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.

Sunday 30 January 2011

Low Mass Training

Server Training

Preparing the High Altar
On Saturday I helped two young men learn to serve the Low Mass of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. They are both parishioners of St John Fisher, West Heath; where there is a Low Mass every Friday as well as two High Masses per year. One was 18 years old, the other 8 years old. Both showed extraordinary zeal, care and attention. Although Low Masses are usually at a side altar in this Church, its lack of altar steps meant using the high altar was preferable, as you can see from the photos

Since Low Mass is best learned just by doing it, Fr George (Parish Priest) kindly offered a Low Mass for St Francis de Sales shortly after 11am so that what was learned could be implemented. The biggest difficulty for a new server is the recitation of Latin responses, and so I stayed in the Sanctuary to help them along during Mass whilst they shared the major roles.

Server Training
Although it is usually just one server per Priest in a Latin Mass, for solemnities two are often used. It is also a great way to teach the Low Mass since a more experienced server can be paired with a 'trainee'. This is the case each Sunday at the Birmingham Oratory. One server is in charge of moving the Missal, and always stays on the opposite side of it. The other server is charged with ringing the bell. They also serve in the same way as Acolytes at a Missa Cantata by assisting the Priest with the water and wine at the Offertory, Lavabo and Ablutions.

It is useful to have a basic knowledge of the differences in the Novus Ordo with this type of training. The younger lad in particular had prior experience of serving at Sunday Masses, and therefore was curious about the differences. For instance there are two ablutions, both using wine as well as just water. This server is particularly honoured to be chosen to serve Fr George's school Masses, where he will expose the children to the Latin Mass for the first time. Please pray for these fine young men.

To read about the LMS's latest initiatives for training Altar Servers, see the Society of St Tarcissius website


Feast of the Purification of Our Lady
Low Mass Birmingham Oratory
Wednesday 2nd February 2011

Friday 28 January 2011

National LMS Pilgrimage to York






This is a rare opportunity; a Catholic Latin Mass from the High Altar of York Minster, an ancient Church dating from the 13th Century, and showing signs of Christian Worship on the site from even earlier. I am arranging a contingent from our region, which will include arrival for about 11am, allowing time before the Mass to have lunch and a look around the city. Following Mass I am also arranging a guided tour around the Minster. The day will end after a Procession to the Bar Convent for Benediction and veneration of St Margaret Clitherow's relics. 

I am arranging a coach which will depart from our region in three locations:

  • St John Fisher, West Heath
  • Birmingham Oratory 
  • St Michael's West Bromwich.

Cost will be £15 per seat (usually twice this price)
I will be offering child discounts for families of three children and over. Infants on laps (0-2) will be free.

I will publish further details as I finalise them. In the meantime, get in touch to reserve a seat! There is a lot of interest so be quick!

Mass Prayer Card for Altar steps

I have made myself a card for Priest and Server to say both the introductory prayers and, on the reverse, the Leonine Prayers. Feel free to print, laminate, and use.
Altar Step Card

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Priests' Training Conference 2011

Benediction at Downside Abbey
August 2010
The Latin Mass Society has announced its seventh residential conference for priests who wish to learn the Extraordinary Form of Mass. The conference will take place at Buckfast Abbey, Buckfastleigh, Devon from Tuesday 3rd to Friday 6th May.

Tuition will be given in small groups selected according to ability, and will cover Low Mass, Missa Cantata and Missa Solemnis. It is also hoped to provide tuition in the sacraments of baptism and marriage. Only rudimentary Latin is required.

There will also be a residential course for laymen wishing to learn to serve the Extraordinary Form.

The conference will begin late morning on the Tuesday, although there will be the opportunity for those travelling long distances to stay at Buckfast Abbey on the Monday night. The conference will end after lunch on the Friday.

Learning High Mass at Downside Abbey
August 2010
There will be sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form each day; parts of the Office will also be sung.

The inclusive fee is £85 which covers all tuition, accommodation and board.

Application forms for both priests and servers training are available from the LMS office (020 7404 7284) or the LMS website (www.lms.org.uk).

LMS Chairman, Doctor Joseph Shaw said: “The LMS’s training conferences are now well-established in the Church’s calendar of activities. We have already trained over a hundred priests and many more Extraordinary Form Masses are being offered around the country due to our training activities”.

Monday 24 January 2011

Extra West Heath Mass

This coming Saturday, January 29th, there will be an 11am Low Mass for the feast of St Francis de Sales (today in the modern calender).

The reason for this is to allow the training of two new altar servers in the Parish. Deo Gratias.

Sunday 16 January 2011

New Midlands Chaplain

With the departure of Fr Philip Cleevely from the country for the time being, the LMS committee have elected a new Chaplain to assist with regional issues; Fr Thomas Crean OP. I have put a picture of him on the sidebar; click on it to see the website for the Holy Cross Priory in Leicester where he is based, an impressive Church from the mid-20th Century. Here is a stylised photo of Fr Crean saying Mass this afternoon.

Saturday 8 January 2011

Epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ

On Thursday the Birmingham Oratory celebrated its now customary Mass for the Epiphany, on its original untransferred Twelfth Night!

Vidimus stellam eius in Oriente, et venimus cum muneribus adorare Dominum
We have seen His star in the East, and are come with gifts to adore the Lord

Of particular note was the Subdeacon, Br Richard Duncan, who is the newest member of the Birmingham Oratory community. He has previously trained at Wonersh receiving the ministry of Acolyte, which in the modern Church is the highest 'minor order' and thus places him in the obvious role for Subdeacon of the Mass. Although he has taken this role in the Oratory's Ordinary High Mass, this was the first time he had done so for the Extraordinary Form. The Celebrant was former Provost Fr Paul Chavasse and the Deacon was Fr Anton Guziel, former diocesan Priest but now a full member of the Oratory Congregation.

Another feature was the singing of the moveable Feasts of the New Year, which was done by a European Deacon staying at the Oratory. It is sung to a very interesting and ancient chant, and gives the dates for Ash Wednesday (March 9th), Easter Day (April 24th), Ascension (June 2nd), Pentecost (June 12th), Corpus Christi (June 23rd) and Advent (November 27th).

The Oratory choir sang Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli, the same as this time four years ago when the Oratory started their regular EF High Masses, which was even before Summorum Pontificum.

A full collection of photos can be found here.

Friday 7 January 2011


There will unfortunately NOT be a Mass this evening at West Heath. Normal service will hopefully resume next week.

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Tuesday 4 January 2011

Ember Wednesday of Advent

Ember Wednesday of Advent
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