Saturday, May 26, 2012

St Philip's Day

I took most of today off and went to town.
The Brighton train arrives at Victoria so I nipped along to Westminster to grin and say a prayer for the Reverend John Hunwicke as he made his way into the Cathedral to be ordained deacon, that filled me joy. It is very bad form but having seen him in, I then went on to the Oratory, for some business with St Philip on his feast day. I have a couple of intentions that are peculiarly Philippine, really to entrust a couple of his sons to his care.
There was the added bonus of the feast day Mass being celebrated by Cardinal Burke; lovely music, though the acoustic on the sanctuary isn't the best.
I was rather pleased that Mass was in the Ordinary Form which was interesting to see it celebrated by "the" interpreter of legislative texts in the Church, second only to the Pontiff himself. It was the usual Oratory Mass but with an assistant priest and deacons at the throne, except we went down to welcome the Cardinal liturgically at the door. The Cardinal and the very pleasnt secretary from the Nunciature, prepresenting Archbishop Mennini, seemed delighted by everything - it was very good not to have bidding prayers, so problem with Aves there.
I know this is a bit of an irreverent thought but I couldn't help thinking if it was the EF we could have had an extra yard or two on the cappa., but it was a splendid occasion. A long but brilliant sermon, two thirds of which was about Pentecost, yet it moved very naturally to St Philip who with his burning heart is a natural preface to Pentecost.
The way in which St Philip heralded the Counter-Reformation was like a new Pentecost; old corrupt Rome of the Borgias and Rovero, Papa Terribili, melts with Neri's thundering enlarged heart.

My best wishes to gracious welcoming Fathers of the London Oratory, as well Birmingham and Oxford and all St Philip's sons.


vetusta ecclesia said...

There was no seventh candle and the cardinalatial footwear appeared more cowboy boots than liturgical buskins and sandals!

Amfortas said...

The cappa was quite long realy! Thought I spotted you in the procession. Lovely Haydn. Shame we didn't get a Haydn Creed and Benedictus but, as it was, the liturgy was just over two hours so I understand why not. As ever, Fr Hemer from Allen Hall was in choir. In my day at Allen Hall you would have been booted out for admitting to going to the Oratory. How times have changed! For the better!

Fr Ray Blake said...

But buskins always look like "desert boots" especially gold ones!

Anita Moore said...

Perhaps it's unseemly to think about who the next Pope will be, particularly when the current one still appears to be in relatively good health. Don't get me wrong: I want Pope Benedict to be around for a really long time. (If I were ever to meet him and tell him that, no doubt his response would be something along the lines of, "What have I ever done to you?") There is a certain amount of buzz to the effect that Cardinal Dolan of New York could be the next Pope, but for quite some time now I have thought that it will be Cardinal Burke. Many years from now, when it happens, remember you heard it here first!

Fr Ray Blake said...

An American Pope -God preserve his Church!

Can you imagine the reaction of the Islamic world and all the others the US have been at war with? To say nothing of the Chinese and Russians.

There will be a killing spree. The Church needs to distance itself from US culture, which the rest of the world sees as being decadent and materialistic, if it is to be successful. The very suggestion that there could be a Pope from the USA is unthinkable, unless of course he had previously been imprisoned by the US government for a long time in Guatanimo, or some other US political prison especially set up for Catholic bishops.

Anita Moore said...

Father, the Church may need to distance herself from the U.S.'s decadent and materialistic culture, but there is no need to distance herself from Cardinal Burke, who is manifestly not a product of decadence and materialism.

Besides which, the United States hasn't exactly got the market cornered on decadence and materialism, in which certain other parts of the world are even more advanced.

Physiocrat said...

We had a Cardinal Franc Rode from Slovenia come to say Mass (all in Latin) in Göteborg on Friday evening. He made a good impression. He looks a bit like John XXIII. But he is 77 so is unlikely to become Pope.

ytc said...

I feel it is a bit of an overstep to suggest that American priests and prelates are proud of and/or bask in their country's materialism. In fact I think you will find that most priests here are quite disgusted with it just as they should be.

I have no reason to believe Cardinal Burke is any different. He seems a quite a humble man, almost a homebody type, cappas magna notwithstanding!

A Reluctant Sinner said...

I thought I saw you in choir. I would have tried to say hello, but had to rush off after Mass.

Happy Whitsun!

Fr Ray Blake said...

I didn't say that, but a Pope is a man of "sign and symbol", with a Pope from a super power (politically or cultural) he always be seen in terms of his nationality.

Card. Burke is indeed a humble and holy man, a good man.

vetusta ecclesia said...

"Cappae magnae" surely?!

GOR said...

Father, I think you need to visit the US and see for yourself if the culture is all decadence and materialism. When I lived in Italy I experienced a lot of anti-Americanism. What was ironic about it was that despite the criticism, Italians were constantly trying to emulate the US and would compare their quality of life to that of America.

When I lived in England I also experienced a lot of anti-Americanism – which probably dated back to WWII (“…over paid, over sexed and over here…”). So much so that when I first had an opportunity to come over here, I was hesitant about accepting the invitation.

However, after six months here I had a very different perspective and that has been reinforced by over forty years of living here. I found more faith and religious practice here than I ever experienced in England. Yes, there are excesses here and much that needs to be put right, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. If you only experience what the news media tell you about the US, or any country for that matter, you are only getting part of the story - and the worst part at that.

Finally, despite what people hear or say about the US, they still clamor to come here – even from countries that are most critical of the American way of life! You might touch base with Fr. John Boyle (Caritas in Veritate blog) about his experience of American life since he has been here.

Fr Ray Blake said...

VE correct!

GOR, not what I think but what the world perceives,

certainly all of the Islamic world,

fomer communists, including the Chinese, perhaps most of Asia too,

perhaps most of S. America

John Nolan said...

If the papacy were to go outside Europe then the USA, as the only superpower, would probably be ruled out. Cardinal Ranjith would be a good Third World choice, but expect a massive exodus of liberals; they are only hanging on in the increasingly vain hope that they will get their man in next time round.

I would love to see +Athanasius Schneider on the papal throne, but will they want two German popes in the same century? Anyway, he's ten years younger than I am, so I won't be around to see it.

The Oratory didn't disappoint, and the congregation was impressive for a Saturday morning. I only wish that the Epistle had been sung, in which case we would have had a completely Latin Mass!

vetusta ecclesia said...

Fr. Blake's point that this was basically a standard B.Oratory N.O. Mass makes one wonder if we did not in fact witness what the Council Fathers envisaged as a reformed liturgy.

epsilon said...

The EF Latin is so much better than the OF, especially when you go to Communion! And saying 'Amen' is so clumsy when you're receiving on the tongue!

Physiocrat said...

This sounds like what the OF mass was intended to be like. How masses round the world turned into a hymn sandwich is a mystery and all the other innovations seem to have popped up out of nowhere.

The OF in like this is a little easier for members of the congregation to work out what is happening. But it involves the long reading of the canon, which in the EF happens while the Sanctus is being sung, which actually shortens the whole thing. There is also a lack of silence.

The EF needs the people to be better instructed but that is no bad thing in itself.

Anonymous said...

There will never, ever be a Yankee pope, ever.

The US church blotted its copybook as long ago as the pontificate of John Carroll, S.J.

IF - per impossible - there were to be a US pope, the USA would have to have converted to catholicism, and have the catholic church as the church by law established as the public for about 500 years beforehand.

+ Wolsey

Anita Moore said...

There will never, ever be a Yankee pope, ever.

Thus speaks "conventional wisdom." Meanwhile, the Holy Spirit, like the wind, blows where He wills.

Fr Gerard said...

I propose we should thank God that He will decide who the successor to Peter will be and the rest of us (myself included) will just have to swallow our prejudices.