Sunday, November 25, 2012

Scottish Academy of Sacred Music

`There has been some pretty lousy music sung in Catholic churches and that is where things have gone wrong, why congregations are shrinking.`

I`d agree although I don`t think it`s the only reason people stop coming to church. The above quote is from an interview with  Joan Dillon, a Masters graduate of RSAMD (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). Scotland`s Academy of Sacred Music was launched on 23rd November. James MacMillan is the patron. It all looks very good and hopeful. I hope its influence reaches over the border!

Joan Dillon adds:

As a parent myself it seems to me young people are being brought up immersed in the negative messages of modern music via MTV, a lot of which is demeaning.

They need the transformative power of sacred music to balance that, but instead they are getting banal, happy-clappy stuff at Mass. Sacred music can lift young people up and help them embrace more noble ideas, yet it is not sung in many Catholic churches in Scotland."

James MacMillan says:

If modernism has also brought in its wake a desecration of the human spirit, we must penetrate the mists of contemporary banality to restore the idea of the sacred, in which our true and fullest freedom resides. Without it our lives will become meaningless. I believe it is God’s divine spark which kindles the musical imagination now, as it has always done, and reminds us, in an increasingly dehumanised world, of what it means to be human.

We are reminded that Pope Benedict has said:

the world needs beauty in order not to sink into despair and music is the most spiritual of the arts. 


Friday, November 16, 2012

He`s not Vatican 2

This is two years old but I`d not seen it before. Sounds somewhat familiar.Pity about `orientam`.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

New location for Extraordinary Form in Hexham and Newcastle

As you may have seen on our LMS diocesan rep`s site we have a new location for the Extraordinary Form in the diocese at St Augustine`s church, Darlington Mass will be said once a month on the second Wednesday at 7pm by Fr Paul Tully. The first Mass is on December 12th: I hope it is well supported. It`s a church I`ve never visited but from the picture above it looks like an ideal location for the Mass, having the high altar still intact.

I`ve been trying to get over to St Joseph`s, Gaeshead once a month on a Sunday to help with the EF Mass there but so far the avalanche of baptisms I`ve been experiencing this year have made it impossible so I`ve decided to have a Low Mass at Forest Hall on a Sunday afternoon once a month. There is normally Benediction at 4 on a Sunday afternoon so instead on the first Sunday of the month, starting in December this will be an EF Mass.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


H/T to Catholic Memes

Tradition and the New Evangelization

There has been a lot written about the Mass in St Peter`s which took place on Saturday but thanks to Rorate Caeli for linking to this video from the news service of the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops which is rather good.

Now must have a look to see what has been reported on the news site of the bishops of England and Wales or even on Independent Catholic News.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

All Souls Day

Here are a few pictures from the All Souls` Mass at St Mary`s, Forest Hall. Many thanks to the singers, organist, servers and sacred ministers. It was a great success. The sanctuary is something of a challenge for a Solemn High Mass but we just about managed.The catafalque was less than ideal but we don`t have a pall and I`d forgotten to ask to see if I could borrow one. Many thanks to Frank for the photos

Sunday, November 04, 2012

It seems to be very easy to get in.

Here`s the latest from some visitors to Ushaw`s Junior seminary.

I take it back

On the feast of St Matthias I normally comment that, strangely, Christian tradition has never followed the example of the Apostles and chosen their successors by drawing lots. It would seem the obvious way to choose bishops if we are concerned to follow the example of the Scriptures but, oddly, in the return ad fontes asked for by Vatican II this never came up.

So I was pleasantly surprised to learn about the process used for electing a Coptic pope where a blindfolded boy chosen at random picks out one of three names. I wonder if any other Christians  use random methods to choose their leaders?

Congratulations to bishop Tawadros: he has a difficult job ahead of him.