21 March 2009

Spring in Norfolk

A few splendid days at Walsingham on the Ecumenical Marian Pilgrimage; incidentally, the pieces on Our Lady Of Victories were the sermon I preached at the Anglican Mass, which was on S Joseph's day.

Happily, I was able to say a couple of EF Masses. Bishop Lindsay, on the hectic eve of his installation as Administrator, very kindly took the time to unearth some Missals from the Archive Room(!), and I used a nice Burns and Oates edition of 1943. The bad news was that there are no maniples, burses, and veils. Are they all stuffed away in some forgotten cupboard? Surely Anglicans would never have disposed of them on a bonfire, as the Jesuits did with the reliquaries at S Aloysius. Mercifully, like a wise virgin I had taken Altar Cards, together with the Parish Treasurer, who has learned to serve the EF (the Churchwarden knows how to answer it; what a well equipped church S Thomas's is). I wonder whether I might be the first priest since the 1960s to say the Mass of Ages in the Shrine Church; a passing Franciscan said that Canon Ward had done so the other day for the benefit of his seminarians, but it turned out to have been a Latin Novus Ordo.

For one of the Masses I used the Altar of S Thomas the Martyr and S Philip Neri; what a Providential coincidence must lie in that combination - I have had a soft spot for S Philip since about 1956, when I met him in a church in Kensington. Under the Mensa was the big reliquary of S Thomas, which gave special meaning to the words quorum reliquiae hic sunt. The pair of them stared down at me, with evident approval, from Enid Chadwick's murals which show S Thomas against a background of the Canterbury of his day, while S Philip sits comfortably in Renaissance Rome.

I felt very much at home.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

What a glorious experience.....

I am also amazed they had no burse and veil set.

I do hope Bishop Lindsay will rectify that forthwith.