Sunday, February 26, 2017

Quinquagesima at Colebrook

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.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

St Maravillas

Friends in Hobart swear by St Maravillas – they always get a parking spot when they invoke her. St Maria de las Maravillas de Jesus (Mary of the Marvels of Jesus), famous spiritual daughter of St Teresa, reviver of her spirit, and ornament of Carmel (1891-1974), certainly has the most suitable name when it comes to praying for God to intervene, be it for small or great favours; here is my prayer to her:

Aña. Cantate Domino canticum novum, quia mirabilia fecit. 
V. Magna et mirabilia sunt opera tua, Domine Deus omnipotens.
R. Justæ et veræ sunt viæ tuæ, Rex sæculorum. 
Domine Deus, qui magnalia fecisti pro nobis: concede propitius, intercessione beatæ Mariæ de Mirabilibus Jesu, ut videamus mirabilia hodie. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen. 
Ant. Sing unto the Lord a new song: for he hath worked wonders. (Ps. 97, 1) 
V. Great and wonderful are thy works, O Lord God Almighty.
R. Just and true are thy ways, O King of the ages. (Apoc. 15, 3) 
Let us pray. 
O Lord God, who hast done great things for us (cf. Ps. 125, 3), graciously grant, at the intercession of blessed Maria Maravillas of Jesus, that we may see wonders today (cf. Luke 5, 26), through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Foundation Day

I headed off bright and early this morning to drive the 150 km south to Colebrook, arriving at 9:45 am. Gradually more and more familiar faces arrived. For we were all assembled with our Archbishop, well over a hundred laity and clergy together, to celebrate the foundation today of Notre Dame Priory at St Patrick’s, a beautiful Pugin-designed church that has waited 160 years for this great day, when, as we all remarked afterward, it was finally used for what it was built for: the full traditional liturgy of Solemn High Mass coram archiepiscopo in the late morning and Solemn Vespers mid-afternoon. The servers were the five young men who are the first candidates for the monastic life to arrive and begin the foundation, for the present in temporary accommodation in Lindisfarne; more will arrive in due course. 

The Mass Propers of the Chair of St Peter were expertly sung by Ronan and friends, as was the Ordinary of the Mass (Mass IV and the little-used Credo V), all sensitively accompanied by Stephen Smith on the church’s recently-installed organ. His Grace preached, and, the sacred mysteries consummated and received, Fr Prior gave a speech of thanks after the Last Gospel, before a final Sub tuum at the Lady Altar together with prayer to St Joseph and invocations of St Mary of the Cross, secondary patroness of the new monastery, and of St Patrick, titular of the church. The morning liturgy lasted an hour and forty minutes all told.

We decamped to the Colebrook Hall for luncheon, where all and sundry had a great time catching up, toasting the foundation and delighting in such a joyful day. Afterwards, I had time to stroll around the little township before returning to church for Solemn Vespers (again expertly sung, lasting about 35 minutes) followed by Benediction (at exposition, Jesu dulcis memoria, then silent adoration, the usual Tantum ergo &c. before the blessing, the Divine Praises afterward, and at reposition the Benedictine Te decet laus), concluding at 5:30 pm.

After final farewells, I set off for home at six o’clock, and got back by eight. A wonderful day!