Tuesday, 10 December 2013

A new blog, a High Mass, and two Missa Cantatas...

I'm very sorry that I haven't posted here for so long... I have been somewhat busy!
There is a very good blog I discovered from the comments of one of Cardinal Eccles' posts. It is an absolutely hilarious blog, in my opinion. Some of you who support the SSPX may not be best pleased with it, but I think it well worth the read... Here.

Anyway, on Sunday and also yesterday, the Oratory had splendid festivities for the feast of the Immaculate Conception... I think that the first solemn high E.F. Mass on the feast may well have been the first on their Patronal feast for some time... (I.e. 50 odd years!) The set of vestments used on the feast were splendid... The Missa Cantata yesterday in the Novus Ordo was very nice as well, and it is such a treat to hear a plainchant Mass setting. Cum Jubilo is one of the nicest settings...

And on the subject of Missa Cantatas, at Our Lady of Perpetual Succor, on the first Friday of every month since November, there has been a Missa Cantata there. I am having to MC them which is pretty nerve wracking... Even more so than for High Mass...
I will try to update my blog a bit more regularly....

Monday, 4 November 2013

Mass and Vespers!

Every Monday during November (starting tonight!), at the Birmingham Oratory, there will be an FE requiem Mass at 6pm, followed by vespers of the dead at 6:30pm. This will be at the Holy Souls altar... I imagine that Chasuble wise, there will be some rather fine ones worn. On All Souls day, for the early, private Masses that the Fathers each said, what appeared to be the same chasuble was worn by all the Fathers, but, to my surprise, when I went in to the sacristy to serve the last Mass, I found that there were 2 low Mass sets laid out, not to mention the matching High Mass set laid out for the 11am High Mass!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Bishop urges people to go to Confession...

And Priests to hear confessions!!! In a Pastoral Letter today, His Grace Archbishop Bernard Longley asked Priests to hear confessions and people to go to confession. Very Fr. Z! If only the letter was online... (I did check.)

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Private Masses at the Birmingham Oratory...

The pictures say it all...


If you haven't already noticed, my blog is undergoing some major maintenance... It is being taken to parts and being put back together again! I don't know when it will be completed, but your feedback would be very much appreciated!!!! The reason for the redesign is simply that I had got fed up with the last one!!!   (I did have it for 2+ years...)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

First Vespers of the Assumption...

...with the chessmen!!! Enjoy! 

It is pontificated by a random Bishop with a lot of attendants, 4 Catholic monarchs in attendance and 8 cantors! (I know that that is too many... But they are chessmen!!!)

Monday, 12 August 2013

A new website!!!

The Birmingham Oratory now has a freshly redesigned website, which is very befitting... It is by far the nicest website it has had yet, compared with the 2 previous ones... It is, (What else would it be?!?) very baroque. It is undoubtedly the most baroque website I have seen in a while... Take a bit of time and take a look over it, there are stunning photos scattered all over the site. Go here.
Oh, and did I mention that there will be first Vespers for the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary? They will be at 6:30 on the 14th of August... The Mass for the feast, will be a low Mass at 6:00pm and at that Mass my youngest sister will be receiving her first Holy Communion, so if you could say a prayer for her, it would be much appreciated.

And if you don't mind, NO negative comments about the fact that the 7pm High Mass will be a N.O. Mass. The poor Fathers and Brothers have to have one occasionally, otherwise they would forget how to say it...

Tuesday, 9 July 2013


While I was at Gricigliano, several debates came up... One of the major ones was about the benefits of the LMS. As far as I could hear, these were considered to be few....but as I was listening to two conversations at once,  and also half asleep, I may be mistaken... Another one was whether smoking is the sin of suicide. And....before you stub your cigarettes out, it was decided that it was not.  Yet another was about which calendar was better, that of 1939, or that of '62... That was inconclusive.
Yet more debate took place in the sacristy of the Birmingham Oratory on Sunday,  between one of the Fathers and the MC . This was about whether the ICKSP are too baroque!.. The MC accused the Father of just being jealous,  and I think that he was probably  right!

Breakfasting with a Bishop, part 2!

Wednesday morning:
I woke up at 6:15, and had a shower, after walking into a window shutter... By 7:30, I was being driven down to the station by a seminarian... Not quite as dangerous as last time! The 8am train was invaded by Seminarians, Canons, and others, all heading for the ordination... By 8:30, my friends and I were all in the sacristy, where we had to wait an hour before Mass began... The hour passed uneventfully and, (without breakfast) Mass began... It was the first Pontifical high at the Faldstool I have ever been to. Needless to say it was very long... By 12:45 it was finished, so we went back to the sacristy, got out of our (very hot) serving stuff, and went back to the train station, absolutely famished! We got the train back to where we came from, and a Seminarian gave us a lift to the house of the Sister adorers, where lunch was that day...

Wednesday afternoon:
After a delicious lunch at the Sister adorers, we went up the hill to the seminary, where we had a rest until Vespers, at 6, followed shortly after by (yet another) lovely meal... Following that, Compline and bed!

Thursday morning:
Thursday morning was much the same as Wednesday morning, except that we went to a cafe a stone's throw away from the Church, and had a coffee and a croissant there...

Thursday afternoon:
At the beginning, almost identical to Wednesday afternoon, but all similarity stopped at 6. Vespers were not sung, but at 7, there was adoration, with the Te Deum. Pontificating  was Cardinal Bertoil, with Cardinal Burke, two Bishops, and the Abbot of Le Barroux in choir!!! After that, there was a small snack in preparation for the big meal, followed by the big meal which was superb...

Very early on Friday:
At 12 midnight, or there a bouts, the raffle was drawn! Following that, there where some speeches that I could not understand a word of... After the speeches there was the most spectacular display of fireworks, possibly in the history of the universe. I'm not joking. Apparently, the fireworks last year didn't work, so there were two years worth of fireworks!!! It was superb!! After that I went to bed.

Quite early on Friday:
I was woken up at around 6:30 by some inconsiderat French boys, who belived that if they had to get up early , then so did everyone else!!! I tried to get to sleep but couldn't, so I went and had a shower...

Later on Friday morning:
At 8, I went to the first of 5 first Masses, and then went for a little walk around the gardens. By 9:30, I was felling peckish, and went to Breakfast. On my way over to breakfast, I noticed the sign, which said (in French) Breakfast from 8-10, which I misread late last night, and mistook to mean breakfast at 8 and 10. Opps! Following Breakfast I went and had another look at the wreckage of the fireworks... Oh I was at the same table as the Bishop at breakfast, but didn't talk to him, as it was a very big table...

Friday afternoon:
After a hasty lunch, our group was driven down to the station, where we got  a train into Florence, from where got a bus into Pisa, and from there we got a plane to Manchester! Mom came and picked me up, and I got home late that night, but still managed to serve the Birmingham Oratory's 9:30 Mass the following morning!!!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Breakfasting with a Bishop!

I really should start at the start so here goes!
Part 1
Monday evening:
Mom drove me and my sisters up to Manchester where we had some food with our friends, after which Mom left to go back home with my sisters...

Early Tuesday morning:
I woke up at 4 am, to the sound of my alarm... On of my friends in the same room gets up and has a shower... By 4:45, all 3 of us where awake and dressed, and by 5, we were in the car! By 5:20 we were all at Manchester airport, and saying goodbye to the Dad of my friends and had met up with the Priest and other person we were traveling with! By 6ish, we were through security, and left with an hour before we could begin boarding the plane... So we sat reading, before we went and got some breakfast... When the time had come, we went to the gate and had our passports and boarding passes checked. My seat was further down the plane than the rest of my group's so I was in between two complete strangers...

Later on Tuesday Morning:
The plane arrived without anything unusual happening and so I arrived at Pisa airport... After going through passport control, we were met at arrivals by two more English people, a Priest, and a vestment maker, who had come out on an earlier flight... We all got on the bus to Florence (Can you guess where I went yet?) and 70 minutes later, we arrived at the train station Sancta Maria Novella a 5 minute walk from the Church of the ICKSP in Florence... When we got there we found that the ceremonies of the Minor Ordinations were either over, or where taking place behind locked doors...

Tuesday afternoon:
So we went straight back to the station, where we met a nice Seminerian, from the ICKSP (Where else would a young man whereing a cassock come from in those parts?) He was waiting for someone from the Vatican to turn up but he had been waiting for a long time for the prelate to turn up, an so offered to give us a lift back to the seminary instead... The car he had only had three spare seats, so one of my friends, one of the Priests and me got to have a lift, while the others went on the train... 30 minutes later, after some insane driving and liberal use of the car horn, the 4 of us safely arrived at the seminary, where we were warmly greeted by the rector of the ICKSP Church in England, Canon Montjean, and given a very nice lunch! And lunch we went to unpack our stuff, and the others arrived  from the train station. After they ate, we all had a small rest before going to Mass celebrated by the 2 Fathers. I servers for one of them... After Mass, there was a ceremony in the chapel, in which the future Deacons and Priests were given their choir habits and some lay members were received into the society of the Sacred Heart. After that, a Bishop confirmed a couple of people after which we had dinner, followed be Compline and bed

To be continued tomorrow...

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Pro Pace.

Last week (Wednesday 26th June) as I was reading the Catholic Herald, I noticed that Pope Francis has called for a ceasefire in Syria. The article did have a good cartoon alongside it... Anyway, I had a thought, if the Pope wants peace, why doesn't he order priests to add the Collect, Secret, and Post-Communion 'Pro Pace' at all Masses, both Ordinary and Extraordinary forms? With them being said many hundreds of thousands of times a day, the conflict can't last very long, can it?

Of course, Priests could addthese prayers of their own accord, at least in the EF, but I am not sure about the Novus Ordo! While they are at it, they could add a third (under the same ending as the second one) 'Pro Papa'!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Just a thought...

Here is the first definition of liberty from the Random House Webster's Collage dictionary:
1. Freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control. 

 Just as I side note, I got that from my Maths book! It is very brilliant!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Come to the Novena!

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Catholic Church on the Cannock road in Woverhampton will be having their annual Novena to their patroness starting on June 13th and with 8 excellent Priests giving sermons... All but two or three of them say the Extraordinary form! And that is not mentioning the 1 transitional Deacon, who is very devoted to the Oratory in Brimingham.... Do please come!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Happy feast day!

Happy feast day to all my readers! And a even happier one if you live in a country where this great feast hasn't been transferred to a Sunday! Today has two of the most beautiful office hymns, the Verbum supernum and the Pange lingua... I can't decide what I like more, the Pange lingua, the Verbum supernum, the Creator alme siderum, or the Veni Creator Spiritus... Just for good mesuare here are videos of all four!!!

The Veni Creator Spiritus (There may or may not be an advert before it, but the chant makes it worth it!) I think that this might be my favourite...
The Creator alme siderum. Again there may be an advert, and I think it uses a slightly different version of the hymn (Pre Urban VII or whatever,) but is incredibly beautiful...
The Pange Lingua... Again there may be an advert... Or mabe this one is my favourite... Go here for the Verbum supernum, and go to 26:40 of Laudes, unless you want to listen to the whole of it... If you do listen to the whole of it, remember that it is the Monastic office, so there are some changes like Ps. 66 at the start, Ps. 148, 149 and 150 at the end...
Please vote in the poll in the sidebar and say which you like most! If you prefer another one, please leave a comment. You have until the Octave day of Corpus Christi to vote!
Oh, and there will be a solemn High Mass at the Birmingham Oratory, followed by a prossesion of the Blessed Sacrement around Church at 7pm.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Small chance of Success, certain death...what are we waiting for?

My favourite line from Lord of the Rings is not actually in the books but(yes, sadly),  in the film. It's given to Gimli as the 'fellowship' approach the Gates of Mordor and are about to distract Sauron and apparently zillions of computer animated orcs from Frodo and Sam who are nearing their destination with the Ring.

"Small chance of success, certain death...what are we waiting for?"

It seems to sum up something of the spiritual battle and the attitude we should adopt to engage in it.
The Bill to redefine marriage is moving a week on Monday to the House of Lords, June 3rd ...which just happens to be the feast day of my patron saint, Charles Lwanga......
His bravery against all odds and his willingness to sacrifice everything for his charges and for Christ remind me of Gimli's line.
I thought I'd offer a novena to him beginning on Sunday, 26th May....feast day of another great saint, Philip Neri....to protect marriage and especially to protect all children who would be the innocent victims of any change in the legal definition of marriage. I think St Charles takes protecting children very seriously....

"Small chance of success, certain death....what are we waiting for?"

If anyone would like to join me, maybe our small chance of success would be less small....

O God, by whose providence the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church: Grant that we who remember before you the blessed martyrs of Uganda, may, like them, be steadfast in our faith in Jesus Christ, to whom they gave obedience even unto death, and by their sacrifice brought forth a plentiful harvest; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end, Amen




O Jesus, our Lord and Redeemer, through your passion and death, we adore and thank Thee.
Holy Mary, Mother and Queen of Martyrs, Obtain for us sanctification through our sufferings.
Holy Martyrs, followers of the suffering Christ, obtain for us the grace to imitate Him.
St. Joseph Balikuddembe, first Martyr of Uganda, who inspired and encouraged Nephytes, obtain for us a spirit of truth and justice.
St. Charles Lwanga, patron of the Youth and Catholic Action, obtain for us a firm and zealous faith.
St. Matthias Mulumba, ideal Chief and follower of Christ meek and humble, obtain for us a Christian gentleness.
St. Dionysius Sebuggwawo, zealous for the Christian Faith and renowned for your modesty, obtain for us the virture of modesty.
St. Andrew Kaggwa, model Catechist and teacher, obtain for us a love of the teaching of Christ.
St. Kizito, child resplendent in purity and Christian joy, obtain for us the gift of joy in our Lord.
St. Gyaviira, shining example of how to forgive and forget injuries, obtain for us the grace to forgive those who injure us.
St. Mukasa, fervent catechumen rewarded with the Baptism of your blood, obtain for us perseverance unto the death.
St. Adolfus Ludigo, conspicuous by your following of our Lord's spirit of service to others; obtain for us a love of unselfish service.
St. Anatoli Kiriggwajjo, humble servant preferring a devout life to wordly honours; obtain for us to love piety more than earthly things.
St. Ambrosius Kibuuka, young man full of joy and love of your neighbour; obtain for us fraternal charity.
St. Achilles Kiwanuka, who for the sake of Christ detested vain superstitious practices; obtain for us holy hatred of superstitious practices.
St. John Muzeeyi, prudent councilor, renowned for the practice of works of mercy; obtain for us a love of those works of mercy.
Blessed Jildo Irwa and Blessed Daudi Okello who gave up your lives for the spread of the Catholic Faith; obtain for us the zeal of spreading the Catholic Faith.
St. Pontaianus Ngondwe, faithful soldier, longing for the martyr's crown; obtain for us the grace to be always faithful to our duty.
St. Athanasius Bazzekuketta, faithful steward of the royal treasury; obtain for us a spirit of responsibility.
St. Mbaaga, who preferred death to the persuasions of your parents; obtain for us to follow generously divine grace.
St. Gonzaga Gonza, full of sympathy for prisoners, and all who were in trouble; obtain for us the spirit of mercy.
St. Noe Mawaggali, humble worker and lover of evangelical poverty; obtain for us love of evangelical poverty.
St. Luke Baanabakintu, who ardently desired to imitate the suffering Christ by Martyrdom; obtain for us a love of our motherland.
St. Bruno Serunkuuma, soldier who gave an example of repentance and temperance; obtain for us the virture to repentance and temperance.
St. Mugagga, young man renowned for your heroic chastity; obtain for us perserverance in chastity.
Holy Martyrs, firm in your fidelity to the true Church of Christ; help us to be always faithful to the true Church of Christ.
Let us pray
O Lord Jesus Christ, who wonderfully strengthened the Holy Martyrs of Uganda St. Charles Lwanga, Matthias Mulumba, Blessed Jildo Irwa, Blessed Daudi Okello and their Companions; and gave them to us as examples of faith and fortitude, chastity, charity, and fidelity; grant, we beseech you, that by their Intercession, the same virtues may increase in us, and that we may deserve to become propagators of the true faith. Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen

St. Charles Lwanga and the Martyrs of Uganda, we come to you asking your prayers of intercession on behalf of all who suffer from the unjust exercise of authority. May you who were so cruelly persecuted for your faith in Jesus Christ intercede for all who are oppressed, that they might be comforted by the Divine Mercy and empowered by the gift and grace of fortitude. May justice be the goal of all people and may all who are called by the name Christian join together in works of redemption directed at the sins and the structures of sin that afflict our communities. Amen.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Veni Sancte Spiritus...


Go here for all photos of Pentecost at the Birmingham Oratory... Unfortunately I wasn't able to be there as one of my friends was making his first Holy Communion at the ICKSP in New Brighton... The Oratory is having an EF Mass everyday at 6pm during the octave of Pentecost, followed by Benediction, and devotions to St. Philip... Do come, it is so beautiful!! They are using some of the most beautiful Chasubles they have... The one that was used last night had the coat of arms of some obscure king on... And did I mention that is was beautiful?

Thursday, 16 May 2013

A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

Thanks to Br. Andrew C.O. (Yet again!) for these beautiful photos of the Chasuble used for Mass on the feast of Saints Philip and James, on Saturday May the 11th.

Oh, and while I'm on the topic of red vestments, there will be a Missa Cantata for the vigil of Pentecost at the Birmingham Oratory at 9am on Saturday the 18th of May... Do come if you possibly can, it will be "the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven"!! (I know it starts off in violet vestments... Or it used to, anyway!)

Friday, 10 May 2013

When the Jehovah's witnesses dare to knock

This post is inspired by a Jehovah's witness who knocked on our door early this morning... We were slightly busy, so he didn't come in... I think the large Crucifix directly opposite the front door might have scared him off!

Anyway here is what I would have done if he had come in!

There is a knock at the door.
I open the door.
Me: Hello!
JW: Hello, I am just giving out some magazines.
Me: Do you want to come in?
JW: Yes please.
The JW gives me a magazine, and we go into into the main room.
Me: So, what religion are you?
JW: I am a Jehovah's Witness. What about you?
Me: I'm a Roman Catholic. Anyway, I believe that you use the New Word translation of the bible.
JW: Yes that's right.
Me: So how many Gods do you believe in?
JW: The same as you, one.
Me: Ok then, do you mind if I use the Knox translation of the Bible? You may not have heard of it before, but it was translated single-handedly by a priest in the 1940s, and in my opinion it is one of the best translations. Of course, if you would rather, I could use the older Douay-Rehmis translation or the Latin Vulgate? If my Greek where a lot better, I could use the Greek Septuagint.
JW: Looks a little shocked. The Knox translation will be fine.
Me: Ok, if we could have a little look at chapter 1 verse 1 of Saint John's gospel.
We both get our bibles out.
Me: So in the Knox translation, it goes like this: "At the beginning of time the Word already was; and God had the Word abiding with him, and the Word was God." A more traditional translation goes like this: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." But I believe that your translation goes like this: "In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god." Is that right?
JW: Yes that is right.
Me: Right then, that is all fine except for the last 6 words, "and the Word was a god." You said yourself that you believe in only 1 God. But here your translation says that Our Lord Jesus is not true God, as he is, but rather a different god.
JW: Looks puzzled. Err, well...
Me: And also, calling God Jehovah is incorrect. Some scholars made the mistake of inserting the vowels of the word Adonai, used by the Jews to refer to God, between the consonants of the word YHWH, which resulted in the error.
JW: Gets up and makes toward the door. Well I really must be going now. Thank you. Goes out of the door slamming it behind him, and shakes the dust off his shoes as he leaves our drive!!!

May be continued...

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

40 Days

At the moment, in England and Wales, we have the awesome privilege of being able to celebrate the great feast of Christ's Ascension into Heaven not once, but Twice!
First, with the Universal Church tomorrow, 40 days after Easter Sunday, and then, out of holy obedience to our Bishops here in Mary's Dowry, on Sunday.
All of this basically means not one, but two Solemn High Masses in the Extraordinary Form at the Birmingham Oratory.And if you've ever wondered what ascending into heaven might feel like, why don't you just come along and find out?!!
7pm Thursday May 9th
10.30am Sunday May12th

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Rogation Days, the blood of the Martyrs and Harvest time

At Mass today, Father described the ancient tradition of the minor Rogation days leading up to Ascension Thursday....so mark tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday on your calendars!
As Father so eloquently put it, before the over enthusiastic liturgical pruning that occurred in the 1960s, these days were set aside traditionally to ask God to bless the harvest; a need we have lost sight of in a post industrial world. In the same way that the practice of Friday abstinence was dropped by the majority of Catholics as soon as it was no longer mandatory, so the loss of the Rogation days from the official liturgical calendar led inevitably to them becoming pretty much obsolete.
Yesterday, we travelled to Downside Abbey where an annual Solemn High Mass is celebrated. The relics of St John Roberts in this beautiful Minor Basilica are a powerful reminder that the seeds sown with his martydom have borne great fruit. A Benedictine monk, he established a community at Douai in France, which years later would flee the Revolution to re-establish itself in England, eventually at Downside. In the dark times in which he lived, could he ever have imagined that the harvest would be so great?
The word rogation comes from the Latin rogare....to ask. In today's Gospel, Jesus tells us whatever we ask the Father in his name will be given to us. We might not be able to imagine the harvest God has in mind for each of our lives...the results of our efforts might not be something we ever see, but "those who are sowing in tears will sing when they reap". Bishop Fulton Sheen had a great quote about being in the Church when times seemed tough. He said it' s easy to be a Catholic when the culture around is in step with the Church, it's much harder to stand up and be counted when being Catholic goes against the prevailing secular values. He said"even dead bodies can float downstream"..... It's easy to go along when times are not challenging the Faith.
The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church and it was definitely spring time at Downside yesterday...time to get sowing and use the Rogation days to ask God with fasting and prayer to abundantly bless our harvest.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Updating Heaven and Earth

Well, not literally!

The Good News is I did bring my camera to take some photos.
The Bad News is that it didn't have a memory card in.

It was great to see some of my readers there, though! But don't worry, anonymity is always guaranteed and standards of personal privacy upheld on this blog Joe!

To those of you who didn't make it, there's always this Friday, same time, same place.
I'll post details nearer the time.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Heaven and Earth: Extraordinary Mass Tonight in honour of the Holy Angels

Please try and make it if you can to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour on the Cannock Road this evening for what should be an Extraordinarily beautiful Mass honouring all the Holy Angels.

If you can't make it, remember to send your Guardian Angels.

Adoration, followed by Benediction, begins at 5.30.

There is so much we have to thank God's invisible helpers for, and so many hidden ways in which they guard and guide us each day. Tonight's Holy Mass will be a chance to honour them and join them in adoring and glorifying our Heavenly Father....

And who knows, there might even be some photos.....

Friday, 19 April 2013

Extraordinary Extraordinary Form Mass Tonight 6.30 Our Lady's Cannock Road Wolverhampton!! You have to be there!

I think the post title says it all, really.
2 of my friends, servers trained by the awesome Friars of the Immaculate and the Institue of Christ the King in New Brighton are coming to serve,while I,hopefully having remembered to bring my camera, for once, will take some photographs.

Evidence that God is alive and with us even in the darkest parts of the Black Country!

If you can't make it, please send your Guardian Angels.

Laudetur Jesus Christus et Maria Immaculata!
And Thankyou Father Stephen.
(Photos coming soon?.....!)

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

For the year of Faith...

The Angels and the Liturgy

With all the talk of the poor at the moment, I was thinking how poor we all are in terms of the liturgy not actually belonging to us. I have been looking at an amazing book 'The liturgy and the Angels' by Erik Peterson which helps put things in their proper perspective. Here are some quotes:

'The church is exactly described in a Coptic homily as'the place of consolation and of the assembling of angels. The Church is the place where cherubim and seraphim congregate'.

When St John Chrysostom says that the holy angels are present with Christ during the celebration of the Eucharist, as soldiers accompany their king, he makes clear why they appear at holy Mass. They help to make the public character of the Eucharist obvious. As the emperor, appearing in the company of his bodyguard, manifests publicly his political authority, so Christ, accompanied by his bodyguard of angels, manifests publicly his politico-religious authority. If the angels are present at the singing of the psalter, at the solemnisation of a marriage, or at the election of a bishop, at the renunciation of the Devil during baptism or at the reception of asoul into the heavenly city, this shows every time that the singing of the psalter, contracting of marriage, election of a bishop, baptism or consummation of life, are all public acts-acts of the Church- and not private transactions. This is not a 'publicity' which has been lent in some manner by the state to the Church; but something which has belonged to the Church from the beginning because she acknowledges a Lord who, being a heavenly King, ssesses also a heavenly 'publicity'. And so....the relationship of the ecclesia to the heavenly polis is also a political relationship, and it is for this reason that the angels must continually appear in the liturgical acts of the Church ....The prayer of the earthly as of the heavenly Church is public, the prayer of a polis which subsists as a civic community, not really upon earth, but in heaven.'

'...the mystical life of the Church can only develop in close connection with the liturgy of the Church'

'...the Church is no purely human religious society. The angels and saints in heaven belong to her as well. Seen in this light, the Church's worship is no merely human occasion. The angels and the entire universe take part in it. The songs of the Church are the counterparts of heavenly songs, and, corresponding to the manner of participation in the heavenly song, the spiritual life of the Church is incorporated in that of heaven.'

I don't want to copy out the whole book, and I haven't read it all yet anyway, just to give  an idea.  Jesus said that the poor would always be with us and it is true and very sad that even in the Church we have such an impoverished understanding of the Holy Catholic  Church.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Totum Breviary!

No, I haven't got a 1964 all English Benziger brothers one, but rather one from slightly earlier. Ok, actually quite a bit earlier, 1902 to be precise!Now for some photos!

Today's proper.

Imprimatur given by Cardinal Richelmy.
 £28 off eBay and £4 P&P!

Look at the difference in the gilding on a 3 or 4 year old book, and that on a 112 year old book!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

New lectionary approved for the Irish Diocese of Limerick!

Just as an example here are the readings from the OF for today:

From the Acts of the Apostles:

Peter played on their guilt
right up to the hilt,
when he cured someone crippled from birth
who was forty years old.
"I've no silver or gold,
but what is such currency worth...

"...against Jesus's name?
No longer be lame!"
The man hopped around in full view
while still holding on
to Peter and John
(who was, it appears, No. 2).

The effect was so stunning
that people came running -
was Peter a fully fledged prophet?
"My friends it's not I,
who was sent from on high
to show you such wonders! Come off it!

"This man stands on his toes
thanks to Jesus, who rose!
All right - you where badly misled
in deciding to plead
that Barabbas be freed;
but Christ's life-blood remains on your head...

"...so repent right away!
The definitive day
when God metes out His judgement, is near.
Declare that you love
the Father above..
We'll baptize you - that's why we're here!

From the Holy Gospel according to Luke:

Two servants of the Lord departed
for Emmaus; and once they'd started
(it was a seven mile trip)
a stranger sought their fellowship,
thought neither of the pair suspected
that he was Jesus resurrected!
"You're talking very earnestly,"
he said "please share your news with me."
"Don't tell me you haven't heard
about the things that have occurred!"
said Cleopas, one of the two.
"Sorry, I haven't a clue -
update me!" said the teasing Lord,
and out of them the story poured...
On reaching Emmaus, they said:
"It's getting late - we've got a bed
which you are welcome to tonight,
so come with us and have a bite!"
They brought the stranger to their place;
he took the bread and spoke the grace,
and broke it for them - and they saw
the Jesus they had known before!
He vanished, and the two of them
rushed straight back to Jerusalem...

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Several things...

Firstly, I made a new page for this blog, on which I will put pictures of Holy Week at the Birmingham Oratory. Secondly, recently I discovered a really good blog, which has lots of good Catholic book reviews, Absolutely No Spin. Thirdly, if you are in the Birmingham area for Holy Week, the Oratory will have Tenebrae according to the 1961 breviary at 9:30 on Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Oh and the triduum will be in want I call the Extraordinary-Ordinary form! (In other words, the OF said like the EF!) I think that is all...

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

A combination of ideas...

My last post was supposed to be a little bit longer, but being in north Wales with a very limited internet connection meant that the main part of my post ended up somewhere between the publish button and my blog. I might be able to find it somewhere, if I do, I will repost it. If not as I have totally forgotten what I wrote, it will stay wherever it is!
 Anyway moving on to my actual post. Seeing as King Richard III will not be getting a good Catholic burial, here is an idea I had;
(Of course, I have not ruled out the possibility of marching into York Minster or wherever with an army of Catholics led by a prominent blogger or one of two Bishops (Or both of them!), seizing the mortal remains of His Majesty, and taking them to the Birmingham Oratory, with Pontifical High Mass at the Faldstool (Or even at the Throne!!!) followed by the 5 absolutions... We can dream on..!) 
We get someone important to invite His Holiness, Pope Francis (Or His Holiness, Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus) to celebrate the traditional Requiem Mass for His Majesty, thereby killing two birds with one stone. His Majesty gets a Catholic 
Requiem Mass in the Extraordinary Form, and His Holiness (One of the two!) celebrates an Extraordinary Form Mass. I know that it would be a long shot, but it is slightly more likely to happen than my idea about how to solve the national debt crisis! If His Holiness offered to celebrate the Requiem Mass, whoever is organising the service could not refuse, could they? Oh and I forgot to mention, some of the Monks of Fontgombault Abbey would have to be invited to sing the Mass, the Requiem Mass sounds the most beautiful when they sing it, and get a different choir in to sing a couple of polyphonic motets!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Adopt a cardinal

Mom and I have adopted cardinals....
Elizabeth(6) wants to know which room they'll be having and what we have to feed them...!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Full in the panting heart of Rome,

With a difference. While Mom and Dad were in Rome, (I still need to add some pictures of that. Must ask Dad for them...) my sisters and I were in the Lake District with some friends. Among other things, just for example climbing 10ft high boulders, some of us went wading up to our waist in a river, in water-proof trousers and wellingtons (I was not in that group!), late night discussions about the horrors of grammar and some nice walks. Oh and did I mention that we composed a version of Full in the panting heart of Rome suitable for singing in a period of Sede Vacante!  Here is verse 2, just for example:

The golden roof, the marble walls,
The Vatican’s majestic halls,
The note redoubles, till it fills
With echoes sweet the seven hills
Chorus: God bless Cardinal Burke,
God bless Cardinal Burke,
God bless Cardinal Burke and make him Pope!

It was sung quite a few times, although not quite as many as this awful joke:
There once were two cats, an English cat and an French cat. The English cat was called One-two-three, and the French cat was called Un-deux-trois. One day they decided to have a race across the channel. Guess who won.
One-two-three won because Un-deux-trois quatre cinq!

It doesn't sound very good written down, but when you hear it for the first time, it sounds quite good... But by the 50th time it losing its edge...... Dad did record it on his phone, so when he gets back from work, I will try and put a recording of us singing it on here.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Can't cope without the Pope?

Here are 3 unlikely, but possible things that might happen to take your mind off things:

1. Cardinal Burke is elected Pope. (Yay!!)

2. I am elected Pope! (In which case 2 of my friends will commit suicide and this blog will get loads more pageviews!!)

3. His Holiness Benedict XVI decides that his new title is way too long and changes his mind about resigning!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Sedes Vacans

The See of Peter is now vacant*... No Pope... I don't really remember the last Sedes Vacans period as I was only 6 when it happened... And I definitely don't remember the last Papal abdication as I was not born by quite a long way... As was everyone in the world...

Thank you Your Holiness!**

Thank you for Summorum Pontificum!

Thank you for Bishop Davies and Bishop Egan!

*That is, if the automatic posting works... I will be at the Oratory when this posts, if it posts!

** I know he probably doesn't read this blog...

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Thank you, Holy Father!

Thanks to Protect the Pope for this great video!
(The background music isn't the best ever... Not my taste!)

Solemn Benediction...

On Thursday 28th of Feburary, at 6:45pm in the Birmingham Oratory, for the intention that Cardinal Burke is elected Pope in thanksgiving for the pontificate of His Holiness with exposition of the Blessed Sacrement before, beginning at 6:00pm. Benediction will conclude with a Te Deum.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Chair of St Peter

Here is the collect from today's feast:

Deus, qui Beato Petro Apostolo tuo,  collates clavibus regni caelestis, ligandi atque solvendi pontificium traddisti: concede; ut intercessionis eius auxilio, a peccatorum nostrorum nexibus liberemur: (Qui vivis et regnas)

O God, Who having given blessed Peter Thy Apostle, the keys of the kingdom of heaven, did st bestow upon him the pontifical power of binding and loosing; grant that by the help of his intercession we may be delivered from the bonds of our sins. ( Who livest and reignest...).

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Novena for Pope Benedict.

I meant to post this on Sunday and never got round to it. The same went for Monday!
Anyway, better late than never. I suggest that everyone who reads this offers a Novena for the intentions of the Holy Father, beginning today and finishing on the 28th, the day His Holiness resigns. Please advertise this in anyway possible!
Oh, and if you hadn't guessed, my birthday cake was in the shape of a Papal tiara!

Update 20th February: The Novena should have begun today rather than yesterday! Mea culpa.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

What in the world....

....is this meant to be?!

My birthday cake! (Which I made!!)
I will reveal what it is on Tuesday! (My birthday!)
Any correct guesses could receive a (mouldy?) slice in the post!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Ash Wednesday at the Oratory.

Yesterday, Mass for Ash Wednesday at the Oratory was lovely. Unfortunately only one of the photos my sister took came out ok. But, by now, readers will be aware of the rubbish photos on this blog!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A prayer for the election of a good Pope.

Thanks to the Bones for this excellent prayer!

O Almighty and Eternal God,
Please let it be Cardinal Raymond Burke
Please let it be Cardinal Raymond Burke
Please let it be Cardinal Raymond Burke
Please let it be Cardinal Raymond Burke
Please let it be Cardinal Raymond Burke
Please let it be Cardinal Raymond Burke
Please let it be Cardinal Raymond Burke
Please let it be Cardinal Raymond Burke
Through Christ our Lord.
Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us 
Not my will, but yours be done, obviously, O Lord.
 If not, then the Cardinal from Sri Lanka, please.
But obviously, You know best.
 My addition below:
If not, then one of the Cardinals Richard suggested.
  But obviously, You know best.

Lent begins...

Advenerunt nobis dies peanitentiae 
 ad redimenda peccata,
ad salvandas animas.

Days of penance are come to us,
that we may redeem our sins
and save our souls.
 (The antiphon for Terce in the Monastic Breviary.)  

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Solemn High Mass for Ash Wednesday.

Tomorrow at 7:00pm, there will be a High EF Mass for Ash Wednesday at the Birmingham Oratory. The music will (As always!) be beautiful.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Benedicto.

A couple of minutes ago, Dad rung and told us that he had heard on the news that His Holiness is resigning on the 28th of February, this year. Please pray for him. Funnily enough, Mom and Dad had already booked a stay in Rome the day after his Holiness is resigning! I am incredibly jealous! Photos hopefully will be available from them.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Rosary tomorrow for the defence of Marriage....

Please join in a worldwide rosary tomorrow at midday, asking Our Lady to intercede for us to safeguard marriage.
 See the comment on my last post for details and please pass on the message to as many people as possible.
Our Lady has already promised Her special protection in our times when invoked as Our Lady of Good Success. Her prophecies (from the 16th century), about marriage have been approved by Holy Mother Church:

"The Sacrament of marriage which symbolises the union of Christ with His Church will be attacked and profaned".

It is up to us to ask Our Lady of Good Success and St Michael and all the Holy Angels to defend us in this day of battle.
My patron saint is St Charles Lwanga and I pray also for his protection especially at this time.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Birmingham Oratory gets new Priest!

Last night, I was privileged to serve for the Ordination of Br. Richard Duncan to the Priesthood. I held His Grace's mitre, and got a very sore shoulder!
As always, the liturgy was beautiful and mainly in Latin. This morning after serving Fr. Anton's private EF Mass, I was privileged to serve for Fr. Richard's first Mass, ( at which Fr. Anton was AP), which was mainly Latin with a little English, and also had a mainly silent canon! Please say a prayer for Fr. Richard on this beautiful feast day. Deo Gratias!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Mass Attack!

Perhaps this post should be called flying candlesticks or a fight over the missal... 

Earlier today, when I was at Mass, before Mass began, I was in the sacristy, and I heard some weird noise coming from the Church. The noise apparently was coming from a lady who was walking around on the sanctuary with nothing on but a long cardigan and a pair of wellington boots. My Mom managed to get her to the back of Church, where another parishioner helped to try and find out where the lady lived... all in vain. While they were doing this, Mass started as normal. The lady then asked if she could come home and marry Mom, who obviously refused. The other parishioner then got the lady a plastic cup of water. (That parishioner is not in my good books you will understand why if you read on!)
 The lady then stood up, and marched up the centre aisle, went on to the sanctuary, proceeded to blow both of the candles out. As I was holding the missal for Father, the only thing I knew about this was the sound of footsteps behind me! After she had blown both of the candles out, the lady threw her cup of water over me! That is the first time I have had a cup of water thrown over me in Church, although, I have been in church wetter than that before! (That is another story...)
 The lady then yelled at Father to stop talking, Father did not pay her any heed, and carried on with the Confiteor. She then came over to me, and tried to yank the missal out of my hands. I think Father whispered to me "Hold on to it!" but I might be mistaken... When the lady gave a strong yank, the missal slipped from my hands. The lady threw the missal off the sanctuary, where a parishioner picked it up, heedless of the lady's cry for him to leave it where it was. It turns out that the new CTS missals are really good quality!
 The lady, who it was becoming increasingly obvious was somewhat deranged, then threw one of the parish's "small six," (They don't really merit the title of big!) which form the Benedictine arrangement, off of the sanctuary, where the small clay lid, the candle and the candlestick separated and went to different parts of the Church and were retrieved during various parts of Mass.
 The lady then stood in front of the Altar and began to rant. I could not make out anything she was saying apart from a lot of swearing. While she was ranting, Father told me to go and get the candlestick, which was in a corner not too far away. I retrieved it and put it on the credence table before going to get a box of matches from the sacristy. After a few minutes of ranting, the lady calmed down a little and Father got up and went over to her. She yelled at Father not to touch her, and then yelled something unintelligible. While all this was going on, one member of the congregation went to the back of church to call the police. Father managed to get the lady to go and sit with a parishioner, who took her to the back of Church. Father then continued with Mass as if nothing had happened.... All's well that ends well! (Except if you are a candlestick which after bouncing around, is not in the best condition ever!)

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Liverpool Archdiocese publishes plainchant book for schools!

Well, it was published in the 1930s, so not too recently... Well a few months ago, Mom was given 5 copies of the book, plain song for schools! It is about 90 pages long, and has the full proper of the requiem Mass, along with several different Mass settings and a variety of different chants. I think that it is out of copy-rite, so I have scanned the booklet, and it is available here. If you want to download it, just click file, download.
 If it is still in copy-rite, I will remove it immediately. But as it is 70+ years old, I think it should have expired.... I hope all the pages are readable...

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Jesuits in England.

Wikipedia commons.
 This morning, after Mass, I was lent a book on the life of Saint Henry Morse. While I was reading it, I found a very interesting bit, about the number of Jesuits in England during the Reformation.
 Saint Henry Morse was born in England in 1595, and had 13 brothers and sisters! He went to Douai in 1614, and there, "he renounced his former errors, and was received into the Roman Catholic Church, the mistress of all Churches". He went back to England to sort out his Inheritance, but on arriving in England, he was immediately arrested, and told to take the oath of allegiance. Henry refused, and was thrown into prison where he spent the next 4 years. 4 years later, he was released, and exiled to France. He made his way back to Douai, but there were so many students there, that people had to be sent away to English seminaries in Rome and Spain. Henry was sent to Rome, and in 1623, was ordained a Priest. He went back to England, and that is as far as I have got in the book! As far as I can see from the blurb, he looked after the victims of the plague in London, and was hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.
 Now for the bit about the number of Jesuits in England:
"Fr. Blount's discretion and enterprise set the pattern for his priests. In 1598 when Blount took his first vows in the Society in Fr. Garnet's house in Spitalfields, there were 15 Jesuits at liberty in England, with another 4 in prison. In 1606, in spite of the disruption that followed the gunpowder plot, the numbers had grown to 45, with the first English noviceship was established at Louvain. The 'mission' henceforth grew rapidly. In 1614, the year that Henry Morse crossed to  and was
confirmed in the College chapel, there were 59 Jesuits in England and many more training abroad. 5 years later, the mission status was raised to a Vice-Province. For the first time, Jesuits in England numbered more than 100; rather more were students or engaged in teaching students abroad. Finally, two years before Morse's arrival, Fr. Blount was declared first provincial. Within another ten years his subjects numbered 344. This is the full flowering of the pioneer work done by the first generation of English Jesuits."
 I wonder just how many Jesuits are in England today?Also, in the current climate, where the state
seems to be crushing religious freedom, could a similar boost in vocations be hoped for?

Sunday, 13 January 2013

The Dome of Home!

The Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest now have their own website, newsletter and blog for St Peter Paul and Philomena in New Brighton. With apologies for the slight technical bloopers yesterday when I tried to post this, here is the link to domeofhome.org.

The JHNILM have also got more workshops planned for anyone interested in the Liturgy and liturgical music, including one in May, ICEL 'What we have done and what we have failed to do' by Msgnr Andrew Wadsworth, others include talks on priests and people singing at the same Mass, organ accompaniment and this Saturday, 19 th Jan. 'What is liturgical dancing Music?'.
There is also a questionnaire on their website to fill in, so courses can be tailored to suit specific needs, interests or requests, like primary school parties or parish groups.

Here is a great quote from Madame Cecile de Bruyere, Abbess of Solesmes and spiritual daughter of Dom Gueranger, from her book 'Spiritual life and Prayer'. It is from the last chapter, 'There is but one Liturgy'.

"If it came to pass that in some liturgical function the souls called to take part in it were all very near the perfection of their own private liturgical worship, that is to say, the highest reach of the spiritual life, the angels would, in the midst of such an assembly, well nigh think themselves in heaven. God's satisfaction would for certain be unbounded, and the radiation from such a centre would be the wonder of the whole world".

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The New Evangelisation?

Compare and contrast:

"They (the advisory group of Bishops), made it clear that the Extraordinary Form was not to be celebrated here, but that seminarians were free, within the constraints of the timetable, to experience the Extraordinary form where it is provided locally, both at home and here in the Archdiocese of Birmingham."     From Oscott College House Notes.

Yesterday's Gospel(Ordinary Form of the Mass):

"When Jesus saw the vast crowd, His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd, and He began to teach them many things.
By now, it was already late and His disciples approached Him and said 'This is a deserted place and it is already very late. Dismiss them so that they can go to the surrounding farms and villages and buy themselves something to eat.'
He said to them in reply 'Give them some food yourselves'. But they said to Him "Are we to buy 200 days' wages worth of food and give it to them to eat?'
He asked them, 'How many loaves do you have? Go and see.'
And when they had found out, they said 'Five loaves and 2 fish'. So He gave them orders to have them sit down in groups on the green grass. the people took their places in rows by 100s and by 50s.
Then, taking the 5 loaves, the 2 fish and looking up to heaven, He said the blessing, broke the loaves and gave them to His disciples to set before the people, He also divided the 2fish among them all.
They all ate and all were satisfied. And they picked up12 wicker baskets full of fragments and what was left of the fish. Those who ate of the loaves were 5000 men."      Mk 6 34-44

Monday, 7 January 2013

Seminarians not allowed EF.

As you can see over at Fr. Z's blog, seminarians are not being allowed to have the EF at Oscott College! Hang on, that's my diocese!!
 The good news is that one diocesan Priest started saying the EF Mass at the begining of Advent... And another Priest has now asked me to help him to learn how to say it too...But does the Diocese really want all of their vocations to start going off to the ICKSP and the FSSP, not to mention Abbey Notre-Dame de Fontgombault..?. And what exactly is taking up so much time on the Oscott curriculum that our future priests only have time to learn half the Mass?
 I do hope I don't upset Eccles,  posting a link to an article by Damian Thompson!!!