05 May 2014
Training Our Clergy to Celebrate Mass in the Forma Extraordinaria
I have just returned from four days at Belmont Abbey, near Hereford, where the Latin Mass Society's most recent Priest and Server Training Conference has been taking place. A total of 37 people took part, including priests, deacons, servers, tutors, a schola and an organist. It was a great success. There were two groups of priests learning to celebrate Low Mass, and one of priests, deacons and servers studying Solemn Mass. There were also two groups of servers learning to serve Low Mass, some of whom graduated on to Missa Cantata. Tuition was also given in Latin. Belmont Abbey proved to be a very good venue for the conference, having a beautiful abbey church with sufficient altars for all the groups. The food was excellent, and the sleeping accommodation very comfortable, although some of our participants had to be billeted out to a guest house about a mile away, which proved to be exceptionally grand. The free and easy way in which we were able to use all the facilities helped to make the event very enjoyable. Pictures of the conference have been posted by Joseph Shaw on his blog, LMS Chairman. One unexpected event is worth special mention. On the Thursday, the feast of St Joseph the Worker, I noticed a taxi pulling up outside the abbey church a few minutes before the Solemn Mass was about to start. A young man with a rucksack got out and went into the church. I gave him a service book, and he stayed for Mass. Afterwards, I asked him who he was and where he came from. He told me in perfect English that his name was Martin, and he came from Sweden. He is an assiduous follower of the Latin Mass in Sweden, regularly attending the Masses celebrated by Canon Kunkel. He seemed very well informed about the Latin Mass Scene in England and throughout the world. It turned out that Martin was holidaying in England and was visiting the Catholic Church in Hereford, when he noticed a poster giving details of the conference and the public services that were part of it. There was just time for him to take a taxi for the start of Mass.