Sunday, July 3, 2011

Requiem for a bishop

On Friday 1st October 2011 the diocese of Hexham & Newcastle celebrated a Requiem Mass for Bishop Emeritus Ambrose Griffiths OSB, KC*HS before his body was transported to Ampleforth for burial in his home monastery.

There was a goodly crowd there to bid him farewell including Archbishop Mennini the Apostolic Nuncio and Archbishop Vincent Nicholls of Westminster. About 9 other bishops and abbots together with a number of diocesan priests concelebrated.

The music in the Mass was not 'happy-clappy' and the Introit from the Missa pro Defunctis was sung in Latin as was a version of the In Paradisum. The strange thing was that a small schola was brought in at the last minute to sing this Plainchant as, it must be thought, it was beyond the capabilities of the Diocesan Choir.

Bishop Ambrose, whilst he was liberal in many ways, was the first bishop of our diocese to allow a regular Sunday Mass at a specific church and that Mass was arranged by former LMS Diocesan Representative Jack Harvey. Previously Sunday Masses were allowed only when they were moved weekly from parish to parish.

Requiescat in Pace.

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