Sunday, June 29, 2008

Two Masses for SS Peter and Paul

Originally the Pope sang two Masses on this day, one at St Peter's, the other at St Paul's, but because of the distance between them the custom grew up of postponing the second Mass till the next day - hence tomorrow's Commemoration of St Paul. The Mass and Office of the 29th of June is, therefore, almost wholly devoted to St Peter, except for the Collect and the marvellous hymn (split between Lauds and Vespers), and the Magnificat Antiphon at Second Vespers:

Hodie Simon Petrus ascendit crucis patibulum, alleluja:
hodie clavicularius regni gaudens migravit ad Christum:
hodie Paulus Apostolus, lumen orbis terræ, inclinato capite,
pro Christi nomine martyrio coronatus est, alleluja.

But today I at least had two sung Masses to attend: I came to my usual, the 9.15am, at which Quartessence were singing polyphony, but after I'd caught up with folks afterward I had to drive Fr Rowe over to Kelmscott for the 2pm Mass there, which was being sung by their choir - and ended up having to serve as an acolyte!

Now, the last few days have had their accidents: yesterday, my spectacle frames snapped and needed emergency repairs. Similarly, sadly, at the Kelmscott Mass, the thurifer managed to tip the coals out of the thurible onto the carpet in front of the altar, during the Introit; Fr decided to abandon the use of incense for the rest of Mass, feeling incensed enough already, no doubt. I counted seven holes burnt into the carpet! In any case, incense other than by indult at a Missa cantata is actually a very late pre-Conciliar development.

Further bloopers: I felt ridiculous in a tiny child's surplice over a cassock that only came half-way down my calves; and when I coughed during the Canon, I managed to blow out my candle, causing some fuss to get it relighted. Serving with decorum is not my strong point - at least I avoided thurible duty, though on second thoughts I may have been the better choice...

I then had to drive Fr to the airport (he's off to the funeral of a friend), drop stuff off at the sacristan's home, visit the ongoing works at St Anne's to pass on Fr's latest messages, and finally get home, there to return to my housemate James the surplice that he had given Rosemary to fix for him, before cooking dinner, and then heading over to George's to watch the latest Doctor Who episode (since we don't own a TV). Yes, I am a confirmed Dr Who fan!

Why is it that Australian TV never shows Christmas specials at Christmas? It happens for every sitcom or drama or whatever the same, with rare exceptions: Christmas specials are televised at random intervals through the year. So this first episode of Series 4 of the revamped Dr Who was the - 2007 Christmas special: only 6 months and 4 days late. Welcome to that strange Southern Hemisphere invention, "Christmas in July".

What a runaround day.


Anonymous said...

Hello Joshua.

We were looking forward to reading your blog about yesterday's Mass at Kelmscott and it lived up to its expectations! What a shame with the thurible, but these things happen I guess. Sorry about your surplice! Oh at least the MC didn't get mentioned, he must have been ok!

Your friendly servers at Kelmscott!

Joshua said...

Thanks, guys!

Of your charity, rather than be anonymous, adopt some name to call yourselves, like, say, Cosmas and Damian...

Cosmas said...

Funny you mention those two - Fr Marcellinus, a Franciscan priest who sometimes says Novus Ordo Mass at Kelmscott, a very reverent priest though, always calls us Cosmas & Damian. Perhaps we should read about them!

What a fantastic blog site you have. Keep up the good work.