Wednesday, October 01, 2008

St Albert's last Sunday

We were through with The In-Laws last weekend. We attended the 9am Mass at St Albert's - the Edinburgh University Catholic Chaplaincy (and Priory of the Dominican community there) - on Sunday. Eldest Boy really liked it - "It was very quiet and prayerful" he said " I liked it" (not that we have a problem where we attend Mass - it's just that one notices the differences when one is away from home).

The celebrant was the relatively newly ordained priest, Fr Bruno Clifton, who was somewhat embarrassed that pictures of his ordination were featured in the Scottish Catholic Observer. Needless to say, he preached well - pitched such that children like my own would understand ('though this was not the "Family Mass") but also so that the smattering of dons and undergrads wouldn't go away unsatisfied. My experience with University Chaplaincies has been somewhat mixed over the years, so it was good to hear Mass celebrated according to the rubrics. He's a practitioner of "saythe black, do the red" and do you know what? It works.

I was delighted to see his family is (by modern standards) awash with vocations. It must have been a delight for his father to be deacon of honour at his ordination. Is this unique in the UK?

One hangover from The Reign of the Hippies, however, was the practice of opening the bidding prayers to the floor. As I have pointed out before, I do not like this practice.There was only one bidding prayer made in this way by a north american girl sitting behind me:

"That in this season of Michaelmas, the Archangel Michael will help us to rid ourselves of the Toxins and Negativity that afflict our hearts"

Toxins and negativity?


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your delicacy in not naming the North American country, ha. That specific nonsense happens here in the U.S. quite often, in my experience, at daily Masses; not often at all at Sunday Masses. (And as nonsense goes, it is of far less concern to me than some of the other nonsense I recall from the 70s. Still.)

11:57 AM  
Blogger Londiniensis said...

Aw c'mon, remember the "two nations divided by a common language" thing. Let's hope that four years of rigorous study in Edinburgh will "detox" her brain of such linguistic crassness - without which, her prayer was really actually rather good.

Totally agree with you about bidding prayers "from the floor". Ugh.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, oh, oh. Today I was at Mass ad orientem NO, and it turns out this really nice pious clever priest was saying the Mass, and


Argh! Who can be trusted?!

8:46 PM  
Blogger The Cellarer said...

I've only seen this attempted once, somewhere between Canada and Mexico, to protect the guilty country's identity... and to the priest's obvious horror, there was silence. Nothing. Tumbleweed. He looked genuinely downcast...

10:08 PM  
Blogger eulogos said...

I go to a daily mass on Fridays (it used to be every day years ago but as the number of priests decreased and parishes declined, it is now once a week too late to be before work, and once a week early enough) with people who have gone to daily mass together for many many years; I joined them over 20 years ago. There are prayers from the pews, but by now, they are a fixed liturgy in their own right. One man prays "for those who spend each day with pain." One woman prays for "all of us and all our families, especially our children and grandchildren." Another woman prays for vocations "especially to the priesthood in our diocese. " The only additions would be for a specific person having surgery etc. And some people say "for a special intention." I don't really see anything wrong with this in this particular situation.
Susan Peterson

6:01 PM  
Blogger eulogos said...

I mean, as priests decreased and parishes combined. So there is daily mass every day, but spread around 4 of the 6 "worship sites" in the cluster.
Susan Peterson

6:03 PM  
Blogger Paulinus said...


Thank you. That sounds touching (that's not said with any sarcasm)but is not in the GIRM. It would be appropriate perhaps in an informal prayer group but each chip away at the norms of the liturgy leads to the abuses that have driven so many away from Mass.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Susan's experience with the bidding prayers from the pews, may I add, is pretty much mine: they, many of them and quite often, become a paraliturgy of sorts. It betrays a lack of understanding of what the Liturgy is and whose prayer it is, which is what galls me. On the other hand, the clergy have taught people to do this (again, in my limited experience) and so I have a hard time being more than mildly irritated at the individuals involved when it happens.

10:52 AM  

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