Saturday, November 20, 2010
Solemn High Mass in the Cathedral
Despite a terribly wet day in Newcastle and despite the usual parking problems a congregation of some 150 attended today at St Mary's Cathedral for only the second EF Solemn High Mass since Vatican II. The celebrant was Fr Shaun Swales of Coxhoe, deacon Fr David Phillips from Stella and sub deacon Fr Michael Brown from Forest Hall who is also the Northern Chaplain for the LMS. The serving team was myself as MC, Aidan McGregor as thurifer, Martin McGregor and Frank Walker as acolytes and Keith McAllister as crucifer. Fr Chris Warren from the cathedral was in choir on the sanctuary. We had expected Fr Wilfrid Elkin from Barnard Castle and Fr Gary Dickson from Thornley to join him but illness prevented it. We wish them both improved health quickly. The newly named Schola Sancti Baedae from Jarrow sang the plainchant Proper for the feast of St Felix de Valois under the direction of Dr Michael Dunn and the choir of St George's Anglican Church in Cullercoats under their director Shaun Turnbull sang Victoria's Missa 'O Quam Gloriosum' with Agnus Dei I & II taken from 'Missa de Angelis'. Their motets were Viadana's 'Exultate Justi in Domino' at the Offertory and Franck's 'Panis Angelicus' at Communion. The organ played Muffat's 'Toccata' at the Offertory and J S Bach's 'Piece d'Orgue' as a Recessional. As is usual at celebrations of Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form Holy Communion was received kneeling and on the tongue by everyone communicating. Thanks are due in no small measure to Cathedral Dean, Fr Peter Leighton, who so readily granted permission for the use of the church, Fr Chris Warren of the Cathedral, who has liaised tirelessly during the preparations, and we must not forget the Cathedral Sacristan, Eileen Mitchell & her staff, who made vestments etc available to us with great generosity of their time. Lastly those attending must be thanked for coming out on such an awful morning in such numbers thus showing our detractors that the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite with it's prayerfulness does mean so much to us.