28 November 2012

Confirmations in the Traditional Rite in London
The Latin Mass Society held its annual ceremony of Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form on Saturday, 24 November. Bishop Alan Hopes, auxiliary in the Archdiocese of Westminster, conferred the Sacrament to 23 candidates at St James’s Church, Spanish Place, in central London. Assisting the bishop were Fr Rupert McHardy, Cong. Orat., Fr Tim Finigan and the parish priest of St James’s, Fr Christopher Colven. The Confirmations were followed by Pontifical Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Afterwards, the confirmands, their sponsors, and families went for lunch in St James’s parish centre, where Bishop Hopes cut a celebratory cake.
LMS General Manager, Mike Lord, said: ‘We were delighted with the number of candidates we received for Traditional Confirmations in London this year, particularly as there had been, for the first time, two other Traditional Confirmation ceremonies this year in Wirral and Stoke-on-Trent. We would like to thank Bishop Hopes for agreeing to confer the Sacrament this year and look forward to another successful event in London next year. We would very much like to see other Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form across the whole country and would urge all bishops to consider offering this Sacrament in its traditional form in their dioceses as part of their pastoral care for the faithful.’

More photos can be found HERE
For further information, please contact Mike Lord, General Manager,
on (T) 020 7404 7284; (F) 020 7831 5585; (E mail) michael@lms.org.uk

26 November 2012


Joe Shaw has a very interesting post on Catechesis on his blog. It's something I feel quite strongly about. I'm not going to get all theological, or argue particularly, just offer a bit of my own experience of catechesis. We've been in quite a few parishes over the years, and seen quite a few First Holy Communions and Confirmations. I'm not thinking particularly about Confirmation at the moment, just First Holy Communion, which to be honest is a well meaning muddle.

So what is my immediate experience. Well, mainly that what was/is taught at home is not what was/is taught during most ordinary parish classes. There is a decided tension, if not conflict, between the two. On the one hand, it's very nice to be on Team God, included, with a sanctuary full of participatory opportunities for the committed 7 year old girl (or boy, perhaps) once the First Communion party is done with. There is nothing wrong with the old gather and share, but why is Holy Communion so important and special if anyone can sit round the altar holding hands at the Our Father, and pretty much anyone can be a 'minister of the Eucharist' handing out the Body of Our Lord at Holy Communion? Where is the concept of sacrifice, and Calvary, that supernatural otherness?

Take another bete noir, that awfully dirty word, sin. Sin is represented currently as just a  'bad choice'. If sin is only ever just a 'bad choice', and you make the ultimate 'bad choice' and cut yourself off entirely from God, ummmm, so what? There are no longer term consequences, because hey kids, doesn't matter what Our Lord said, hell just isn't there any more. Is it ever going to be age-appropriate to talk about hell?

You see the kind of thing I mean. There's a bit of conflict between the two kinds of catechesis. In my experience, kids are rather fond of black and white. Grey happens when you're older, and you have the black and white to guide you. Small kids aren't very good in a grey fog. They can understand complexity, Transubstantiation, mystery, silence, symbolism. They don't need to be talked down to or patronised, or babied. But I haven't met one that does fog very well.

 So I was very grateful when a friend lent me a copy of My First Holy Communion, What the very young need to know for their First Holy Communion, by Bishop Morrow. We have Know Your Mass, and the Penny Catechism, and the class books, and now we have this gem. The first copyright on it is 1949. It's in very, very, simple English, but it tells it like it is, first and foremost, that God is love.

Which is odd, considering I was led to believe that God only really started loving us after 1962...

23 November 2012

Mass in Bexhill this Sunday, 25th November

Masses are every two months on the 4th Sunday at St Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, Sea Road, Bexhill, TN40 1RH at 8.00 am. The celebrant is Fr Bruno Witchalls.

22 November 2012

A Very Happy Thanksgiving

...to all my American readers. I'm making pumpkin pie today, any excuse!

21 November 2012

Change of Mass time for Seaford in December

The 3.00pm Mass at St Thomas More, Seaford, will now be at 12.15pm on Sunday, 16th December.

15 November 2012

Missa Cantata in Carshalton this Sunday

The celebrant will be Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith.

13 November 2012

This blogger...

...is finding herself a tad snowed under at the mo, will post more asap! But here's a pertinent seasonal picture:

02 November 2012

All Souls

St Gertrude, bet she would have a thing or two to say about confessionals. I love her prayer for the Holy Souls:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory.''


So this is where the Confessional...

from my parish church ended up:


How many souls were saved through it, I wonder?

01 November 2012

Wishing you a very happy feast day!

It's so wonderful to be able to give thanks and remember you're never that far from your friends in heaven.
And of course, it's a good excuse for a glass of wine and an enormous celebratory chocolate cake (which we shall be eating on our return from the Mass in Lewes this evening).
Hope you all have a great Feast of All Saints!