Saturday, January 12, 2008

Mass at Westminster Abbey

Orbis Catholicus reports on a Mass celebrated by one of the Oratory priests at Westminster Abbey, at the altar of the shrine of St Edward.
I have always wanted to offer the Holy Sacrifice there.


Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

A Catholic priest celebrating Mass at the shrine of St. Edward the Confessor !

Queen Elizabeth I will be turning in her grave.

I saw this post over at Orbis Catholicus.

Apparently, the priest used the 1962 Missal which is very close to the Missal of 1570.

I suppose the Dean of Westminster would have to give permission, wouldn't he ?

I doubt he's read Summorum Pontificum in any detail ..

Anonymous said...

Perhaps William Cecil (and his cronies)will be spinning in his grave more than Elizabeth?

It is a most sublime sight and appropriate for the octave day of St. Thomas!

Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

Ah !
An apercu from ADV.

I was thinking of Queen Elizabeth, because her tomb is in Westminster Abbey, but I was forgetting the real villain was Cecil.

Yes, he's buried in the parish church in Stamford, Lincolnshire, I think, close to the Burghley estate.

He'll be spinning nicely in his grave there.

Paulinus said...

I imagine CMOC is spinning, too, just a couple of hundred yards away

gemoftheocean said...

Dear Fr. Ray, I do hope you drop this priest a note and tell him if he ever gets the chance again, you'd love to go along, he's obviously got some "pull" somewhere. I remember you making that wish known. Perhaps you can do one either at your heart's desire or someday in the little St. Peter's church on the grounds of the Tower of London -- where the bones of St. Thomas More and other martyrs lie. It's a gloomy place, but I'd be delighted if one of my English "Troika" or all three of you concelebrated a Latin Mass there.

[My "troika" is you, Fr. Tim F. and Fr. John Boyle -- there are other English priest's blogs I read but to me you fellows are forevermore "the troika." You three plus Father Sean F. are "the polo team." Add Father Mildew and it's the Basketball team, plus Father Harrison it's the ice Hockey team, add Father Harrison and it's the handball team, and Fr. Forest Murmers and you have the 8 shell. Adding Fr. Owl moves Fr. Mildew to coxswain on that eight shell. And if I throw in Fr. Erik and Fr. Stephanos from the US that will make up a cricket team. but put the latter two out in the boonies because it's not nice to have them play silly-mid-on or whatever it's called for the guy who is standing entirely too close 'cuz that's not nice to do it to a "new guy." ;-D And it has to be cricket, because soccer isn't really a sport, it's a game. Although WATCHING soccer is a sport.]

Francis said...

Fr. Ray,

I wonder how they got permission. I thought Westminster Abbey was a Royal Peculiar -- i.e. pretty much a private chapel of the Queen, like the chapel at Windsor Castle. HMQ made her displeasure known some years ago about Masses being celebrated at the Tower of London in honour of the English martyrs and I thought she vetoed any more. (About the only time she has ever invoked her coronation oath to "defend the Protestant reformed religion").

Mind you, the entity of which she is the Supreme Governor is doing its best to unravel, so maybe she's hedging her bets!

Anonymous said...

was it using the 1962 or 1970 missal?
i imagine that if it was the extraordinary rite then part of this is traditional minded anglicans making a positive guesture regarding recent developments in the reform of the reform. not a mere coincidence that permission was given at this time?

gemoftheocean said...

Maybe my rosaries for Good Queen Bess to "Swim the Tiber" are starting to kick in. If "The Blue Army" can help make Soviet Russia fall, maybe a little concerted effort to HM would help.

Would the last Anglican standing, please turn out the lights and bring all those pretty churches with you?

Karen, you could call me "Titus" but that would be silly!

Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

Sorry, it's me again.

Yes, I wondered whether the Queen's permission would be needed to use Westminster Abbey.

The Benedictine Abbey was of course suppressed at the Dissolution, like all other monasteries.

(I once read somewhere that it made a brief come back in the reign of Mary Tudor.)

The church itself survived because it has been the sight of royal coronations since 1066, and because it contains the tombs of so many kings and queens.

As far as I can make out, the Abbey as a Royal Peculiar does not come under the jurisdiction of a bishop.

It is a collegiate church, i.e. it is governed by a Dean and Chapter.

The Queen is a Visitor.

The Abbey is not, however, part of a royal palace, like St. George's Chapel, Windsor, or The Tower of London.

Therefore, the Queen (presumably) does not have the same control over it.

I can't see the Queen as head of the Church of England giving her consent.

If the Dean of Westminster reads this, perhaps he can enlighten us ?

Anonymous said...

Quite Dr Wright... I guess despite the popular history of Elizabeth I there maybe some doubt as to her personal hatred involved in some of the acts of her reign?

The Abbey survived into the early years of Elizabeths regin (quote below) under Abbot Feckenham who had interceded for Elizabeth after Wyatt's rebellion, obtaining her life and subsequent release during the time of Queen Mary.

'He (Feckenham) took the degree of D. D. at Oxford, May, 1556, and on 7 Sept., 1556, was appointed abbot of the royal Abbey of Westminster, restored to the order by the queen (Mary).'

'The Benedictines took possession on 21 November (since known as dies memorabilis), and the abbot was installed on 29 November, beginning his rule over a community of about twenty- eight, gathered from the dissolved abbeys. He successfully defended in Parliament, 11 Feb., 1557, the threatened privileges of sanctuary, and restored the shrine of the Confessor in his abbey church.' It is to him therefore that we owe the existence of the restored existence shrine of St. Edward the Confessor.

'Elizabeth at her accession offered (November, 1558) to preserve the monastery if he and his monks would accept the new religion, but Feckenham steadily refused, bravely and eloquently defending the old Faith in Parliament and denouncing the sacrilegious innovations of the Anglicans.' A speech that I think I quoted on a previous post, with nasty similarities to today to what has been done in Catholic Churches by her own clergy.

'He gave sanctuary to Bishop Bonner, and quietly went on planting trees while awaiting the expulsion, which took place 12 July, 1559. He generously resigned a large part of the money due him to the dean who succeeded him.'

Interesting comments about the current status of the Abbey. I was wondering about that Dr. Wright and thought it might have been the Dean. Would love to know more about the process that was involved. I am sure huge graces will flow from this and the silence of the regular media is deafening!

Brendan Allen said...

When I was in Norway last year, I went to Trondheim to see the Nidaros Cathedral (Lutheran!), still the country's most magnificent ecclesiastical building, traditional site of the Coronation of Norwegian Kings, and site of the Shrine of St Olav - before the Reformation. It was on the intinerary of the late Pope when he visited Norway in 1989.

The Catholic church is very close, and the priest told me that occasionally, a Catholic Mass is celebrated in the Cathedral.

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