Monday, November 29, 2010

Great success at Traditional Rite Confirmations

Bishop George Stack, auxiliary bishop in Westminster, administered Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Latin Rite) at St James's Church, Spanish Place, London W1 on Saturday 20th November. 39 candidates received the sacrament - 30 children and 9 adults. This was the seventh year of the annual ceremony organised by the Latin Mass Society. Permission for the Old Rite Confirmations had been given by the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster. The candidates' day began with a meeting in the Lady Chapel with Bishop Stack. The bishop greeted each candidate individually and then spoke about the importance of Pope Benedict's speech to youth on 17th September at St Mary's University College, Twickenham on the theme of "I have come so that they might have life and have it to the full". The bishop also gave each candidate a prayer card. The Confirmations followed. During the ceremonies the bishop was assisted by Fr Christopher Colven, Rector of St James's, and Fr Andrew Southwell, LMS National Chaplain. Also on the sanctuary, among others, were Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP, Fr Simon Leworthy FSSP, Fr Tim Finigan and Fr David Irwin. The liturgical ceremonies concluded with Pontifical Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The choir and organist of Spanish Place provided the music, and a large congregation of almost 300 family and friends joined them in singing the 'Veni Creator Spiritus' (with alternate verses in the setting by George Malcolm) and the 'Veni Sancte Spiritus'. During Benediction the traditional hymns 'Christus Vincit' and 'Tantum Ergo' were sung and the choir sang Elgar's 'O Salutaris in F'. The vernacular hymns sung were 'Come Down O Love Divine' and Blessed John Henry Newman's 'Praise to the Holiest'. After the ceremonies, a reception for the bishop and congregation was held in the crypt. All those present thanked Bishop Stack for his pastoral concern for those attached to the Extraordinary Form by means of an enthusiastic round of applause. Bishop Stack then spoke briefly and cut the celebratory cake. Whilst having a well-earned cup of tea, he met and chatted with the newly-confirmed and their families. Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form are becoming ever more popular. On 31 July, Bishop Peter Doyle confirmed 9 candidates in his cathedral church of Our Lady Immaculate and St Thomas in Northampton and later in November St Philip's School, Kensington, will have its own Extraordinary Form Confirmations with Bishop Alan Hopes, also an auxiliary bishop in Westminster. For pictures please go to, find the Confirmations Story on the home page and follow the link to the picture set. Additional Comment Here in the diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, Bishop Seamus Cunningham has been invited to administer EF Confirmations. This would save great time and expense for candidates by saving them the travelling to London. We await his decision.

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