The purpose of this blog is to provide an open forum for discussion of the aims of the society; news from the wider Church and details of Masses and events of interest in the diocese. The Latin Mass Society in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough expresses its full filial devotion and loyalty to Holy Mother Church, Pope Francis and Bishop Drainey.
REGULAR TRADITIONAL MASSES IN THE DIOCESE OF MIDDLESBROUGH
12 Noon. Every Sunday MissaCantata at Church of St Wilfrid, Duncombe Place, York. YO1 7EF
11:30am. (Winter months) 6pm. (Summer months) Every Sunday Church of the Sacred Heart, Lobster Road, Redcar. TS10 1SH
6.30pm First Wednesday of each month at Church of St Charles, Jarratt St. Hull. HU1 3HB
A petition has been set up protesting at the manner in which the trustees of Ushaw College have announced its closure. It urges the trustees to defer the closure until such time as proper consultation has taken place and schemes for its survival have been considered.
To sign the petition, go to:
There is a fair bit of background information about the closure of Ushaw College on Fr Brown's blog, Forest Murmers and Fr Elkin's blog, Let the Welkin Ring.
I have just received notification that Ushaw College is to close next June at the end of the academic year. More surprisingly, the notification states that there will be no conferences after 31st December 2010.
The reason for my being notified is that the Latin Mass Society has a booking for a Priests' Training Conference next August, and this cannot now take place. By good fortune, the Latin Mass Society also has a booking for a Priests' Trining Conference at Buckfast Abbey to take place during next May, so at least there will still be some provision for priests' training in 2011.
On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, I travelled to Middlesbrough to attend the sung Mass celebrated by Fr William Charlton. Fr Simon Henry of the Liverpool Diocese was also present and acted as MC. I took the part of thurifer and Eamonn sang the propers in plainchant.
A choir consisting of just four singers sang Schubert's Mass in C Major very creditably, and Elgar settings of Ave Maria and Ave Maris Stella. Afterwards there were refreshments in the Hall, with an impressive cake to mark the golden jubilee of the parish of St Alphonsus.
What a lot of good news there has bee over the weekend.
We read that the usus antiquior is to return to Croatia. Following intervention by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, it has been announced that Masses will be offered in the usus antiquior at one of the churches in Zagreb. This is a major breakthrough for the predominently Catholic country of Croatia, whose bishops have resisted summorum pontificum up to now.
There will be a weekly Sunday Mass in the cathedral of the Diocese of Marquette. Fr John Boyle of the Southwark Diocese, and on temporary secondment to Marquette, will be one of the regular celebrants. Another will be Bishop Sample, the local ordinary, who hopes to say this Mass about once a month.
Also from the USA, we read that Archbishop Schnurr of Cincinnati has decided that the Church of St Mark in that city will be reopended to serve as a parish dedicated to the traditional liturgy. This is an exceptionally fine church in the Italian renaisance style that closed because the congregation had largely moved away. Apparently, it is in need of expensive restoration, but will provide an ideal setting for the traditional Mass.
The second Ordinariate for former Anglicans to be set up, will be in Australia. It seems that this will follow closely on the heels of the English one expected to be set up in the new year. It is expected that the United States and Canada will follow soon after.
The Sodality of St Tarcisius will be organising a day of training in York for men and boys who wish to learn to serve Mass in the older form.
It will take place on Saturday 12th February starting at 10.30am and finishing around 5pm. The venue will be the Church of the English Martyrs, Dalton Terrace, York.
Depending on the requirements of those attending, it is expected that tuition will be given on the following topics:- Latin Pronunciation, Serving Low Mass, Serving Sung Mass. The serving of Solemn Mass may also be included if there is the demand.
There will be opportunities for confession during the day, and the session will conclude with Mass at 4pm.
Although tea and coffee will be provided, participants are asked to bring their own lunch. There will be no fee for attending.
Anyone wanting to book a place should make contact with Paul Waddington by e-mail. email@example.com
On Tuesday evening, to mark the Feast of All Souls, there was a beautiful Requiem Mass at the Church of the Engilsh Martyrs in York. The Rudgate Singers sang Faure's Requiem and the Mass concluded with absolutions at the catafalque. Fr Stephen Maughan was the celebratant and also preached.
There was a fair sized congregation which included some coming a distance as well as local parishioners and regular attenders of the Latin Mass in York. Afterwards rereshments were served in the hall.
This took place last Saturday. A huge crowd processed from Westminster Cathedral to the Brompton Oratory, reciting the rosary and singing Marian hymns. I was not there and have seen no estimate of the number of people taking part, but from the pictures that I have seen I would guess that there were 2,000.
The blog of the chairman of the Latin Mass Society includes many pictures, and there are some video clips on the blog "That the bones you have crushed may thrill". It is very impressive.
Fr Brown has just posted that Ushaw College is to close in 2011. No date is given except that it is said that the current students will complete their year of studies.
The Latin Mass Society has a booking to hold a Priests training Conference at Ushaw next August. It is not clear whether conference bookings beyond the end of the summer term will be honoured or not. We shall have to wait to see what happens.
There is a slightly puzzling paragraph at the end of the press release:
"We have long tried to find a development partner and it would be nice to believe that a partner will still come forward with a viable business plan but unfortunately time is running out and we have to face the realityof the situation we are in."
This would imply that a final decision has not yet been made. Is it possible to put together a group of people who would fill the role of development partner?
The Prior of the Dominican community in Leicester has announced that there is to be a Solemn Pontifical Mass at the Holy Cross Priory on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. The celebrant will be Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon OP, Bishop of Nottingham, who, as the ordinary of the diocese, will be using the throne.
The Mass will be followed by the consecration of the shrine of the English Martyrs.
This is thought to be the first time that an ordinary of any English or Welsh diocese has celebrated a usus antiquior Pontifical Mass in his own diocese, since the introduction of the novus ordo in 1970. Clergy who would like to attend in Choir should bring their own cassock and serplice (and stole if receiving Communion).
The details are:-
Holy Cross Priory Wellington Street Leicester LE1 6HW
The annual Rosary Crusade of Reparation will take place on Saturday 16th October. There will be a procession starting at Westminster Cathedral at 1.45pm and ending with pontifical solemn benediction at Brompton Oratory. On this occasion, it will be lead by Rt Rev Dom Cuthbert Brogan, the Abbot of Farnborough.
In a pastoral letter following the visit of the Holy Father, Archbishop Vincent Nichols called on Catholics to be more visible in society and to take a more prominent role in public affairs. He suggested, for example, that Catholics should join local councils and be more active in politics. He also suggested that we should not shrink from making the sign of the cross in public.
Here is a perfect opportunity for Catholics, at least those living in the London area, not only to make the sign of the cross, but to recite the whole of the rosary in a very public way. I am not sure whether Archbishop Nichols is planning on taking part in the rosary crusade himself, but I would urge all those who can to get to Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 16th October.
I am slowly recovering from the trip to Cofton Park in Birmingham, and a day that I will never forget. In the very early hours of Sunday morning, 19th September, I joined a coach in Selby and with a group of pilgrims travelled to the outskirts of Birmingham, arriving around 03.30. Our coach was one of the first to arrive, which meant that, after a quick security check and a mile walk, we were able to take up positions in the very front row of the enclosure in Cofton Park. Only the VIPs had a better place.
Although it drizzled on and off during the six hour wait for the Mass of Beatification, the time seemed to pass very quickly. From around 7am, things began to happen, with the two massed choirs (one of schoolchildren and the other of adults) rehearsing various parts of the Mass. Soon after 8am there was a truly dreadful ecumenical service which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4. The less said about that the better.
From 9am helicopters were flying overhead, which many people mistakenly took as the arrival of the Holy Father. In fact, I think they were carrying camera crews for the television coverage. After several passes, and dashed expectations, it was a great surprise to see the screens showing a landed helicopter with His Holiness emerging over a red carpet. The crowd went wild with cheering and flag waving. It turned out that the landing site was some distance away, because the screens showed the Holy Father being driven by car through residential areas.
On arrival at the site there was the usual hand shaking with mayors and other dignitaries before the Pope climbed into the popemobile for a quick traverse of the site. Again the crowd went wild, especially when babies were presented for blessing and kissing.
The Beatification Mass was novusordo with the preface and canon in Latin. The kyrie was a version of the orbis factorkyrie and Credo III was sung. The Gloria, Sanctus and AgnusDei were in English and taken from James Macmillan's Mass, specially composed for the beatification. The choirs sang very well, considering that they had only come together a few hours before. I was a little disappointed with the selection of music. To my mind, Macmillan's Mass was not as wonderful as many had made out, and I suppose it was inevitable that some Taize chant would have been included. However Elgar's Ave Verum was much welcomed, as were other motets; and Praise to the Holiest was sung with great gusto.
I was very heartened to see how well the altar servers had been trained and how well they presented themselves. I could not say the same for all the numerous concelebrants, many of whom seemed not to have their attention fully focused on the actions on the sanctuary. Despite one or two criticisms, it must be said that the Mass was a wonderful experience, and credit for this largely rests with Mgr Marini who has the ability to control things whilst hardly being noticed.
At the end of Mass, and before the final blessing, the Holy Father delivered his Angelus address, normally given in St Peter's Square. Then the Angelus was recited in Latin. After a final hymn, an English version of the Te Deumwas sung to a setting by Haydn. I would have much preferred it in Latin and plainchant.
The actual beatification ceremony was early in the Mass, just after the kyrie. It took the form of Archbishop Longley presenting the cause to the Holy Father, and the Holy Father giving his assent and declaring that the feast day would be 9th October. Then the relics of Cardinal Newman were presented to the Holy Father. Later BeatusJoannusHinricus was invoked in the canon of the Mass.
After Mass, Pope Benedict was immediately taken to his next engagement. In the two hours that remained before our coach was due to depart, I walked through the crowd in the hope of spotting people I knew; and then purchased a sweatshirt as a memento of the occasion. We arrived back in Selby at 5.15, which was just nice time to get to York for Mass at 6.30.
The thing that impressed me most was the behaviour of the 50,000 or so people in the crowd. Before and during the Pope's arrival, the atmosphere was electric with wild shouting and cheering. As soon as Mass began, there was perfect silence. This is despite the congregation including mothers with babies, young families, youth groups and pensioners. It is a measure of the power of the Holy Father's presence, that he can engender such euphoria one moment and such prayerful attention the next. I doubt whether there is another man living who could do the same.
Yesterday evening, we had veneration of the true cross at the church of St Charles in Hull. That church is lucky to posess a fragment of the cross that St Helena found in the Holy Land and is believed to be the actual cross on which Our Lord hung. It is housed in a superb reliquary, and I hope that someone might be able to provide a photograph of this.
The veneration followed a Solemn Mass in the usus antiquior. A marvelous set of red High Mass vestments belonging to St charles Church was used; and, although incomplete, they looked very well in this ornate Georgean church. Music was provided by the Rudgate Singers, with Robert O'Farrell playing the organ.
Paix Liturgique, the French organisation that has commissioned opinion surveys on the usus antiquior in several European countries, has conducted a poll in England, Scotland and Wales. The telephone survey was conducted between 21st and 28th June by Harris Interactive. 800 individuals, over the age of 18 and claiming to be Catholic, were identified from a sample of 6153.
The full results can be found on Rorate Caeli and other blogs. I will just highlight some of the findings.
Awareness of the Motu Proprio
Of the 800 Catholics, 60.6% said that they were unaware that it was permissible to celebrate Mass in the extraordinary, or more traditional Latin, form. Since the sample would have included many lapsed Catholics, this is not a surprising figure. However, when the figures for those who claim to attend Mass regularly (ie at least once per month) are analysed, 37.2% were still unaware.
The conclusion must be that a very poor job has been done of explaining the provisions of summorum pontificum and the rights it gives to ordinary members of the faithful.
The poll asked the question: Would you consider it normal or abnormal for both liturgical forms to be celebrated regularly in your parish? Again, taking those who attend Mass regularly (ie at least once per month), the replies were as follows:-
Normal 55.1% Abnormal 30.7% No opinion 14.4%
Put another way, amongst regular Mass attenders, almost twice as many think that it would be normal for both forms to exist side by side in a parish as those that think that it would be abnormal.
Perhaps the most interestying question was: If Mass were celebrated in Latin with Gregorian chant and in its extraordinary form in your parish, without taking the place of an ordinary one in English, how frequently would you attend it?
Again taking the replies of the practicing Catholics (ie those who attend Mass at least once per month), the answers were as follows:-
every week 43% once per month 23.4% on Holy Days 7.8% occasionally 17.6% never 8.2%
These are truely remarkable figures. Only 8.2% are so opposed to the traditional form that they would never attend, against 91.8% who would attend at least occasionally. As many as 66.4% say that they would attend at least once per month.
Of course what people say they would do in a poll and what people actually would do are different matters. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that this survey reveals both acceptance and interest in the traditional form of Mass is widespread. Furthermore, the proportion of practicing Catholics who would oppose the introduction of of the usus antiquior into ordinary parish life is minimal.
There will be a sung Mass at the church of St Charles Borromeo, Jarrett Street in Hull at 7.30pm on Tuesday 14th September, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. If everything goes to plan, and the prospects seem good, it will be a Solemn Mass, otherwise a Missa Cantata.
The Mass will be offered tor the intentions of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and for the success of his visit to these lands. The choice of date for this Mass is significant, as it is the third anniversary of the implementation of SummorumPontificum, and the date by which bishops throughout the world have been asked to report back to the Holy Father on any difficulties that have arisen out of its provisions.
The celebrant at the Mass will be Fr Stephen Maughan and the plainchant setting of the Mass will provided by the Rudgate Singers.
In the Diocese of Leeds, which is the diocese where I live, it has been decided that there will only be one coach per deanary travelling to Cofton Park for the beatification of John Hehry Newman. It seems that the same policy is being adopted in the Middlesbrough Diocese.
If the same policy is adopted throughout England and Wales, by my calculation, the number of faithful permitted to attend the ticket only beatification will be limited to about 15,000.
Originally, it was estimated that 400,000 would wish to attend, although Coventry Airport, the location proposed originally, could only accommodate 200,000. When it was discovered that Coventry had not been booked, it was leaked that the organisers were considering holding the event at Oscott College which could only hold 10,000. After a storm of protest Cofton Park, which was said to be able to accommodate 80,000, was booked. Now it looks as if the number of the faithful allowed to attend the ticket only event will be limited to about 15,000.
I have been looking at the age profile of the bishops of England and Wales. In the next couple of years, several will reach the age of 75, which is the age when they have to submit their resignation to the Holy Father. They come up in the following order:-
Bishop Edwin Regan Wrexham Dec 2010 Bishop Brian Noble Shrewsbury Apr 2011 Bishop Thomas McMahon Brentwood Jun 2011 Bishop John Rawsthorne Hallam Nov 2011 Bishop Crispian Hollis Portsmouth Nov 2011 Bishop Christopher Budd Plymouth May 2012 Bishop John Hine Southwark Aux Jul 2013 Archbishop Patrick Kelly Liverpool Nov 2013 Bishop Terence Brain Salford Dec 2013
Several of these would be regarded as not being particularly friendly towards the usus antiquior. Who will be their successors and will they be better disposed towards the traditional liturgies?
Who would you like to see ordained a bishop? Suggestions please.
Fr Maughan tells me that following the success of the Masses in Scarborough and Hull, he is being asked to say a traditional Mass in Filey. No date has been fixed yet, but it will be posted here as soon as arrangements are made.
The Latim Mass Society has made a major contribution to the promotion of the older form of the Mass by providing training opportunities for priests wishing to learn the rubrics of the traditional Mass. In the last three years, five training conferences have been organised and a forther one will take place in August at Downside Abbey. Over 100 priests have attended these conferences, the vast majority of whom now celebrate in the usus antiquior at least occasionally.
Although these conferences can be credited with allowing the number of traditional Masses to increase, they can only be a partial solution to the problem, which is a desperate shortage of priests with the skills to celebrate in the usus antiquior. The proper solution must be surely be for the seminaries to teach both forms of the Mass and the third anniversary of summorum pontificum would be a good time for this to start.
Both of these Masses were a great success. The previous entry includes a link to some pictures of the Hull Mass, and I think more will be posted soon. The medieval music was quite exceptional and different from anything I had ever heard before.
Also very gratifying were the attendances. I think about 60 at Scarborough and 140 at Hull. Everyone seemed very enthusiastic and many asked when the next one would be. Both churches are very suitable for the older rite and the sanctuaries had been well prepared.
These Masses will be in the usus antiquior and will be celebrated by Fr Stephen Maughan with the music provided by the Cambridge University Polyphonic Choir, directed by Matthew Ward. Matthew Ward is a PhD student at Cambridge, specialising in twelvth centuary Anglo-Norman Chant. We have been informed that the music will include works by Byrd and Tallis, as well as the Winchester Trooper, Dunstable and a movement from the Missa Caput.
The locations and times are:-
Church of St Peter Castle Road Scarborough Wednesday 30 th June 5.00pm
Church of St Charles Jarratt Street Hull Sunday 4th July 12.30pm
These will be rare opportunities to attend Mass with such high quality music, so please come along and tell your friends about them.
If you're eagerly anticipating the Sung Mass in Hull, which promises to be splendid, and can't wait for July 4th, you're in luck, because there's a Sung Mass in York this weekend at English Martyrs Church!
The Mass will be at the usual time of 6.30pm on Sunday, and we will sing the Mass in Eb by Christoph Dalitz [very like Mozart, but this was composed in 1989] & the Motets Jesu Dulcis Memoria by Victoria and Elgar's Ave Verum. We shall also be singing the Gregorian Chant Proper from the Graduale and ending by singing the simple tone Salve Regina.
At 12.30pm on Sunday 4th July, there will be a Latin Mass in the church of St Charles Borromeo, Jarratt Street, Hull. This is located in central Hull and is the principal church of the city.
It will be a Missa Cantata sung by the Cambridge University Polyphonic Choir and directed by Matthew Ward. At this stage, I am not sure what the musical setting will be, but I think we can be assured that it will be of excellent quality.
The Cambridge University Polyphonic Choir will also be singing at a Mass in Scarborough, but I have no details yet. Watch out for further information.
I have just heard that there is to be a a Sung Mass at 12.30pm on Sunday 4th July at the Church of St Charles in Jarratt Street, Hull. A visiting choir will be singing a four part polyphonic setting and the celebrant will be Fr Stephen Maughan. Otherwise, I have no further information at the moment.
It is particularly pleasing that this Mass will take place in Hull as, at present, there is no regular provision for the traditional Mass in this city, which is the largest centre of population in the diocese. It is even more pleasing to have the Mass in St Charles Church as it is a very fine building.
The next priests training conference will be at Downside Abbey, which is in Sumerset, and will take place from 10th to 13th August. The Abbey Church at Downside is the largest Catholic church in the gothic style in England, and is an impressive building.
The conference will be open to all priests and deacons of the Catholic Church, and will provide tuition in the traditional Mass in all its forms (ie Low Mass, Missa Cantata and Missa Solemnis).
It will also be open to laymen who wish to learn to serve Mass, especially in the Missa Cantata and Missa Solemnis forms.
The cost, inclusive of board and lodgings, is £85 and application forms are available from:
During the weekend of the 10-12 September . For the first time, Young Catholic Adults will be running the 2010 Juventutem International Conference at Douai Abbey(before the Douai weekend was aimed at the UK), the weekend will be led by Juventutem Ecclesiastical Assistant Fr de Malleray . The weekend will be full-board
Places are limited so please book early
* There will be Sung Mass, Low Mass, Rosary, Adoration, Confession, a Marian Procession in honour of Our Lady of Fatima and socials
* Fr. de Malleray FSSP head of Juventutem will preach the retreat, Masses will be in the Extraordinary form.
THE MAIN GUEST HOUSE
Saturday 11th – Sunday 12th September (full board)*
51 pounds full-board (except Sunday lunch) PER PERSON PER NIGHT
25 pounds for students/low waged/unwaged (or whatever you can afford)
£35 per person per night (full board). Self catering £25 per person per night (reductions for students:- or whatever you can afford) .
SELF CATERING CAMPING
£5 per person per night (or whatever you can afford - please bring your own tent and food ).
Limited places so please reserve your place early
To reserve your place FOR THE WEEKEND (no deposit needed if you are coming for the day on Saturday 5th July), please a 20 pound deposit (NON RETURNABLE) to Damian Barker, Flat 5, 12 St. Catherine Street, Kingsholm, Gloucester, Glos. GL2 9DU (please make any cheques payable to Damian Barker). For enquiries ring 07908105787.
For more details see:- http://www.youngcatholicadults.co.uk/
For photographs of previous Douai Retreats please see:-
Paix Liturgique have conducted another opinion poll about attitudes to the traditional form of the Mass. This poll was in Portugal and timed to coincide with the Pope's visit to Fatima. The poll was undertaken by Harris International and based on a random sample of 1443 people, of whom 950 claimed to be Catholics..
Again, the poll demonstrates two things. Firstly, there is widespread ignorence about about the provisions of summorum pontificum. Around three-quarters of all Catholics and half of practicing Catholics do not know that Mass could now be celebrated in the older form. Secondly, the poll reveals a remarkableable amount of interest in the usus antiquior.
Here is a summery of the findings when addressed to all Catholics:
Are you aware that Mass can be celebrated in both the ordinary (modern) form and the extraordinary (traditional) form?
Yes 26% No 74%
If the traditional Mass were available in your parish, without displacing the modern Mass, would you attend?
Weekly 6.5% Monthly 7.7% On major Feasts 14.0% Occasionally 63.7% Never 8.1%
The same questions were put to practicing Catholics (ie those who attend Mass at least once per month).
Are you aware that the Mass can be celebrated in both the ordinary (modern) form and extraordinary (traditional) form?
Yes 57.9% No 42.1%
If the traditional Mass were available in your parish, without displacing the modern Mass, woukld you attend?
Weekly 29.5% Monthly 24.0% On major Feasts 14.2% Occasionally 23.5% Never 8.8%
Looking at these figures carefully, you will see that over 90% of practicing Catholics in Portugal say that they would attend the older form of Mass at least occasionally. I take this to mean at least once a year. It is interesting that when the same question is put to all Catholics, roughly the same percentage indicate that they would attend occasionally. One can conclude from that that the traditional Mass would attract back many lapsed or partially lapsed Catholics.
Nearly 30% of regularly practicing Catholics say that they would attend weekly.
I wonder what the figures would be if a similar poll was conducted in England.
I have received a newsletter from Young Catholic Adults. This is an organisation which promotes the traditional Mass and heritage of the Church amongst younger people. It is affiliated to the international federation, Juventutem.
Amongst the activities listed in the newsletter are the following:-
15th May Training Day for Servers in conjunction with LMS
21st - 23rd May Chartres Pilgrimage Walking from Paris to Chartres
1st -8th August Latin Summer School in conjunction with LMS
20th - 22th Aug Walsingham Pilgrimage Walking from Ely to Walsingham
10th - 12th Sept Traditional Retreat at Douai Abbey
The walking pilgrimage from Ely to Walsingham is a new venture and and one that I hope will be a great success. It must take a huge amount of planning and organisation. To join the pilgrimage, you should e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For up to date information about Young Catholic Adults, try: http://youngcatholicadultslatestnews.blogspot.com
In future there will be at least one Missa Cantata each month at the Church of the English Martyrs in York. The 6.30 Sunday evening Mass will be sung on the third Sunday. On other Sundays it will normally be a Low Mass.
The next Sung Mass will be on 16th May which happens to be the transferred feast of the Ascension. The celebrant will be Fr Stephen Maughan and the musical setting will be Byrd provided by the Rudgate Singers.
Paix Liturgique have engaged Harris Interactive (a very respected polling organisation) to conduct an opinion poll in Germany. Here are some of the results.
The following question was put to practising Catholics:
If Mass were celebrated in the Extraordinary Form in YOUR parish, would you attend:
Weekly 25% Monthly 19% Holy Days 9% Occasionally 40% Never 7%
These are truely remarkable figures. 93% of practicing catholics would apparently attend the older rite at least occasionally. 44% at least monthly.
Another question asked;
Are you aware of the provisions of Summorum Pontificum?
Yes 43.1% No 56.9%
I presume that these replies relate only to practising Catholics. If this is the case, it comes as no surprise to me. If the same question was put to practising Catholics in England, I doubt whether 10% would be able to answer yes.
There is a fuller report on this survey on the blog, Rorate Caeli.
It all went very well, despite a few minor hitches. It was unfortunate that a few of the priests who had booked in were unable to attend due to parish commitments or for personal reasons.
We were able to welcome two young priests from Sri Lanka, for whom it must have been an experience of a lifetime. Not only did they benefit from the tuition and the liturgies, but they were able to visit Durham Cathedral on the Wednesday afternoon. Following their time at Ushaw, they travelled to Walsingham and then were due to to take the Eurostar train to Paris before visiting Lourdes. Another overseas visitor was Fr Craig Holmes from South Africa. We also welcomed two priests from Scotland.
An innovation this year was to include tuition for laymen wishing to become proficient at being MC at High Masses. The shortage of well trained MCs has become a problem in many parts of the country. About ten took advantage of this course, so the problem should eased. One consequence of this was that there was no shortage servers throughout the week.
We were lucky to have six choristers in residence all week so we had a competent schola for all the liturgies. On the Thursday, they were supplemented by members of the Rudgate Singers so we were able to have a polyphonic Requiem Mass. On the Friday, the choir Antiphon came to sing a polyphonic setting of the Mass in honour of St Cuthbert.
Ushaw College again proved an excellent venue. The seminary chapel of St Cuthbert has has a large and convenient sanctuary, and there are many side chapels and altars convenient for tuition as well as private Masses. In addition, the food was excellent and the staff were most helpful.
One bonus was the showing, on the Wednesday evening, of an old film of the seminery's Christmas Midnight Mass in 1960. Although the quality of the sound was very poor, there was great interest in the modus celebrandi. It was all done with military precision and obviously very well rehearsed.
There is no doubt that all the priests who attended found the week both instructive and spiritually uplifting. Several have already enquired about coming back next year.