The Logic of the Incarnation
My 'Christmas article' for LifeSiteNews.
In Advent, we expect Christ’s coming in several senses. There is an eschatological sense: we expect Christ to come as Judge at the end of time, an expectation key to the Christian life. There is a sacramental sense: we expect the coming of Christ in the Eucharist, where He will be as real as He was in Bethlehem. There is the spiritual sense: we hope and prepare for Christ to come into our hearts. And then there is the most obvious one, which forms the backdrop to the others. The Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, is to be revealed as a baby.
Christ has been present on Earth since the Annunciation, hidden in the womb of His Mother. That day, 25 March, was for centuries the start of the English financial year; it is also the date JRR Tolkien chose for the final destruction of the Ring in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It is, in truth, the date of the Incarnation. In His birth, however, Christ is revealed to us: He becomes, as a man, a public person. It is now possible and appropriate for Him to be venerated by the shepherds and the Wise Men. In His birth He becomes subject to the Law of Moses, at least apparently, though really He is the Lord of it: it pleases Him and His Mother to fulfil the Law scrupulously. In His birth He also becomes vulnerable, and He must be carried into safety from the wrath of Herod. We might say that in His birth, the logic of the Incarnation is worked out more fully.
Iota Unum talks confirmed for 2020
|Fr Edward van den Bergh giving the last Iota Unum talk of 2019|
In 2019 the Latin Mass Society undertook a number of new initiatives in London: notably, a new chant schola, the Schola Cantorum Sancti Ioanni Houghton, to train new singers; a series of Server Training days under the Society of St Tarcisius; and a monthly series of talks, the 'Iota Unum' talks.
These three initiatives have each been a great success. I have already announced the early 2020 dates for server training, and I am delighted to announce another 6 months' of Iota Unum talks have also been confirmed, with some great speakers and topics.
They take place in the basement of Our Lady of the Assumption, Warwick Street (please enter through the basement stairs from Golden Square), on Friday evenings.
Doors open at 6:30pm for talk at 7pm.
All welcome. £5 on the door; light refreshments.
Join the mailing list for London events here.
January: Fri 31 Dominic Jones ‘Holiness and Chastity’
Dominic is a doctoral student in philosophy and runs the Sedes Sapientiae summer school.
February: Fri 14 Charles Coulombe: ‘Living the Liturgical Year’
Charles is a prolific author on Catholic history and a columnist for Mass of Ages, the magazine of the Latin Mass Society.
To note: Fri 28 Martin Mosebach will be speaking in the London Oratory about the new edition of The Heresy of Formlessness and his recent Subversive Catholicism. 7:30pm. Co-sponsored by the LMS.
March: Fri 27 Maria Madise ‘Attacks on the Family from Within the Church’
Maria is a leading organiser of Voice of the Family and edits their magazine Calx Mariae.
April: Fri 24 Joseph Shaw ‘Headship and Hierarchy in the Household’
Joseph teaches philosophy at St Benet's Hall, Oxford University, and is Chairman of the LMS.
May: Fri 29 Matthew Ward: ‘Latin Chant as Prayer’’
Matthew is Director of Music at Mayfield School and a the Southesat Regional Director of the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge.
June: Fri 19 Mgr Keith Newton ‘The Ordinariate and the Traditional Movement: A Truly Catholic Alliance.’
Mgr Keith is the Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.
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Rose Vestments in Holy Trinity, Hethe
Fr Richard Conrad celebrated Mass in the Dominican Rite for the Latin Mass Society's quarterly Mass in Holy Trinity, Hethe, the oldest Catholic parish church in Oxfordshire.
Help the Sons of the Holy Redeemer replace their boat
A recent visitor to the Sons of the Holy Redeemer on Papa Stronsay Island in the Orkeneys, a former LMS Local Representative, writes as follows:
I left Papa Stronsay yesterday evening [9th Dec]. Fixed up the boat and myself and Fr Magdala launched it in a weather window on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. But- that evening a gale – a ten year freak - with 50-60 mph gusts and swell - blew up when it was on the other side at Stronsay pier. The front rope gave way on tying up. The monks were thank God all off. The boat spun round and was tossed ten to fifteen feet in the air like a toy and came down on the stone pier- smashing the deck off and the front. It ended up on the beach at Stronsay as matchsticks.
I helped pick up the bits off the beach last night. Tragic but not a disaster as they just get on with things. Boat had been overhauled for last three months rebuilding the engine, electrics, fuel and repainting. The other small boat is old, leaky and unreliable - so not useable as a main boat.
Had to get a local in a fishing boat to get us off the Island and the monks are relying on the good people of Stronsay for emergency supplies this Christmas.
This is a fundraiser!!! Please make this go viral.
This request is from me - private laity - not one of the Sons and not a representative- As the strict Rule of Saint Alphonsus does not allow soliciting. Your prayers and money in that order are vital.
These photographas are from my own visit to Papa Stronsay in 2014: I assume it is the same boat, which carried me across from the larger island of Stronsay, which is accessible by public ferry and also by small aircraft. If not the same, it'll be something very similar. The Sons use it to get all their supplies to the monastery.
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Magazine of Una Voce International: new edition
It can be downloaded here.
Burse-making in Hampton Court with the Guild of St Clare
The Guild of St Clare is collaborating with the Royal School of Needlework to provide a special one day course in burse-making. This is a unique opportunity to learn the skills necessary to make one of the more tricky pieces of the traditional vestment set. The tuition will be provided by RSN tutor Heather Lewis, who led our previous Guild of St Clare course in ecclesiastical goldwork, back in 2012. The course will take place at Hampton Court Palace in the RSN's teaching apartments, and is subsidised by the Guild of St Clare.
The date is the 8th February 2020, and the course will run between 10am and 4pm. Tea and coffee are provided; you will need to bring a packed lunch, or you can visit one of Hampton Court Palace's cafes. The cost, including the materials and the special Guild of St Clare discount, is £105.
Colin Mawby 1936-2019, Requiescat in pace
Colin Mawby, Catholic composer and a Patron of the Latin Mass Society, has died aged 83.
He was a great supporter of Gregorian Chant, and took an enthusiastic part in several chant training events the Latin Mass Society organised. The above two photographs are from 2016, below I found one from 2012. His enthusiasm was infectious and his knowledge and practical experience enormous. As Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral over the time of the liturgical reform, he was responsible at that crucial moment for the Cathedral's musical tradition not being jettisoned like so much else.
He told us that he had first learnt the Te Deum as a choir boy at Westminster Cathedral to sing at the formal arrival of Cardinal Griffin in 1946: he would have been 10, so this makes perfect sense. We were fortunate to have such a vibrant connection with the old days.
He was kind enough in 2012 to compose for the Latin Mass Society a setting of the Song of the Papal Zouaves, which we have in our Vademecum Peregrini and sing on the road to Walsingham. The words were recorded from 1861, but not the music.
We will not forget him.
LMS Pilgrimage in honour of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 2019
Today we had our second pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Catholic Church of the Holy Child and St Joseph in Bedford.
We had a High Mass, a Votive Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is celebrated in the United States (and no doubt in other countries) on 12th December, with its own liturgical texts: it can be found in the 'PAL' (Pro Aliquis Locibus) section of various Missals.
This pilgrimage has proved very popular. Last year was the first time it took place, and it is already one of our biggest local events. There were more than 90 people in church on a rather wet November Saturday; many of them had come a long way. I was there myself, to sing, and I brought the subdeacon with me from the Oxford Blackfriars.
A lot of work went into this event, from the super-efficient Local Latin Mass Society Representative, Barbara Kay, and many other local volunteers, servers, singers, and of course the clergy. Mass was celebrated by Fr Patrick O'Donaghue FSSP, assisted by Fr Gabriel Diaz as deacon and Br Albert Roberton OP as subdeacon. The MC and thurifer both came from London for the occasion.
The Fraternity of St Peter have a regular Sunday Mass at 8:30am in the next parish in Bedford, at the church of Christ the King, where Fr Patrick is the regular celebrant, where they have 120 faithful on a Sunday.
Requiem at St Benet's Hall: photos
Fr John van den Burgh of the London Oratory, an alumnus of St Benet's, celebrated a Sung Requiem Mass for the deceased of the Hall on Saturday 9th November. He was assisted by Fr Daniel Lloyd. Mass was accompanied by the Schola Abelis of Oxford.
Photos from the Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage, 25-27 Oct
Above: Bishop Dominique Rey of Frejus Toulon celebrating Mass in Sta Trinita on Sunday 27.
Below: Benediction in St Lawrence in Damaso
Below: the procession to St Peter's
Below: Bishop Rey processes into St Peter's, to celebrae Mass in the Chapel of the Throne.
Below: more photographs of Bishop Rey's Mass in Sta Trinita