Last night, to the Oratory for First Vespers of S Philip Neri. Latin, Extraordinary Form, and followed by Latin Benediction and then Veneration of the Relic of S Philip. The propers for the Saint are elegant compositions, making use of biblical texts about the Heart, weaving them into an exposition of that experience of Divine Love which S P had early in life and which left him with a permanent deformity in his chest. And a fine vernacular hymn at the end by Mr Newman, Sapphics, with this stanza:
Love is his bond, he knows no other fetter,/Asks not our all, but takes whate'er we spare him,/ Willing to draw us on from good to better,/ As we can bear him.
There must be a sermon, or a lecture in a seminary Pastoralia course, in that.
Altogether, a faultless and well-judged succession of edifying liturgical episodes (well, not quite; the choir did make a little booboos at start of Vespers. S Philip would have laughed at that).
But then, a pretty well-judged Mass this morning at S Thomas's too, even though we were only three; EF Latin Mass of S Philip ... the rite the Saint knew and used daily (well, not quite; being Anglicans with a weakened sense of Sin, we do omit the Third Confiteor). I can't think of a better thing to do at 7.45 any morning of the year.
Father Zed ... is he OK? Is he still Sound? Less and less Liturgy in his blog and more and more on the double tailed Texan hoopoe finch, followed by treatises on how to cook mussels the way they do it across the bacino in Venice. I calculate that, at this rate, by 2016 his blog will be 100% about Ornithology and St Epicurus the Unmartyr.