Sunday, January 9, 2011

Travel Journal: 9th January

Again, I just wanted to sleep in... I eventually headed downstairs to breakfast, and then off (via a rather expensive taxi) to Mass at Mother of Perpetual Succour Catholic Oratory, for the Feast of the Holy Family (which I have thus kept twice, whereas I missed the Epiphany entirely this year).  

Low Mass was offered up by the famous, redoubtable Fr Rizzo, F.S.S.P., who is manning the Christchurch Latin Mass scene until the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer finally get their new men ordained and then send one out here (Fr Marshall having decided to join the Latin Mass apostolate in Melbourne).

As I recall has long been his practice, while Fr arranged the veiled chalice on the altar and went to open the missal before beginning Mass, he briefly instructed us as to the significance of this feast.  There were two servers, the usual notices, together with the Epistle and Gospel in English, read out before the sermon, and the Third Confiteor – thanks be, since I am used to this from Fr Rowe's Masses in Perth, and tend to say it secretly to myself out of habit if it is omitted, as it is in Melbourne, Hobart and Sydney.  

After Mass, there were the Leonine Prayers, then a special blessing of families from the Ritual, together with an aspersion with Epiphany water – for this, the ciborium was brought forth from the tabernacle, so the blessing was coram Sanctissimo, made more solemn by being before the Sacrament simply exposed – and thirdly the "Hail Queen of heaven" heartily sung out for a recessional.

Finally, after a brief retreat to the sacristy, Fr Rizzo returned to bless an engaged couple, using the approved formula from the Ritual.  All this took just an hour.

Worship done, I was glad to meet some of the parishioners, and renew my acquaintance with others: several recognized me from the Christus Rex Pilgrimage.  Fr Rizzo was personable as ever.  We all had a cup of tea and some cake in the adjoining house, and then I was invited to visit some live Kiwis...

Chris and Nancy, plus several of their children (Greg, Ruth and Hannah) very kindly took me back to their home at Rangiora, about 30 km outside of Christchurch, for lunch, and I ended up spending a very happy afternoon with them and several other visitors, including Br Paul, F.Ss.R., and Daniel, who's about to return to Ezechiel House in Sydney to complete his first year of studies with the F.S.S.P., ere he go to the U.S.A. for the remaining six years of seminary training.

Br Paul kindly dropped me off at my hotel at about six o'clock, and before dinner I took a long walk around the local Botanic Gardens.  Another beaut day.

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