Welcome to the site for News, Events and up-to-date Information on Traditional Catholicism in the West Midlands (UK). I am one of the Diocesan Representatives for the Latin Mass Society of England & Wales for the Promotion of the Traditional Roman Rite.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

St Frideswide at West Bromwich

I gave Fr Chris a bit of a shock last night by announcing I'd set up the Missal for this obscure Birmingham (or rather Oxford) Saint rather than St Peter of Alacantara, which he'd prepared for!

In truth, I had set the Missal up for the latter, having glanced briefly at my LMS wall calendar on the way out the house, with all the General Calendar dates. I then happened to check 1 min before Mass started, in the LMS Ordo on my iPhone, and noticed a special local Feast. I automatically thought this took precedence, although in actual fact they're both 3rd Class Feasts for October 19. So I rushed up to the Missal on the Altar and made some amendments to the markers! (And thanked God St Frideswide wasn't a Martyr or I'd have to change the white vestments to red!)

All quite funny really; If I'd been prepared I could have asked Fr Chris which of the two Feasts he'd prefer to observe. In any event, he took it in good humour and even suggested in his humility that he didn't have enough oil in his lamp, in allusion to the day's Gospel Parable Jesus taught about the ten virgins awaiting Christ the Bridegroom!

It was St Frideswide, herself like a wise virgin with extra oil in her lamp, who founded a convent in the 8th Century. I am unsure whether her Feast remains in the new Calendar (historical doubt and all that). Of particular interest is the idea that her 'double monastery' was the foundation of Oxford University. It therefore seems preposterous that women were ever forbidden from following an education there. It seems gloriously romantic to me that it was the institutional Church which preserved and founded rigorous academic and scientific study. Take note Mr Dawkins!

From the St Andrew's Daily Missal:
"St. Frideswide - or Fritheswith - was born about 665 near Oxford, the daughter of noble parents. She founded a convent at the gates of Oxford - where Christ Church now stands. Aelfgar, prince of Mercia, was determined to marry her for her beauty and her inheritance, but she fled to the forests to avoid his attentions. When she returned to Oxford, Aelfgar beseiged the city, but just at the point of victory he was struck blind.

"For many years afterwards, she presided as Abbess of a double monastery of both monks and nuns. Some say that the origins of the University of Oxford lie in the school she established there. She was well known in her lifetime for effecting miraculous cures, and a well at Binsey - where she latterly retired as a hermitess - became known as a place of healing. She died at Binsey on 19th October 735, and was buried in her monastery."

More Photos can be found at my Flickr page.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Oratory Mass Changes

The Oratory Fathers, are reduced to 2 active priests (Fr Gregory is no longer able to say Public Masses owing to his mature age; Fr Dermot and Fr Guy are away) leaving Fr Anton (PP and director of Music), and Fr Paul. Therefore there has been an alteration in the Parish Mass schedule, decided by the Fathers and ratified by the Provost Fr Ignatius, and the Archdiocese.

This happens to benefit those who attend the Traditional Form since it's numbers have grown to the point it cannot be cancelled, and so therefore it's being combined with previous Novus Ordo time slots.

From immediate effect the Saturday morning Latin Low Mass will be at the slightly earlier time of 9am AT THE HIGH ALTAR (with English readings) followed by exposition and Benediction at 10.45am.

Commencing the First Sunday in Advent, the Sunday Morning EF Latin Mass will be IN THE SOLEMN FORM at 10.30am. There will only be High Masses using the revised Missal of 1969 for extra Feasts (except those transferred in the New Calendar, when as is customary, an EF Solemn High Mass is celebrated on the Traditional un-transferred date at 7:30pm weekdays and 11am Saturday, eg Epiphany, Corpus Christi, etc.)

Holy Souls (November 2nd) will have an EF High Mass at 7:30pm

Please support this opportunity, the first weekly Solemn High Mass in the Archdiocese. Similar endeavours are happening with the Franciscans in Stoke, but the Oratory will of course feature the professional polyphonic choir, which under Fr Anton's direction will probably not have must Plainchant!

We are working on deciding an appropriate translation to use in the Mass sheets. I suggest perhaps the Knox translation which is easier for the congregation to read than the Shakespearean English used in the Douay Rheims. What do you think? How about the RSV or NRSV?

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Remaining Masses for 2011


Signing off, here are the confirmed (*and TBC) Masses outside the ordinary schedule on the sidebar of the main blogsite:

Wednesday 19th October 2011: Low Mass 6pm (St Michael's, West Bromwich)

Tuesday 1st November 2011: Low Mass 5:45pm (All Saints at Birmingham Oratory)

Wednesday 2nd November 2011:High Mass 7:30pm (All Souls at Birmingham Oratory)

Wednesday 16 November 2011: Low Mass 6pm (St Michael's West Bromwich)

Wednesday 21 December 2011: Low Mass 6pm (St Michael's, West Bromwich)

Sunday 25th December 2011: High Mass 10:30am* (CHRISTMAS MORNING MASS)

*= To be confirmed

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