Thursday, June 17, 2010

I want to learn to be a deacon

I am going to the LMS Downside training session August 10-13th. An official from the LMS has been nagging me continually to post something here about the course, even threatening to send round the LMS heavies.
I didn't go last year but I want to go this year. I have decided we need more High Masses in the parish, there is a severe shortage of deacons around here. Almost eight percent of our active diocesan clergy are able and willing to celebrate the Traditional Mass, they tend to be the younger priests. A number of our permanent deacons are able, with a little help, to assist as subdeacons but as far as I can tell only one priest in the diocese can assist as deacon. Our diocesan "Safeguarding Regulations" make getting a non-diocesan priest from outside the diocese very difficult. I want to learn to be deacon.
For some reason we don't have too much trouble getting servers and choir to help out with the occassional Extraordinary Form Mass, maybe because it is special but we do have more of a problem getting people out for Mass in the Ordinary Form on special days, especially since Holy Days were moved to the nearest Sunday.
One of things that delights me about TraddieMass is it attracts people, especially younger people, who take the faith seriously and want me to take it seriously and to honest people who come to it are generous too, which has helped our restoration project
At the moment I celebrate a low Mass on a Friday evening that seems to attract the same numbers as those who come on Friday morning and a Sunday low Mass once a month on the third Sunday, again the numbers are slowly building, mainly through younger men attending. What we really need somewhere in our diocese is a weekly Sunday Mass, if you have three or four children you need a Sunday routine and you need community.

Further details of the LMS Downside course and registration forms contact:
The LMS office (Tel: 020 7404 7284, e mail: or from the conference organiser, Mr Paul Waddington (Tel: 01757 638027, e mail:


david said...

Father I had the honour of serving your EF mass at West Grinstead recently and assisting on the sanctuary at the Corpus Christi mass on the thursday at St.Mary Magdalen.Your comments have made my day in every way may God bless you.

bernadette said...

Ah, yes, that kind of Deacon. I read your headline and thought "Why would anyone want to give up their Sunday morning to bark 'the Mass is ended, now go in Peace.'" Surely lounging on the sofa, watching Little House on the Prairie and drinking some proper coffee would be more fulfilling ??

We were recently lectured at Mass by a "Deacon" that Corpus Christi, really should be a Holy Day. He had worked out that it was really quite an important doctrine.

My children's response was "well, derrrrr." It was embarrassing.

We had to leg it very quickly afterwards in case, over Coffee,(weak, TASTELESS, Fairtrade, naturally) I happened to explain with abject clarity that it WAS in fact a Holy Day until fairly recently.

Sunday Mass is becoming more and more of a Danger Zone. This is the fruit of Rise of The Profesional Laity.

gemoftheocean said...

Well, I don't think you need children at all to need a Sunday routine!

Chris said...

Father, you mention that there are numerous permament deacons; why can't you ask some of them to serve according their ordained ministry - as deacons - at your Divine Liturgy?

Deacon Stephen Morgan said...

I hope you're ready for all the genuflections.

Richard said...


I agree on the need for a regular weekly Mass, in the same church and the same time each week.

Perhaps I am just disorganised, but I can never cope with remembering when the Third Sunday (or whatever) comes around (and I was the same before I had children).

And I hope the deacon training goes well.

Dilly said...

I'm intrigued as to how these LMS heavies intimidate respectable priests like yourself. Do they turn up on the doorstep in natty Italian suits and ties, swinging their thuribles menacingly. "Nice church ya got here Padre - it would be a shame if it got accidentally re-ordered".

Physiocrat said...

The main 10.30 Sunday mass could slowly and gradually turn into an EF mass, little by little, one step at a time so that nobody thought it a shockingly sudden change.

We are already about 30% on the way compared to a few years ago.

pelerin said...

The current letter from 'Paix Liturgique' has just come into my inbox and it reminds us that the three years is almost up.

I should like to know whether it is in order for a simple pew sitter to write to our Bishop to tell him how much we appreciate the opportunity of attending the EF and hoping that many others may have this opportunity in future?

Peter Simpson said...

I consider Benadette's comment unworthy of a response - I am surprised and disappointed that you chose to publish it.

Leo Darroch said...

It most certainly is in order for a 'simple pew sitter' to write to his or her bishop and tell them how much they would like to attend the EF. In fact I would say it is imperative because many bishops are opposed to the EF, or have no interest, and the only way they will (may) change their minds is if more and more people write to them and tell them they want it.
Pope Benedict asked the bishops to send him an account of their experiences after three years of Summorum Pontificum and these accounts are being prepared now. Many will not be positive and the International Federation Una Voce is preparing a report of the experiences of its members around the world. Sadly, many of these reports tell of obstruction and refusal of bishops to implement the motu proprio. Just today I received an email from Poland in which 46 families had asked their bishop for permission (which is not required) for their parish priest to say the EF Mass. The bishop said the group was too small and there was no priest. The reason why there was no priest was because he transferred him to another parish.
I would urge everyone to write to their bishop, always in respectful terms, and tell him why they would like to attend the EF.

Martin said...

Father, I hope you will have every success in changing your main Sunday Mass to the EF. It works very well at Blackfen and can work elsewhere if introduced gradually and with some sensitivity.

The problem remains with those parishes where 'demand' is limited. In reality there will only be 'demand' where people have a chance to experience the EF over a period of time. There is a limit to what small groups of laypeople can do - it is down to priests like yourself to show courage and provide an example for the rest to follow.

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