Traditional confirmations in London

Our friends at the Latin Mass Society in the UK sent the following report:


For Immediate Release

17 November 2008

* The lights went out but the ceremonies went on!
* Westminster bishop confers Traditional Rite confirmations

A power cut at St James’ Church, Spanish Place, London threatened to ruin the day for 45 eager Confirmation candidates at the Latin Mass Society’s annual Confirmation ceremony in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Latin Rite) last Saturday, 15 November. However, Bishop George Stack, auxiliary bishop in Westminster, and the children and congregation coped with the difficult conditions and the ceremonies proceeded in the darkened church with the help of many candles!

Bishop Stack administered Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form at the request of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. 45 candidates received the sacrament – 40 children and 5 adults. This was the fifth year of the annual ceremony.

The day began with a ‘get to know you’ meeting in the Lady Chapel between the bishop and candidates. The ceremonies followed with an address from Bishop George in which he spoke of Grace as a gift of God, freely given and inviting our response. In Confirmation we open ourselves to God and strengthen ourselves to go forward in faith.

With no electricity to power the organ or light the choir loft, the choir had to move to the nave and were accompanied on piano. A large congregation of over 500 family and friends joined the choir in singing the Veni Creator Spiritus and other traditional hymns. During the anointing, the choir sang polyphony and plain chant. After the confirmations, Bishop Stack conferred Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and led the congregation in the Divine Praises.

Because of the power cut, the usual reception for the bishop and congregation in the crypt had to be abandoned. Instead, Bishop Stack met and chatted with the newly-confirmed and their families on the church steps.

John Medlin, General Manager of the Latin Mass Society, said, “Despite the unfortunate circumstances, everyone was greatly edified by the occasion. The LMS is grateful to Cardinal Cormac and Bishop George for their pastoral concern for those attached to the Extraordinary Form.”

For further information, please contact John Medlin, General Manager, or James Murphy, LMS Office Manager, on (T) 020 7404 7284; (F) 020 7831 5585;
(E mail)

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Laudetur! The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness shall not overcome it (Jn 1:15)!

  2. PMcGrath says:

    You would think they would have a hand bellows for the organ, rather than using the piano!

    (Just joking!)

  3. JML says:

    Brick by brick and candle by candle.

    Are the traditional words of confirmation in the EF said in Latin or the vernacular? I was Hybrid Rite and it was in English (1967).

  4. Jayna says:

    As far as I’m concerned, having to use candles instead of electric lights would seem like an added touch of ambiance.

    I’m getting confirmed in the spring. Unfortunately, it won’t be in the EF and it won’t be by the bishop.

  5. Gladiatrix says:

    I work in Victoria and there are some fairly major works going on on the road leading to the Cathedral (Cardinals Place, I think). I suspect that the power cut was either deliberate and no-one thought to warn the Cathedral, or one of the workmen cut through something rather important.

  6. Michael says:

    This is how the liturgy should always be clebrated; adding more candless.

    “The light shines in the darkness”, not the electric light.

  7. Alan says:

    TLM in Fatima followup!
    We did the followup and visited the Franciscan Sisters of the Legend of Immaculate to ask them when the TLM is scheduled. They told us that it is only said when one of the priests is in Fatima and then it is private and not public.
    So, there is still no TLM in Fatima or in Portugal that we know of.

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