Wednesday, July 07, 2010

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.

Job done.

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?


Blogger Sixupman said...

Try The Holy Name, Manchester, for the Liturgy [both rites] as it should be celebrated - both daily and Sundays.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love to go there on a Sunday when I am in London. Everything is done so well. Though I am usually a bit later.
Either 9 am or 11 am . One low one very high, though Novus Ordo....sort of!

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, They do not approve of Holy Communion in the hand there. Rightly so,

9:17 AM  
Blogger Miss Ellen E. said...

Although I live in the South East of England I've only managed to attend a weekday Mass once at the London Oratory and it was just as you described - simple, orthodox and very reverent! My reaction was also to come out onto the streets of London with a smile on my face.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Martin said...


A number of years ago I was, believe it or not, a parishioner of the Oratory. Alas, I have lost the copy of the bulletin in which the Oratorians prayed for the repose of the soul of my aunt, a wee lady from Thornliebank.

At that point, the Oratorians' approach was a little oppressive, so I decamped to what I certainly felt was the rather more congenial atmosphere of St. Mary's in Cadogan Street.

12:15 AM  
Blogger Paulinus said...

I can only call it as I saw it on that Sunday. The punters seemed to fall into two categories:
(1)Somewhere close to being aristos;
(2) one push off being a jakey

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Hestor said...

Sixmanup: It is ironic that you mention the Holy Name in Manchester in this post. I believe they were in the process of trying to become an Oratory but were hampered by none other than Bishop Brain (no surprise).

Please pray for the Birmingham Oratory, which is experiencing attacks.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous rubric enforcer said...

''...London Oratory and it was just as you described - simple, orthodox and very reverent! ''

...but apparently not according to the rubrics since it is not prescribed that the priest should read the readings and psalm. The psalm may be read through (with the responses used as an aniphon said at the beguining and end) in which case it should be said by all (i.e. including the congregation).

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Rubric Enforcer said...

''He read the epistle(s) on the epistle side and the Gospel on the Gospel side of the altar.''

Again this practice is a liturgical abuse in the new rite (which it was). The rubrics in the GIRM is quite clear that the liturgy of the word' takes place at the ambo (lectern).

6:33 PM  

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