The other day I posted an eyewitness account of the Solemn TLM in Winchester Cathedral… an Anglican Cathedral, under the aegis of the Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth but at the invitation of the Cathedral Chapter. I warned you about it here at the time when there was that ghastly dust up in Cardiff at the Catholic Cathedral.
This is what I call true ecumenism.
Alas, I think that post got lost in the server changes last weekend.
Here it is again.
Dear Fr John
I hope that you have recovered from the awful weather that followed you around the mid-west ten days ago or so.
And so to Winchester, to the Cathedral that you and I visited five months ago, to resting place of the bones of so many of the Saxon Kings of Wessex and England, and of Jane Austen, where this morning I had the joy of assisting "In choro" at a Votive Mass (Sacerdotes tui, Domine) of St Swithun, Bishop of Winchester, celebrated by Rt Rev’d Dom Laurence Beer OSB, with Rev’d Dr Laurence Hemming as Deacon and Rev’d Fr Philip Thomas as Subdeacon. In choir, in addition to your humble correspondent, were Rev’d Frs Andrew Goodman and William Young. Profound gratitude is due to Bishop Crispian Hollis, the Bishop of Portsmouth and to the Parish Priest, Canon Paul Townsend, for giving permission for this Mass and, most of all to the Dean of the Cathedral, Very Rev’d James Atwell, who was present in his stall, for the invitation.
The ordinary was Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli, sang beautifully and without fault by the Lay Clerks of the Winchester Cathedral Choir, who also sang the exquisite Offertory Motet "Exaltabo te, Domine" by Palestrina and Victoria’s "O Sacrum Convivium" whilst upwards of two hundred and fifty made their Holy Communion. I remembered you at the Memorial of living and the late Mgr Schuler RIP (who would have delighted in the music) at that of the dead.
Dr Hemming preached on the witness of St Swithun to the need for us to cleave close to Christ, our one true High Priest. At the end of Mass he gave us a delightful fevorino on Reginald Cardinal Pole before we sang the Prayer for the Queen, beginning with the delightful versicle and response, "Domine salvam fac Reginam nostram Elisabeth: et exaudi nos in die qua invocaverimus te" and the Mass ended with the Salve Regina (in the normal tone) and the Christus Vincit from the Worcester Cathedral Antiphoner. [Msgr. Schuler would have delighted in the music, certainly, but also in the event. A little know fact is that he was the Catholic priest who brought the first Anglican priests to meet Card. Seper in Rome to talk about the "pastoral provision".]
The most beautiful thing this side of heaven? Procul dubio.
With every good wish and the hope of seeing you again before too long.
Deacon Stephen Morgan
I am grateful for the report and sorry it was delayed.