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Showing posts from August, 2015

Devotional highlights film of A Day With Mary at Margate

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The Day with Mary team has sent me a ten minute film with highlights of the Day With Mary that was held at St Austin and St Gregory, Margate on 18 July this year. Principal highlights are the crowning of the statue, the Marian and Blessed Sacrament processions, Benediction and the farewell procession. It was a glorious day. Above is a cropped still capture which I rather liked and below you view the video.

Catholic Dilemma 288: Cremation, Catholics and the Resurrection

I am now well into my nineties and have been considering my death for some years. I see that the Church now allows cremation, but since we believe in the resurrection of the body, what worries me is that afterwards, there is no body, only ashes.
The 19th century cremation movement, promoted initially by Italian freemasons involved an explicit denial of the resurrection of the body as well as (largely spurious) hygienic and public health concerns. In response, the Church insisted on the ancient custom of burial until 1966, by which time cremation had become more common and was less likely to be promoted for reasons contrary to the faith. The Code of Canon Law puts the present law simply: “The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed; nevertheless, the Church does not prohibit cremation unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine.” (Canon 1176.3)

In ancient Rome, the bodies of Christians were often recovered a…

Why are the readings not chanted?

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Singing the epistle at Pontifical High Mass in the Lateran Basilica,  celebrated by the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship
Recently there has been an interesting exchange on the question of who should do the readings at at Mass in the modern rite. (Cf. Benedict Constable and Joseph Shaw.) Reference has been made to the question of instituted Lectors. Lector was one of the minor orders since at least the time of Tertullian, but in 1972, Pope Paul VI made Lector a lay ministry by the Apostolic Letter Ministeria Quaedam.(Latin original - English translation.) In the traditional orders, however, seminarians are still ordained to the Lectorate as a minor order.

A traditional seminarian who has been ordained Lector recently reminded me that Lectors in such seminaries do not read or chant the epistle at Mass. Their "ministry of reading" is limited to occasionally chanting one of the lessons when there are several before the epistle (on ember days, for example.) The epist…

The blessing of a chariot

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When I studied Latin in Rome with Fr Reginald Foster, he used to suggest that a good word for a car was autorhaeda, a word in fact used in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis of 1965 when speaking of a visit made by Pope Paul VI to the Basilica of St Chrysogonus in Trastevere. The word raeda (without the "h") was used by Caesar, Cicero and Horace for a travelling wagon with four wheels and the addition of "auto" does not make for too awful a neologism.

In the Rituale Romanum, the blessing for a motor vehicle is the Benedictio vehiculi seu currus. The word currus is normally translated as chariot and reflects the way that people often view their car.

Since one's motor vehicle is more likely to be the locus of one's death or injury than many other artefacts, it does make sense to have it blessed. Above you can see us striding purposefully past the Georgian houses of Victoria Road and here is the blessing of the classic mini:



The blessing given in the Rituale has a ty…

Gothic vestments: the real thing

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The Gothic versus Roman debate on vestments can lead to disproportionately strong feeling. The English College at Rome has a very fine High Mass set made by Pugin. At least it was very fine until the one-time Rector, Arthur Hinsley, cut the chasuble into a Roman shape. Poor Pugin, who was known to have dramatic emotional outbursts, would have had the mother of all tantrums.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of celebrating Missa Cantata for the feast of the Assumption at the shrine of St Augustine in Ramsgate with chant provided by the Schola Sancti Augustini under the leadership of Tom Neal. The shrine has recently received a massive grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund which is great news, since the plan is to restore Pugin's own Church to its former glory as well as providing a visitor and education centre.

In the fading light of a gloomy Thanet afternoon I found the above set of vestments designed by AW Pugin himself, waiting for me on the vestment press as if, you know, "we h…

Downloadable booklets for Vespers

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Gregorian Chant Hymns is a most helpful website that I mentioned in a post just over a year ago. As I said then, the site
"[...] promotes the learning of Gregorian Chant by making sheet music, recordings, translations, and instructions. There is a short guide to Gregorian Notation (those square notes) and to Latin pronunciation. Everything is available free of charge, in line with other great traditional music websites." Work has continued at the site and there is now a section which makes available pdf (or .docx format) booklets for Vespers for every Sunday of the Year and a few major feasts. There is the basic booklet for ordinary Sunday Vespers which is supplemented by separate files for the Sundays after Pentecost which contain the Magnificat and Collect. Then there are booklets, for example for Advent and Lent, where the office is different from the regular Sunday Vespers with its antiphons. All of the booklets have texts and notation for Benediction and the Marian anth…

"Sewing and Greek" and other summer activities

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The Summer Session of the Faith Movement this week has seen young adults from all over the UK enjoying lectures, sport and social activities, daily Mass and other spiritual provision. One of the encouraging things about it is that every year there are newly-ordained priests and deacons along with a large number of seminarians progressing through their training at various colleges.

I visited yesterday and attended the lecture given by this year's visiting speaker, Mgr Keith Newton, the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Mgr Newton gave an account of his personal experiences as an Anglican and the motivation which led him to seek full communion with the Catholic Church. During the question time, Fr Roger Nesbitt, who has done so much over the years to invite and encourage Anglican clergy to come into full communion, gave a warm appreciation of what the Ordinariate has brought to the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

During the past couple of decades…

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