Saturday, March 26, 2011

Shining Pearl of York

What a wonderful day in York where in excess of 600 joined in attending Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite to celebrate the feast of St Margaret Clitherow. This was probably the first Latin Mass in the Tridentine Form celebrated in York Minster since the Reformation.
The Missa Cantata was celebrated by Fr Stephen Maugham of English Martyrs Church in York. Fr Stephen had been responsible for much of the discussions which took place with the Dean and Chapter to allow this Mass to take place. It must be said that the Dean and Chapter as well as the Minster staff were most welcoming and accommodating. Fr Stephen also preached on the life of St Margaret.
9 priests of various dioceses were also on the sanctuary in choir and 2 robed canons of the Minster were also present.
The music was performed by The Rudgate Singers of York and their schola also sang the Proper of the Mass from the Liber Usualis. The Mass setting used was Byrd's Mass for 5 Voices and the motets were all by Byrd too; Justorum Animae at the Offertory, Ave Verum Corpus at Communion and the Marian motet Ave Regina Coelorum following Mass. All of this music may have been heard by St Margaret as William Byrd was her contemporary.
It was thrilling to celebrate this Mass in the form that St Margaret would have known so well and in a church which would have been very familiar to her.
Following Mass the clergy, servers and congregation processed through the city reciting the Rosary via The Shambles - where St Margaret lived with her husband and family - across the Ouseburn Bridge - where she was cruelly martyred by being pressed to death (a particularly painful and long lasting form of execution) - to English Martyrs Church for Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament - given by Fr Michael Brown the Northern Chaplain of the LMS - and Veneration of St Margaret's hand. Again The Rudgate Singers provided the music with the O Salutaris Hostia and Tantum Ergo by Thurlow Green. The Adoremus in Aeternum was composed by Gregorio Allegri. The service ended with the Laudes Regiae and the English hymn Faith of our Fathers.
Following this the ladies of English Martyrs had prepared most welcome tea and coffee for tired pilgrims.
Today was Ad Majorem Dei Gloria 'To the Greater Glory of God'!!

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