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 21 October 2010

Calendar 2011

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Wednesday 13 October 2010

Solemn High Requiem

Friday 5th November 2010 at 7pm
St John Fisher Church, 1 Cofton Road, West Heath

Parish Priest Fr George Grynowski will this year offer our Anniversary Requiem Mass for deceased Parishioners and LMS Members. If you would like a loved one's name to be included in the Absolutions at the Catafalque, please leave as a comment.

Last year our first High Requiem was offered at West Bromwich, and for this occasion ensemble 1685 sung a stunning renaissance setting by Jean Richafort, which was a UK first. This year they have kindly offered to return for a repeat performance, which will raise our hearts and minds to God once again.

Jean Richafort (1480-1547)
This polyphonic setting of the Ordinary of the Requiem Mass was composed in honour of the composer's teacher, Josquin Desprez, following Josquin's death in 1521. Richafort held several posts in the Low Countries but also appears to have been attached to the French Court. The Requiem uses fragments of the older composer's work hidden in the rich texture of 6-part writing.

Please support this wonderful opportunity. Full Mass books will be provided and Frs Jan Nowotnik and Christopher Miller from neighbouring parishes will also assist as Deacon and Subdeacon.

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Saturday 2 October 2010

Black Country Training Day

It is not often that we put together a Missa Cantata in Birmingham. The main limiting factor is availability of singers for the Latin Plainchant, which often takes an exclusive place in professional choirs due to its complexity.

Today was an initiative encouraged by the Latin Mass Society, to train singers and servers for the Traditional Mass. I feel it has created a good grounding for the future, and demonstrated keen local interest in the Latin Mass.

The training took place at St Michael's Church in the busy centre of West Bromwich on a Saturday afternoon. I began at 1.30pm with a brief introduction to the Gregorian Mass, in particular its unique aesthetic features which have been passed down through the centuries and the attention to the Latin text in the Missal, contrasting it with the changes in modern worship fashions.

Mr Oliver Hayes ably led the Chant rehearsal, with Mr Vincent Byrne providing organ accompaniment for Missa de Angelis. Full musical notation was provided, but the hour training only gave time to focus on the Ordinary, with the common tones of the Mass and Mass VIII. There were 19 present for this stream, with about a third from local Anglican communities completely new to Chant in the Latin language, raising concerns about pronunciation. The eager willingness was a real inspiration to me.

The second stream consisted of six of us rehearing the ceremonial of the Mass, serving in the sanctuary alongside the Choir practice. We began the afternoon with prayer, and our work was based on reverence for the Blessed Sacrament and the privilege of acting in clerical positions during Mass. Besides myself, there was one other server who was in the Society of St Tarcissius, with the other servers familiar only with the New Rite. My intention was to familiarise everyone with the roles below MC (Acolyte, Thurifer and Torchbearers) but in practice time was a limiting factor and we managed to at least perform a thorough run-through, with actual Mass being served reasonably well.

Fr George Grynowski from West Heath sang Mass for the Feast of the Guardian Angels, and was very impressed with the accompanying singing. Despite having sung High Mass, it was his first Missa Cantata since refining his skills at the latest LMS Priest's Training conference in Downside Abbey. He joined us for the last portion of the server's training and gave us appropriate encouragement and correction. He used the Missal's rubrics of incensation of a free-standing altar which took advantage of the reordered sanctuary of St Michael's!

There were several more people of course who joined us for the Mass itself at 3pm. I estimate there were a total of about 50, which was good considering the quick arrangement and limited advertising I gave it. Unfortunately the spacious choir loft was not utilised on this occasion due to the position of the organ at the front of church.

Refreshments were had afterwards in the church hall, and Fr George blessed the children's craftwork Guardian Angels which are keeping them safe in bed tonight (you might say this was a third stream for the afternoon with the younger age group and mother-cathecists!)

It seems the general consensus was a successful day, and something positive to build upon. If you would like to partake in any future activities, which will rotate around different areas of the West Midlands, please get in touch. It is a ground-up initiative to inject Tradition into our parishes, and a passion shared by many.

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Friday 1 October 2010

Tomorrow's Chant Training

As well as Sung Mass Booklets and complete choir booklets, I thought I'd share these Mass sheets for the congregation to participate in the prayers and chants of the Mass for the Feast of the Holy Angels. Missa de Angelis is a very common Mass setting, and although some die-harders may tire of it, your can't say it isn't appropriate for this wonderful Feast!

Chant and server training will commence at 1:30 (beginners and experienced alike welcome), with the Mass starting at 3pm.
Holy Guardian Angels With MassVIII
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