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.

Wednesday 30 December 2009

St Thomas of Canterbury

Yesterday's High Mass was celebrated by Fr Anton Guziel of the Oratory, I think his first High Mass according to the 1962 books since moving to Birmingham. In this respect it was quite novel; a novice celebrant with the Provost as Deacon.The Subdeacon was diocesan Priest Fr George Grynowski, who also celebrates the Traditional Mass in his Parish of West Heath. Fr Guy Nichols led a small schola with plainchant setting accompanied by organ. There were about five Priests in choir, as well as the new Oratorian novice. It was expertly MC'd by Andrew Wagstaff better known for his services down south, and a Brother of the Little Oratory in London.

Unfortunately the turn-out in the nave was very poor, and communion was over in no time. I'm sorry I was not able to advertise it a bit more widely than just this blog. People seem to travel a long way for a High Mass, even from neighbouring counties, and especially during such a holiday season.

However, for another chance to participate in a High Mass as said prior to the reformed Missal, please come along to celebrate Epiphany on its traditional feast day of January 6th at 8pm.

Saturday 26 December 2009

Christmas Report

The Night Mass of Christmas (which was the Midnight Mass but at 4pm on Christmas Eve) was a great success. Nearly 180 people turned up to the Oratory for the first Mass of Christmas, well in excess of the expected number. It was a Missa Cantata, which was possible thanks to Mr Oliver Hayes; he organised music, lead a small schola of three men, and even provided organ accompaniment for the first time after months of painstaking practice, for the Latin hymns Veni Redemptor Gentium, Quem Pastores and Adeste Fideles.

I am very grateful to the Oratory Fathers (in particular Fr Philip Cleevely who sung the Mass) for indulging our desire to make a really special celebration of this feast day, which has been a Low Mass in previous years. It included High Mass ceremonial (two acolytes, a thurifer, MC Colin Tunnicliffe, and even four torch bearers: left), showing just what is possible with no budget but lots of willing volunteers bringing their gifts to the service of the Lord.

The Low Mass on Christmas morning (right) also took place in St Philip's Chapel at 9.30am, with thirty people filling it nicely. It has been noted that since Summorum Pontificum, the Extraordinary Form of Mass has become more of a natural part of the Oratory Parish, with new faces attending all the time, numbers increasing, and the Mass sheets really helping people participate in the Proper Prayers for each feast.

This latter aspect is only a small investment to help the success of the Latin Mass in Parishes, with a free downloadable accompaniment to the infamous 'red booklet' available for each major feast from Una Voce. At the Oratory we use our own purpose written ordinary booklets to make it easier to follow; one for Low Mass and one for High Mass. I simply adapt the Mass sheets to suit these. Here is the one I used for Christmas Eve, which was unusually two sheets of A4 to fit both the Latin Hymns and also the Gregorian notation for Missa de Angelis, which allowed the congregation to participate in both:
Nativity Night

Saturday 19 December 2009

Christmastide Masses

First Mass of Christmas
Thursday, December 24th at 4pm (Sung Mass in the Main Church)

Mass at Dawn
Friday, December 25th at 9.30am (Low Mass in St Philip's Chapel)

St Stephen Protomartyr
Saturday, December 26th at 9.30am (Low Mass in St Philip's Chapel)

Sunday within the Octave Commemoration of St John Apostle & Evangelist
December 27th at 9.30am (Low Mass in the Main Church)

St Thomas Becket (of Canterbury) Bishop, Martyr (Patron of English Pastoral Clergy)
Tuesday, December 29th at 11am (Solemn High Mass in the Main Church)

Octave Day of the Nativity
Friday, 1st January 2010 at 9.30am (Low Mass in the Main Church)

Octave Day of the Nativity
Low Mass: Friday, 1st January 2010 at 7pm (Preceded by Benediction at 6.30pm TBC)

EPIPHANY at the Birmingham Oratory
N.B. Solemn High Mass at 8pm (Wednesday January 6th 2010)

Wednesday 16 December 2009

St Thomas Becket High Mass

I didn't originally think it was going ahead, but due to the success of previous years the Birmingham Oratory Fathers will once again hold a Solemn High Mass for the feast of St Thomas of Canterbury.

Tuesday, December 29th at 11am

It is a popular Mass for Priests in the Diocese to come and visit the Birmingham Oratory. This year it will hopefully be a chance for Fr Richard Duffield, the soon-to-be Provost of the Birmingham Oratory, to meet everyone as well.

St Thomas Becket was the Archbishop of Canterbury who was martyred in his Cathedral in 1170 due to his conflict with King Henry II over the rights and privileges of the Church in England. To me it is almost a savage precursor of the havoc wrought against Catholicism 400 years later by his namesake King Henry VIII.

Tuesday 8 December 2009

Archbishop Bernard Longley

Today I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend the installation of the new Archbishop of Birmingham, Bernard Longley. I was in attendence in my capacity as Representative for the Latin Mass Society, and it was a wonderful opportunity. I have not time or the space on this blog to write a full report, but I shall do so in due course on Lacrimarum Valle.

"With faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the love of God in my heart, I accept the pastoral care of the People of God in the Archdiocese of Birmingham. I promise to serve faithfully the Church in this Archdiocese, preach the Gospel, and celebrate the Eucharist."
- Archbishop Bernard Longley accepting the Apostolic Letter at today's Installation

Tota Pulchra Es María!

This morning we had a beautiful Low Mass at the Lady Altar of the Birmingham Oratory, for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated by Fr Anton Guziel.

It is not very often we are fortunate enough to have such an intimate affair at this beautiful side altar, and as the Patronal Feast of both the Oratory and the Archdiocese, it was a fitting occasion to pray for the benefits of both. A second Collect was said, I assume for the newly installed Archbishop of Birmingham Bernard Longley.

Alleluia, alleluia. Tota pulcha es, María: es mácula originális non est in te. Alleluia.

Thou art all fair, O Mary, and there is in thee no stain of original sin. Alleluia.

Saturday 5 December 2009

Immaculate Conception

Tuesday, December 8th 2009

Low Mass (Birmingham Oratory) 11am

Solemn High Mass in Evesham at 7pm
(Our Lady & St Egwin, High Street, Evesham)

Please also remember to pray for our new Archbishop, Bernard Longley, who will be enthroned (or 'installed', like a new version of Windows) on this feast day at 12noon in St Chad's Cathedral. I am lucky enough to be able to watch it over at the Sally Ann live on a big screen! I hope they have Popcorn!
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