Arquivo do blog

quinta-feira, 11 de dezembro de 2014

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster was the celebrant at a Pontifical Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception at the London Oratory on Monday.

Father Stephen Morrison's First EF

Photo by my bodyguard & official photographer for the evening, Paul F. Abbott.

On Monday night I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a heavenly liturgy at the Church of Our Lady Immaculate, New London Road, Chelmsford. It was the first Mass said in the Extraordinary Form by our diocese' newest ordinand, Stephen Morrison,o.praem., who was ordained to the sacred priesthood on Saturday.


Photos by Paul F. Abbott
The presence of the Norbertine Order in Brentwood Diocese has been a source of great joy and many blessings for all faithful Catholics. I have heard nothing but praise from clergy & laity alike for the White Canons who have enhanced the beauty of our faith and formed a centre of sound teaching in Chelmsford. Their young Prior, Rt. Rev. Hugh Allan, is an inspirational priest, respected by all. He exudes priesthood, it is everything he is about. He is an excellent preacher and spiritual director, as well as being great fun. No wonder he leads an order that is so respected.

Photo by my bodyguard & official photographer for the evening, Paul F. Abbott.
The Norbertines are a monastico-canonical order which traces it's foundation to before 1121. Formally known as The Canons Regular of Prémontré, the Norbertines were founded by St. Norbert at Prémontré where they based their lives on that of the first apostles of Our Lord.

The five particular ends of the Norbertine Order are: Laus Dei in choro (the singing of the Divine Office); Zelus animarum (zeal for the salvation of souls); Spiritus jugis pœnitentiæ (the spirit of habitual penance); Cultus Eucharisticus (a special devotion to the Holy Eucharist); Cultus Marianus (a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin, mostly to her Immaculate Conception). Thus to be present at such a special Mass, on the occasion of the order's patronal feast, was a real privilege.

Mgr John Armitage preaching with St. John Fisher looking down!
Photo by my bodyguard & official photographer for the evening, Paul F. Abbott.
This priviledge was only heightened by the sublime liturgy; the music included Victoria, Elgar, Palestrina, Gregorian chant propers, and a specially commissioned Marian motet sung by a visiting choir sponsored by The Latin Mass Society, under the direction of the wonderful Matthew Schellhorn and our Vicar General, Mgr John Armitage, preached inspirationally on the Immaculate Conception.

I was really pleased to spot on the NLM blog that Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster was the celebrant at a Pontifical Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception at the London Oratory on Monday.

The choir sang music by Lassus, Gabrieli and Victoria accompanied by period instruments. The Oratory have posted some great pictures on their Facebook page. Here are a few for your edification:




The Oratory, of course, is renowned for it's reputation for excellent liturgy and wonderful music. It attracts people from miles around.

I am really excited to see our Cardinal Archbishop celebrating Mass in such beautiful surroundings.


If you are unaware, the Oratory: The Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri to give it its proper name, is a pontifical society of apostolic life of Catholic priests and lay-brothers who live together in a community bound together by no formal vows but only with the bond of charity. They are commonly referred to as Oratorians (Oratorian Fathers). 

This "Congregation of the Oratory" is not to be confused with the French Oratory, a distinct congregation, the Society of the Oratory of Jesus (Société de l'Oratoire de Jésus), founded by Pierre de Bérulle in 1611 in Paris.

Founded in Rome in 1575 by St. Philip Neri, today it has spread around the world, with over 70 Oratories and some 500 priests. The post-nominal initials commonly used to identify members of the society are "C.O." (Congregatio Oratorii). The abbreviation "Cong. Orat." is also used.

Unlike a religious institute (the members of which take vows and are answerable to a central authority) or a monastery (the monks of which are likewise bound by vows in a community that may itself be autonomous and answerable directly to the Pope), the Oratorians are made up of members who commit themselves to membership in a particular, independent, self-governing local community (an Oratory, usually named for the place in which it is located: e.g., Birmingham Oratory, Oxford Oratory, Brooklyn Oratory) without actually taking vows, an unusual and innovative arrangement created by St. Philip. Normally an Oratory must have a minimum of 4 members, 2 being ordained, in order to be founded. If a group of men seeks to establish an Oratory, they may apply to do so, going through the proper diocesan channels; during the process of formation a member (or members) of a well-established Oratory resides in the community to facilitate every aspect of the proposed foundation.

You may recall Bishop Robert Byrne, ordained this year, was the first Oratorian bishop appointed in England since 1874, when Fr Edward Bagshawe of the London Oratory became Bishop of Nottingham.