Thursday, 11 December 2014

Relics and Fossils: Missa cantata for the Immaculate Conception

Fathers Earl and Goodill, the Dominican community who run St Cuthbert’s, welcomed us into their premises before Mass and had already arranged the altar with a Big Six and Missal before we even arrived, for which we were very grateful –though I had taken our parish Missal, chalice etc, in case we had no access to the sacristy, Fathers Earl and Goodill having reminded us that they were to be out of the building that evening on another engagement.

The singing for the Missa was good, especially since the singers had hardly any preparation (indeed, only one practice just before Mass, I believe), and the servers did very well. Father Bede was a model of reverence. There was a good number in the congregation and at the buffet afterwards, which seemed to be enjoyed by all, along with great company. Sitting in choir were Father Dickson (from Thornley) and Father Tully (local hospitals chaplain).  

A number of young people attended the Mass who had never seen it before, and seemed very happy with what they experienced. One more person joined our Juventutem chapter that same evening, and has already suggested activities for future dates.

I did wonder how long it is since St Cuthbert’s saw the Former Liturgy celebrated in its sanctuary. It is amazing that it has taken young people rather than those who grew up with this form of Mass to restore the EF to the sanctuaries for which they were built. As Father Dickson said, perhaps that EF Masses are organised and attended by the youth will serve as a reminder to the older generation that not all that is old is to be discarded –that some things, such as the Traditional Rite, only grow more venerable with age, like a valuable heirloom or precious relic, as opposed to a dead fossil.

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