13 August 2011
If you've seen the post below this one, you will know that this week the EF was said at Our Lady of Ransom. It was three mornings of absolute bliss; peaceful, prayerful, getting straight down to it, honest to goodness Mass. No fuss (apart from the inevitable dashing about for missing kit before hand, playing hunt-the-paten/cruets/communion wine), no frills, just Mass. Many thanks to the celebrant, Fr Charles Briggs, who was down for a few days R&R. The surprise EFs at Our Lady of Ransom drew a congregation of about 20, mid week in August. So that's mid week...hmmm...how many do you think would like to come on a Sunday?
One gentleman who came along had seen that it was an Extraordinary Form Mass on the parish newsletter, but hadn't twigged what it meant. "You can imagine my joy," he said "when I saw it was The Mass." The Mass he knew, loved, and very obviously missed for the last 40+ years. He can't get along to the EF Masses outside the parish, but would be over the moon if they were available in his home parish.
'Oh, but there isn't really enough demand!' we hear. Well, with all due respect to those spouting this and other (rather patronising to my mind) views, what of faithful Catholics like this gentleman, who have put up with -if not suffered- the NO for years? Not everyone who lived through the demise of the Old Rite was enthused to bash a tambourine and praise the New. Listening to people, they remained Catholics in spite of, not because of, the New Rite, and it has caused them a lot of pain to see the reverence, dignity and uniqueness of the Mass disappear.
It was also really great to meet up with Mulier Fortis and swap stories over copious pots of tea! We were watched over by images of Mr Pickwick, Little Nell, Oliver Twist and Pip.
(Apparently the chap on the right visited the town once, and so a tea shop was born. Lewis Caroll used to come to the town regularly, and I've always been amazed that there is no Wonderland or Cheshire Cat tea room).
Tomorrow there is Mass at Our Lady of Consolation, West Grinstead, have a look at the sidebar for details, and I hope to see you there!