Although Theresa & I were on holiday (yes, again!!) we hear that everything went really well at the Missa Solemnis on Saturday 14th September (Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross). The celebrant was V Rev Fr Michael Brown with deacon Fr David Phillips and sub-deacon transitional deacon Rev Andrew Bunce. The weather behaved itself and the music was of the high standard we have come to expect from The Rudgate Singers of York & the Schola Sancti Baedae from Jarrow. There was a reasonable congregation but we really need higher numbers to make the event worthwhile. The setting is quite magnificent & one can easily see why the Augustinian Canons selected this idyllic place. Watch this blog for notification of the date for 2014!!
Sad news greeted us on our return today from holiday. A stalwart of the LMS in this diocese, Frank Erskine, has died aged 65. We were told a few weeks ago that Frank had been diagnosed with cancer but his death has come as a complete shock. Frank served for many years at St Dominic's in Newcastle before becoming a regular attender at both St Wilfred's & St Joseph's in Gateshead while Fr Brown was there. When Sheila Webster became ill Frank was her chauffeur and transported her every Thursday to Fr Swales' Masses at Coxhoe & every Sunday to Fr Dickson's Masses at Thornley. It was only earlier this year that his sister Bernadette (long time scribe in the 'Northern Cross') was in remission from her own cancer & then their mother died. Frank will be sorely missed by his many friends in the LMS. I believe his Requiem Mass will be celebrated at St Patrick's, Ryhope by Fr Dickson on Tuesday 1st October. Well done thou good & faithful servant & welcome into the kingdom prepared for you. Rest in Peace, Frank
Just a final plug for the EF Solemn High Mass at Brinkburn Priory in Northumberland on Saturday 14th September 2013 at 12 noon. The celebrant will be V Rev Fr Michael Brown (now of St Joseph's in Gateshead), deacon Fr David Phillips (now of Our Lady & St Cuthbert's in Berwick) and sub deacon transitional deacon Rev Andrew Bunce.
The Ordinary of the Mass will be 'Mass for 4 Voices' by Byrd, motets 'Crux Fidelis' by King John IV of Portugal and 'Christus Factus Est' by Anerio sung by the Rudgate Singers of York. The Proper of the Mass will be sung from the Liber Usualis by the Schola Sancti Baedae.
The Latin Mass society's annual walking pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Walsingham took place over August Bank Holiday weekend. The fourth consecutive year of this event saw 90 people (a 25% rise on last year) undertaking the three-day journey on foot to 'England's Nazareth'. The intention of the 55-mile walk, which started in the cathedral city of Ely in Cambridgeshire, was the conversion of England. Pilgrims slept in tents or on the floors of schools and village halls along the way and clearly many found it more challenging than they had expected, but all managed to reach the Shrine in time for Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form on the afternoon of Sunday 25th August.
Four priests accompanied the pilgrimage, Fr Bede Rowe of Clifton diocese, presently based at Chavagnes College in France, was chaplain of the pilgrimage. He was joined by Fr Thomas Crean OP, of Holy Cross Priory, Leicester, Fr John Cahill of Northampton diocese and Fr Michael Rowe (no kin) from Australia. Three seminarians from the Fraternity of St Peter joined the event as well as a member of the Dominican community at Blackfriars, Cambridge. Traditional Solemn Mass was celebrated every day of the pilgrimage, most notably at Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk, a fifteenth century moated manor house and former recusant home, still lived in by the Bedingfield family.
LMS General Manager, Mike Lord, said: "By common consent, this has been the best year for this pilgrimage so far. The overwhelming majority of walkers are young families and young people, showing the continuing vitality of the Traditional Mass and Faith. Many are encountering the Old Rite for the first time and have found the experience of the traditional spirituality of the Roman Rite and the physical and spiritual discipline of a walking pilgrimage an inspiring and transforming experience. Our entrance into Walsingham itself was memorable. On other public pilgrimages organised by the LMS, it is common to encounter hostility in the street, but as we approached the gates of the Abbey grounds to the former site of Lady Richeldis's Holy House, the response of bystanders was very positive, even awed."
The LMS plans to release a short film documentary in the early autumn about this year's pilgrimage to inform and inspire others to join them for next year's event.
The annual EF Mass will again be celebrated at Brinkburn Priory in rural Northumberland at 12 noon. The Mass will be that of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Once again we are fortunate to have Missa Solemnis with celebrant V Rev Fr Michael Brown (Northern Chaplain of LMS), deacon Rev Fr David Phillips (now based at Our Lady & St Cuthbert's, Berwick on Tweed) and transient deacon Rev Andrew Bunce as sub deacon. The altar team will be led by MC Leo Darroch.
The Proper of the Mass will be sung according to the Liber Usualis by the Schola Sancti Baedae from Jarrow and the Ordinary will be sung by The Rudgate Singers of York. The polyphonic Ordinary will be Byrds 4-part Mass including the Credo and their motets will be Crux Fidelis composed by King John IV of Portugal and Christus Factus Est by Felice Anerio. We cannot stress too strongly the beauty of this setting in the priory church of Augustinian Canons placed on a bend of the River Coquet between Morpeth & Rothbury. After Mass it is possible to have a picnic in the beautifully kept grounds and, it has to be said, we are (usually) blessed with lovely weather. Why not make a day of it?