Missa Cantata was celebrated at St Mary's, Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne on Thursday the true Feast of Corpus Christi by Very Rev Fr Michael Brown, Northern Chaplain of the LMS. The Ordinary & Proper were sung in Plainchant by the Schola Sancti Baedae.
Happy to give goodly notice of the 2013 EF Mass at Brinkburn Priory in Northumberland. The priory was once the home of Augustinian canons who chose this idyllic riverside site in the midst of the beautiful countryside of Northumberland. The priory is situated between the towns of Morpeth & Rothbury. It is hoped that the Mass will be a Solemn High Mass and it will be celebrated on Saturday 14th September 2013 at 12noon. Please make a note in your diary as this is a wonderful setting for the EF of the Mass and we are (usually) blessed with lovely sunshine. It is hoped that a polyphonic Mass will be performed together with the Proper from the Liber Usualis.
Research by the Latin Mass Society has demonstrated a range of statistical indications in the health of the Catholic Church in England & Wales in the 1960s & 1970s.
Among the findings are:
MARRIAGES: Between 1968 & 1978 the number of marriages collapsed by a third from 47,417 to 31,534 and that decline shows no sign of slowing up as it now stands at less than 10,000, a quarter of the 1968 total in absolute terms. Within the Church population the reduction is from 12 per 1,000 to 2.5 per thousand in 2010.
BAPTISMS: Halved from 137,673 in 1964 to 68,351 in 1977. At present the number hovers around the 60,000 mark & many of those do not attend Mass regularly. From a peak of nearly 16% of all live births in 1963 we see today fewer than 10%.
ORDINATIONS: We saw a drop of more than 50% between 1965 & 1977 (from 233 to 101) and this decline continues unabated. Even using the more optimistic figures supplied by the National Office of Vocations (compared to the Catholic Directory) for the current year, showing an increase on recent years, numbers are scarcely 30% of their 1964 level. (Counting only ordinations to the diocesan clergy, there were 134 in 1964; the NOV predicts 41 this year.)
Dr Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the LMS, comments:
"Anyone with an interest in the future of the Catholic Church in England & Wales will find these figures illuminating. They show, unambiguously, that something went seriously wrong in the Church in England & Wales in the 1960s & 1970s. Catholics ceased quite suddenly to see the value of getting married, having large families, and having their children baptised. Non-Catholics no longer saw the Church as the ark of salvation, and ceased to seek admission. Young men no longer offered themselves for the priesthood in the same numbers as before. It is not fanciful to connect this catastrophe to the wrenching changes which were taking place in the Church at that time, when the Second Vatican Council was being prepared, discussed and, often erroneously, applied. As Pope Benedict pointed out in the Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum': '..in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter was actually understood as authorising, or even requiring, creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear...'
This evening, 15th May, Fr Paul Tully celebrated his first Missa Cantata in St Augustine's Church in Darlington. The Mass was sprung on local LMS member Carl Watson having been arranged by the parish priest before he went on retreat. There is a regular Wednesday evening Low Mass in the church.
The music was Byrd's Mass for 4 Voices with Byrd's Ave Verum at the Offertory. Darlington Choral Society did a splendid job. Carl was MC assisted by his sons as acolytes & a parishioner as thurifer. David O'Neill & Leo Darroch sang the Proper. It should be noted that Carl has never been MC before nor had the thurifer undertaken the task.
On Monday 13th May Very Rev Fr Michael Brown celebrated a Sung Requiem in St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle for Mrs Margaret Purvis. The Mass was arranged by Mrs Purvis' daughter, Ursula Kelly, resident in Canada.
The Latin Mass Society's third pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret Clitherow, one of its co-patrons, took place in York on Saturday 4th May, the feast day of the English Martyrs. Solemn Mass was celebrated in the church of St Wilfrid by Canon Amaury Montjean of the Institute of Christ the King, with Fr Michael Hall as deacon and Fr John Cahill as subdeacon.
After Mass, there was a procession carrying a statue of St Margaret Clitherow through the streets of York and passing The Shambles, where St Margaret lived, and over Ouse Bridge, the place of her execution. The procession ended at English Martyrs Church where Benediction was offered by Fr Stephen Brown.
York was full of tourists during the Bank Holiday weekend, who watched the procession pass through the crowded streets with a respectful curiosity.
One lady who was visiting from Perth in Australia, and happened to enter St Wilfrid's Church just as the Gospel was about to be sung, was amazed at the sight of a Traditional Mass, saying that nothing like that ever took place in her home diocese.
The musical setting of the Mass was Thomas Luis de Victoria's "Missa simile est Regnum" sung by the Rudgate Singers who also sang Gregorio Allegri's "Adoremus in Aeternum" at Benediction. The day ended with the congregation singing Fr Faber's "Faith of our Fathers".
Pilgrimage organiser, Paul Waddington, said: "We were very pleased with the turnout for this year's pilgrimage which showed an increase on last year's event. The sight of pilgrims processing through the busy streets of York past Saturday shoppers always draws people's attention and is an important witness to the Catholic Faith."
St Margaret Clitherow was arrested in 1586 for the crime of harbouring Catholic priests. She refused to enter a plea to prevent a trial that would involve her children being made to testify, and therefore being subjected to torture. The standard punishment for refusing to enter a plea was being crushed to death and this was carried out to the horror of many local people on 25th March 1586.
The newly begun regular Extraordinary Form Masses at St Augustine's in Darlington takes another step forward on May 15th - the Feast of St John Baptiste de la Salle - with Missa Cantata at 7pm. The music will be provided by Darlington Choral Society who will sing William Byrd's Mass for 4 Voices. Please try to attend to support this new venture.