My flight from the USA to the UK went without a hitch, until I put my feet on terra firma at Gatwick. The line for passport control took 1.5 hours, which was both unusual and pretty annoying.
I am presently with Fr. Finigan of The Hermeneutic of Continuity in Blackfen.
Yesterday, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, we celebrated here a very nice solemn Mass with two priest friends, of the Diocese of Southwark, as deacon and subdeacon. Fr. Finigan was celebrant. I was asked to preach.
There was a fairly sound small schola cantorum for the proper chants for the day. Some of the chant was accompanied by organ, which I am not convinced is always necessary. The Mass itself was well executed, and the sacred ministers obviously knew what they were about. It was well-attended given its time at midday. Afterwards there was a pleasant reception in the parish hall.
I attempted to record my sermon, but I can’t now get it off my digital recorder. There is some sort of file error. So… I may not be able to give you the audio, alas. I will try to post the text in a separate entry later, if I can resolve my technical problems of getting my own notebook connected to the parish’s router. Grrrr. I also has some photos to share, but I will need to get my own computer connected before I can upload them. Double Grrrr.
In the evening Fr. Finigan and I took the tube into central London and attended, in choir, the solemn Mass at the Brompton Oratory. The music was splendid polyphony by a mixed choir. I am not sure what the Mass setting was. The ceremonies were very well coordinated. Afterwards there was a well-attended reception. I had the great good fortune to meet quite a few people who read this blog.
So far, this trip – aside from the jet lag and connectivity problems – can be characterized by beautiful traditional liturgy, vigorous Catholic faith on the part of all whom I am meeting, wonderful hospitality and sunny weather.