn`t I started at the beginning to see what this month`s news was and to find out what fresh triumphs of this golden age of Catholic life had occurred in the last month only to be cheered to see that not only were there two small colour pictures of the cathedral Mass with an article but also the midnight Mass here had merited a mention. In all (The Rev. Dr) Michael P. Brown got a few mentions this month. Thanks to the Northern Cross for mentioning EF activities in the diocese and our LMS rep David O`Neill who writes these reports. It`s an uphill struggle to get Summorum Pontificum seen as a regular part of diocesan life but all publicity helps.

Monday, January 09, 2012

360 degree view of the Sistine Chapel

This is rather fun.

And even more about Ushaw

Just as I was wondering what was happening regrdaing Ushaw college I see that today there has been an announcement about the temporary arrangement with Durham University Business School. The whole story can be read here.

Since it is always interetsing to know what bishop Mark Davies has to say here is his comment from the story today:

Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury said: "This announcement by Durham University is very much to be welcomed and there are solid grounds to be confident that this temporary re-location of staff and students will prove to be successful.”

"It is securely based on the ever stronger working relationship between Durham University and Ushaw College as the future of the whole Ushaw Estate is addressed."

Even more from Lancaster!

The initiatives keep coming from Lancaster! Now we have `The Light is On For You`. This involves all churches in the diocese being open from 7pm-8pm every Wednesday of Lent for confessions and quiet prayer. You can read all about it here.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Epiphany Mass

There will be a Mass of the Epiphany in the Extraordinary Form at St Mary`s, Forest Hall at 7pm on January 6th. The Mass will be a Low Mass. Nibbles and drinks in the hall afterwards. All welcome.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

More from Lancaster

I see the bishop of Lancaster issued a Pastoral Letter for New Year`s Day which asked:

Is it right or sustainable to expect our Mass-going population of 21,000 to support our schools and colleges in which often the majority of pupils, and sometimes teachers, are not practising Catholics? Is it time for us to admit that we can no longer maintain schools that are Catholic in name only?

A good question.

Ushaw again

We`ve not heard much about what is happening with Ushaw of late but at least it seems to look in good repair as these recent photos show. It may be the camera but the colours of the chapel roof and screen look brighter than I remember.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

We are...

Many thanks to Fr Simon Henry for pointing out this video on the Diocese of Lancaster`s home page. I almost fell off my chair when I saw the picture of an EF High Mass with the caption `we are extraordinary`. The video sems to originate from the USA but it must have the approval of the Lancaster webmaster. If you`ve not seen it then do have a look. Quite amazing and encouraging.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Online Icon Course

Sr Petra Clare who has painted the icons we now have at SS Peter and Paul`s and St Mary`s ( although there are stil a couple to come for SS Peter and Paul`s and a couple of bits to finish at St Mary`s) has started an online icon course which may be of interest. Ssister gives the following description of what it is about:

The Online Icon Course is a four part study of the history of iconography showing how the iconography of the Church developed in parallel with the growth of the early Church and it’s doctrinal history. Part theoretical and part practical, it is designed as a ‘toolbox’ to give iconographers, teachers, priests, architects and anyone involved with the design and decoration of churches a sound basis in the design and placing of icons, in context of the liturgical interior.

The cost is £10 a month and full details can be found here.