UK: Solemn Catholic TLM in Winchester Cathedral (Anglican)!

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.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Paul says:

    Sample from Missae Papae Marcelli: (Sanctus and Benedictus)

    Glorious music.

  2. JML says:

    Are there any photos?

  3. Stephen Morgan says:

    JML, I don’t have any photos, I’m afraid. Actually, I was just too taken up with the whole thing to remember to do so.

  4. Brendan says:

    Since the comments are closed on the SSPX thread…just wondering what is the worldwide membership for the SSPX typically numbered at?

  5. Padre Steve says:

    It is sad that the Anglicans had to host this liturgy, but it might also be another seed of hope for the return of so many of the Anglican faithful who have become tired of their Church’s theological confusion!

  6. Dob says:

    Padre Steve,
    I believe the Anglicans requested the Mass to see what it was like and our priests were more than delighted to say the Mass there in such a beautiful setting. I attended myself and it was very beautiful. I did take my camera but I find it hard to participate at the same time. I did take some snaps at the end so I’ll email Fr Z a shot of the high altar. It is very very beautiful. The music was very wonderful.

  7. josephus muris saliensis says:

    Dear Padre Steve,

    I am not sure I agree about it being a shame it was in an anglican cathedral. Remember that these once Catholic churches contain many relics of Saints from before the Reformation, and most of these Masses involve devotions to such relics, often visits to the shrines after Mass, or other acts of pilgrimage. Remember too, that the endowments enjoyed by most anglican cathedrals were funds left for chantry Masses, which have remained unsaid for the last 400 years. Any Catholic priest offering Masses in these places (as well as for these intentions in his own church) is participating in a profound act of charity. The laity who accompany them derive the graces belonging to any pilgrimage to a holy shrine.

    There are several societies and informal groups in England that have been arranging such Masses (usually in the Traditional form) for at least 15 years, in various places of mediaeval pilgrimage. Rare indeed is a hostile reception, and done properly these occasions can be acts of witness to our separated brethren, and potentially inspire them to enquire about the true Faith.

    It is important only to ensure no confusion about this being the same as their own services, and to avoid such things as using their vessels, or the elements for the sacred species. Most such pilgrimages take an altar stone, as mostly the old altars (which have been profaned anyway) are gone, and where they stood is now a Protestant wooden table. Thus there is little difference in character between a Mass in an occupied church and one in a ruin. Both can be very moving, and give glory to God and honour to the Saints of our land.

    Pray, please, for the conversion of England.

  8. roydosan says:

    I have some photos and video. They are a bit blurred as I didn’t want to use the flash. Once I’ve ‘improved’ them on Paintshop I’ll post them either at Middlesbrough LMS blog or on the Juventutem blog.

  9. Stephen Morgan says:

    Padre Steve, the Mass was held in Winchester Cathedral because several of the lay clerks (adult choir members) and a number of staff at Winchester College requested it. There is a quarterly Mass in the Catholic Parish Church of St Peter, which we may hope will happen more frequently before too long if people request it. There is also a Solemn High Mass in the Cathedral of the Diocese every year in the autumn (at which your humble correspondent will be the Subdeacon this year, may it please God) and a day of recollection with Low Mass during Lent every year. There are regular Masses at Ryde on the Isle of Wight, the frequency of which may well increase in the future and a monthly Mass (often a Missa Cantata) at Sacred Heart, Fareham, Of course, there is the FSSP apostolate in St William of York, Reading.

    I know this doesn’t amount to a Sunday Mass easily accessible to every Catholic in every part of the diocese but it is better than in many dioceses in England and we need to be grateful to Bishop Crispian Hollis and the priests for what we already have. I know many traditionally minded Catholics often seek to make of Bishop Hollis a bete noir regarding the Extraordinary Form, but I can assure you, as one who works closely with him on a daily basis, that although he has no wish to celebrate the Usus antiquior himself, he is not hostile to those, like myself, who are attached to it and it is his boast that he has never refused a request for one in his diocese. Many will remember the furore around a letter written by a member of the diocesan curia last autumn which suggested a very narrow interpretation of the motu proprio. You should also remember that the Bishop disassociated himself from the comments, instructed the curia staffer to withdraw the letter and said publically that the motu proprio didn’t need diocesan guidelines since it was abundantly clear in its provisions.

  10. Padre Steve says:

    Thanks Dob for the clarification! God bless!

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