I had a meeting to attend in Colebrook this afternoon, and, having found out that Fr Pius hoped to celebrate Mass at the church there, decided to shave 50 km off my usual drive to the Latin Mass in Hobart, plus make my meeting in good time, by going to the Priory Mass at 11 am at St Patrick's. It was nice to have a later start in the morning and an easier drive…
Because the beautifully restored Pugin-designed church has an intact rood screen, and the front pews have been placed antiphonally with the choir lectern in the midst for the monastic Office, taking my place in the first of the pews placed lengthwise across the church I had a view as it were into the gem-studded casket that is the sanctuary, within which space, and most especially before the altar, the holy of holies at its upper end, the sacred liturgy unfolded before me and the others in the congregation.
The Prior was the celebrant, and his first five candidates the servers, of the Missa cantata, preceded by the Asperges as usual. I was moved by the engaging detail that Fr Pius led the singing of the Gregorian Propers and Ordinary (Mass XI & Credo I), with the rest of the servers forming the choir – he himself sang the Gradual alone, and psalm-toned the Tract (the only concession to their small numbers).
Father preached – as one would expect – a detailed, focussed and liturgically-illuminated homily, reminding us that the Lord in today's Gospel foretells his Passion and Resurrection, while the Apostle emphasises in the Epistle, given our Lenten penance about to begin, that all our doings without charity are worthless.
After Mass, the altar party moved to the Lady Altar, where before Our Lady of Colebrook they sang Sub tuum, before invoking Our Lady of Cana, praying the following prayer to St Joseph for the success of their just-established monastic foundation, and finally invoking St Mary of the Cross, before returning to the sacristy.
Prayer to St Joseph attributed to St Francis de Sales
Glorious Saint Joseph, Spouse of Mary, grant us, we beseech thee, thy paternal protection, through the Heart of Jesus Christ. O thou whose infinite power reaches out to all our needs, rendering possible for us that which is impossible, look upon the concerns of thy children with thy fatherly countenance. In the troubles and sorrows that afflict us, we have confident recourse to thee. Deign to take under thy loving protection this important and difficult endeavour, the cause of our worries, and dispose its success to the glory of God and to the benefit of His faithful servants. Amen.