Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wedding and First Communion

The bride was stunning (as all brides are), her dress complementing her beauty (like a fool, I forgot to take a photo): how blessed John is to have Laura, and she him; and what a wonderful thing to see Mr and Mrs Macaulay united in holy wedlock before the altar, and kneeling side by side for the ensuing Solemn High Mass.  (John told me later on that friends of his unused to the Traditional Liturgy could only stammer to praise this as an "A-grade Mass"!)

I am delighted to see my old mate John make such a match: two persons of such talents, both committed Catholics, gifted by nature and grace, and deservedly praised, as they were at the reception afterwards.  As Laura is Mexican, they had the Cardinal's permission for a Votive Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe yester-day, in anticipation of the feast.  The Irish and the Hispanic get on very well it seems...  I hope readers will join me in hearty prayers for these newly-weds, who are off on a honeymoon cruise to New Caledonia as I write.

Mass this morning at Maternal Heart Lewisham was a pleasure unexpected in one respect: for this Gaudete Sunday, nine youngsters made their First Holy Communion there.  What was notable was that there was no foolish dumbing-down of the liturgy (as too often happens in the Ordinary Form), but rather an uplifting of the children to these holy mysteries clad in such wonder and awe with a full Missa cantata.  (The choir sang the chant splendidly: the Rorate cæli at Offertory and the Tantum ergo in Corsican polyphony at Communion were real gems.)

I will not soon forget Fr Wong's sermon, especially when in its second part he addressed the first communicants in especial – for having explained that at baptism the seed of glory is planted in our souls, then holding up a white flower, he compared our souls to this, plucked off a few petals to illustrate the uglifying effect of venial sin, and, oh woe! destroyed the flower utterly to display the hateful disaster that is mortal sin.  This exhortation to live as becomes saints, flying sin, and hieing oneself to the confessional as need be, was most sobering.

An amusing point: arriving at my accommodation on Friday afternoon, I was amused to note the Great Synagogue directly opposite – then agog to read on the sign outside that my hotel, the Castlereagh, is wholly owned and operated by the Masonic Club of New South Wales!  Heavens!  Talk about conspiracy theories featuring these, ahem, minorities (other friends tell me that they have stayed there, and even prelates of the Church, so I needn't give in to crazed paranoia).

Finally, some news just in: may I congratulate another friend of mine, Justin, who has just announced his engagement to Lydia.  I pray every blessing for this impending union.

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