Bishop Philip Egan presides from the throne at High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at Portsmouth Cathedral
Rt Rev Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth, presided from the throne at a High Mass in the Extraordinary Form, organised by the Latin Mass Society, at Portsmouth Cathedral on Sunday 27th October.
The Traditional High Mass was the first at the cathedral for four years and joins the weekly Sunday morning Low Mass that has begun at Portsmouth's mother church in recent weeks. Despite warnings of dire weather conditions, the Mass was well attended.
The celebrant was Fr Philip Pennington Harris, and the deacon was Rev Stephen Morgan, both of Portsmouth Diocese. The sub-deacon was Fr John Maunder of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, based at St Agatha's, Portsmouth. Music was provided by the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge, directed by Christopher Hodkinson.
During his homily, Bishop Egan said that the Extraordinary Form of the Mass was welcome in Portsmouth Diocese where people wished it to be celebrated, and should have a place amongst the liturgical diversity of the diocese. He also highlighted the importance of the Church's liturgy in both forms of the Roman Rite of Gregorian Chant and the Latin language. The bishop then spoke on the subject of the Feast of Christ the King, celebrated on that Sunday in the 1962 Calendar. When Pope Pius XI had instituted it, it had been as a corrective to the rampant nationalism seen in inter-war Italy. Today, said the bishop, it still has great relevance as a corrective to the rise of secularism in our society.
After Mass, tea had been arranged by the LMS in the cathedral centre and Bishop Egan stayed to talk with very many members of the congregation.
LMS General Manager, Mike Lord, said: "We were delighted that Bishop Egan was able to join us on this great occasion and were heartened by his words of welcome to those of us attached to the Traditional Latin liturgy and by the bishop's affirmation of its legitimate place within the life of the Catholic Church. The annual High Mass at Portsmouth Cathedral has been revived after several years and today's event has proved a great success and a very joyful occasion for all who attended.