Sunday, November 16, 2008

If it is worth doing...

... it is worth doing badly.

I celebrated my first Traditional Mass earlier this evening. I am going to have to do some polishing, I turned over two pages of the Missal and had to begin the Gospel again. The server needed to prompt me for the words for the distribution of Holy Communion, as my mind went blank. And glasses broke just before Mass, they did that during my ordination.

The numbers were a bit up on normal, I was pleased that "Ma Tucker" who puts up the occasional comment on the blog and her family were here, I was very grateful for your prayers.

I am afraid it took just over an hour, what most struck me was the prayerfullness of the celebration, it was almost tangible, the prayerfullness of the congregation. The sense of the presence of the saints, of being at the foot of throne of God, of entering behind the veil. It was beautiful, it is a profound experience of priesthood.

Someone very kindly gave me a little present, so I took my servers to a local Chinese to celebrate, we had lobster! delicious with ginger and spring onions and only £30, with a couple of other things it is enough for three.

A nice celebration, tomorrow happens to be my birthday, I don't really keep it, it is overshadowed by the deaths of my mother and my closest friend in rather tragic circumstances, so it is bit sad week for me.
thanks to Nick for the shot from his phone


Volpius Leonius said...

I would have been surprised if it went perfectly Father, congratulations on your first one there are worse things that could have happened, and keep at it please :)

october671 said...

It sounds wonderful Father. Please say when you do another and I will pray [didn't see the post in time today] - and come if I can.

Sharon said...

Why not keep up your name day instead or your baptismal day?

gemoftheocean said...

Father, I'm sure your intentions were *perfect*. Prayers for you and your mother and friend.

I'm delighted for you that it was a really profound experience for you.

a-m said...

Father, we thought it was lovely (in spite of arriving late because of the nasty one way system in the dark lol)! Thank you so much!

Mac McLernon said...


I've seen priests make worse mistakes celebrating the Novus Ordo!

Happy birthday... and prayers for your mother, your friend and you during this week too.

Dorothy said...

Writing this on Monday, so it is your birthday. Sad memories can cast a shadow over important dates, but God is Goodness, and this is your special day of thankfulness, and I wish you, even with your memories, real cheerfulness and joy.

How apt to quote (I think) Chesterton, when you say that if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly. I often call this to mind in my own life! But I am sure many of us who have supported priests with our silent presence as they worked their way, with some uncertainty, through their newly-learnt EF Masses, will feel as I do: these little human errors are nothing, nothing at all (in fact they are rather endearing) compared with the wonderful thing you are doing. To you and to all our stalwart priests who are embarked on this great adventure, I feel sure that all would join me in sending our hearty thanks and encouragement.

FrGregACCA said...

As my bishop likes to say, if there are no mistakes it's not valid.

Remember, the traditional Western gradine has SIX large candles - not seven as in the East - in order to remind us that all earthly worship is imperfect.

Well done, Father.

Sussex Catholic said...

Dear Fr.Ray,

What a truly momentous event and I am sure one that will have dispelled any lingering doubts you might have had on your ability to offer the TLM publically. No coincidence I am sure that your glasses broke just before Mass since there was someone at work there who did not want that Mass to go ahead any more than he wanted you to be ordained. Under the protection of Our Blessed Lady, St.Michael and St.Mary Magdalen you had the courage to set him behind you and to continue (perhaps a final Gethsemane moment just before Mass began?). On what must be a very emotional day for you what greater consolation that to have been afforded the privilege to ascend the steps to the Holy Mountain of Calvary, to have stretched out your arms over the Holy and Unblemished Victim, to have united yourself so completely with Him as to have made His actions yours and to have entered the tomb with Him and returned triumphant.

Many many congratulations and I hope to attend one of your Masses soon. How long before it is Missa Cantata every Sunday morning at your Church? Fr.Finigan has done it and remember he was in your position once not that long ago.

Ma Tucker said...

We were delighted to be there to witness it. You did a fine job. Thank you so much. Congrats on your birthday.

Londiniensis said...

Many congratulations on your first usus antiquior, very best wishes for your Birthday and prayers for your late mother and friend.

miss book said...

Congratulations, Happy Birthday and prayers.

umblepie said...

Father, A rather special congratulations is called for. Well done! Deo Gratias!

PeterHWright said...

Well done, Father. Especially at a time of day when you must have felt more like putting your feet up after all your other Sunday commitments. I thought you would find it a very prayerful experience. All the priests I've spoken to say the same thing.

I'm very glad to read about the lobster dinner. A little celebration is just what we all need.

God bless you.

torchofthefaith said...

Dear Father Ray

Firstly - we will pray for the repose of the souls of your mother and closest friend.

Also, thank you for your comments and picture of the Traditional Mass - these kind of posts are so encouraging.

Hope you managed to have some kind of birthday treat - we reckon you deserve it!

In Christ
Alan and Angeline

Jackie Parkes said...

Oh very well done Fr Ray! You inspire me however everyday with your posts. You seem very Oratorian to that good or bad? lol I've been grilling Karen for a whole week now about your age! Rest assured I don't have a clue...having recently been involved with a few journalists ahem! I made the stupid mistake of giving my age..I mean I'm sure they don't give the mens!

Sorry I digress..but will remember your dear mother at the Holy Souls Altar at my Mass tomorrow..

Distant Observer said...

Father, the more you celebrate the old mass, the more at home everyone will feel.

Make it a regular thing

Anonymous said...

Quick correction - that was Ma Tucker. I used to post as "Ma Beck" (my great aunt).
I had someone ask if I'd flown to the UK!


Congrats, and THANK YOU!

Cathy AKA Ma Beck.

Fr Ray Blake said...

"that was Ma Tucker. I used to post as "Ma Beck" "
So sorry, I have corrected it, even so it was so good to meet you, your husband and son, very kind of you to come.