Early Mass Brompton Oratory
I was up early on Sunday to go home and wanted to get to Mass before I caught my train. I took the District Line from my hotel and travelled initially to Westminster Cathedral. As I approached Victoria, I realised I had enough time to get through to South Kensington so I went through to the Oratory. I'm glad I did. This was post-conciliar Low Mass as she should be celebrated (or so I think, you may disagree).
The priest celebrated Mass quietly. He just said Mass. "In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. The Lord be with you...." (No "Good morning everyone!" "Good Morning, Father" "Nice to see you!" "To see you - NICE!" - h/t Patricius). He read the epistle(s) on the epistle side and the Gospel on the Gospel side of the altar. He said the psalm without the opportunity to say the responses (should he have? I'm not fussed. The response for the congregation can be desultory at times - he just said the psalm through). See what he did? No lay person reading. He gave a firm sermon about the Gospel. He said in explicit, orthodox terms what a Catholic should do and shouldn't do (in this case about the occult - he related it to the disciples casting out spirits in the Gospel).
He referred to the Holy Father in the bidding prayers as His Holiness Pope Benedict. The second prayer was for those who govern us. (Let us pray for Queen Elizabeth and those who govern in her name...) When did you last hear the Queen prayed for? OK, I live in the West of Scotland....We prayed for the poor and those in all kinds of need but the terms poverty trap or social justice were not used once.
Mass was celebrated ad orientem. I didn't really notice - it just seemed very natural. I didn't feel left out. Communion was taken kneeling and on the tongue. I suspect he wouldn't have made a fuss if a communicant had held out their hand to receive.
It was quiet, prayerful and reverent. I felt I had participated. The Unique Sacrifice of Jesus Christ was offered on the altar - a fitting Sacrifice to Almighty God.
The sun was shining on the streets of London. I found myself smiling. I had a leisurely breakfast at a Costa and caught my train on time.
Any chance the Oratorians could take over at St Aloysius when the Jesuits move on?