TLM report: Westminster Cathedral

I received this from the Latin Mass Society:

24 November 2008

Latin Mass Society Celebrates Its Annual Requiem Mass in Westminster Cathedral

Father Antony Conlon, National Chaplain of the Latin Mass Society, celebrated a High Mass of Requiem in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 22 November for the repose of the souls of all deceased members and supporters of the LMS. Father Tim Finigan was Deacon and the Sub-deacon was Fr Patrick Hayward. Gordon Dimon of the LMS was MC.

A congregation of about 600 heard the men of the Cathedral Choir sing traditional plainchant.

For the first time in many years, the Mass was followed by the traditional ceremonies of Absolutions at the Catafalque. Many in the congregation said afterwards how pleased they were that this ceremony had been reinstated.

Before Mass, a wreath was laid by Julian Chadwick, Chairman of the LMS, and other LMS Committee members on the grave of Cardinal Heenan in the cathedral nave in thanksgiving for the Cardinal’s efforts to preserve the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Father Antony Conlon read prayers for the occasion.

John Medlin, General Manager of the LMS, said afterwards: “The LMS is grateful to Canon Christopher Tuckwell, the Cathedral Administrator, for his friendly help in organising our ceremonies. We feel that the Extraordinary Form now has a settled part to play in the life of Westminster Cathedral and we shall be putting some ideas regarding improved provision to Canon Tuckwell soon.”

Note: The Extraordinary Form has now returned to several of our cathedrals throughout England and Wales and the LMS is actively seeking to introduce further Masses.


And notice that His Hermeneuticalness is a deacon for the Mass!

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  1. Mark M says:


    I was there; it was indeed a beautiful sight (and sound).

    Please pray we will one day have similar regular Masses in St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh (though we must be grateful for the one specific Requiem we have had).

  2. Thomas says:

    What are the Absolutions at the Catafalque? I know what a catafalque is, but what is this ceremony and what does it do?

  3. Ron Webber says:

    I notice that the pictures show not one single member of the congregation. I would be interested to see some if somebody can point me in the right direction.

  4. Derik says:

    This is the first time I see a server sporting a medal in top of the surplice.

  5. Derik: That server is probably enrolled in the Archconfraternity of St. Stephen.

  6. Mark M says:

    It looks like it. Usual practice for many in England, though it is not so widespread up north.

  7. Mark G. says:

    Indeed, a beautiful Mass at a beautiful place! I’m curious which altar was used.

    Ron Webber: the Nave proper is WAAAYYY back from the sanctuary. Westminster Cathedral is a really big place! Notice the scaffolding in place for the repair of the domes. Hopefully that will all be gone soon.

    Does anyone know if there any other photos posted somewhere? I’d love to see more.

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