Sunday, November 9, 2008

"Towards Advent Festival" Westminster Cathedral Hall, Nov. 8 2008: a Personal Memoir from the Oasis UK Correspondent

Thank you to clare a who sent me this report this morning:

"Dear Jane,

Had a very fulfilling day in London at the Towards Advent Festival. I went to help a friend sell secondhand books. In fact there were several stalls there, so we were able to slope off to Mass at midday and have lunch in a bistro. The weather turned bad but it didn't spoil the fun.

So much richness!!! I met the FSSP priest Fr Armand de Malleray who lives in Reading. It's not so far from us so will try to get over there. He warmly invited me plus family. I got into conversation with him about a mysterious old book I have. Apparently (and I have no recollection of this) some years ago I bought it for £2 (which is pencilled on the front page). The cover was falling off but the pages were still tightly bound and it was clearly a pre-conciliar Office book of some kind. There is no English in it and I gave it to my father thinking he would like to have it as he is a traditionalist. Recently he gave it back to me. One of the book marks is in the section for excorcisms. It is such a lovely little book, with its heavy gold edging still unworn, that I was consdering having it rebound. The lettering 'Rituale Romanum' is still legible on the spine. I discussed this with Fr. de Malleray as I have an increasingly strong feeling that I should pass it on to the FSSP. Unfortunately I couldn't remember the title on the spine but he figured what it might be when he showed me his Breviary which is different. (By the way his Breviary is magnifique - black and red Latin printed on creamy paper, so much more beautiful than our modern books.) To buy new, a Rituale like mine would cost $75. I have decided it should go to an FSSP priest who would actually use it.

I also met a wonderful lady at the LMS stall and offered my aid. They do have someone lined up for representative in my diocese but I gave my name anyway. They are just so nice! Oh, and if I were a liberal I would be worried. The LMS stall had more people from different ethnic groups than did any of the others and most of them went off bearing copies of Mass of Ages. The Tablet stall was giving away free copies of the current issue of the magazine and was trying to sell hardback copies of a horrible book about the dark days of JPII's pontificate. They couldn't shift it at £3 each. Meanwhile the Catholic Herald was giving away free copies of the paper and people were crowding round to get at them.

I went to hear Aidan Nichols on the Conversion of England and was extremely impressed. In the afternoon I went to a workshop on Chant and now my throat hurts! We were worked hard. My daughter rolled up rather late and didn't meet anyone properly, which I was sorry about, though the LMS lady stopped to meet her on the way out, as I'd mentioned her. The Catholic Herald was giving away bookmarks with the Holy Father on them. I grabbed several of these and will save a couple for you!

Turns out that the Mass at Farnborough Abbey isn't Tridentine, but 'souped up' Novus Ordo, although they begin with the Asperges and have a silent Canon.

ACN had a stall, and Gracewing, and CTS (I got the new book on Traditionalism and noted several Charities incuding SPUC.) Certainly the TAF is a good occasion for Catholic networking.

Hope all is well with you. I have prayed the Rosary with the Holy Father on CD several times now and already have the Latin mostly by heart.



Anonymous said...

Sounds fantastic; I do wish I'd been there.

Tell Clare that "souped up" Novus Ordo is still fine; that's the way the Holy Father would like it to go!

Jane said...

Dear Mark,

wish I'd planned my London trip a few days earlier. Next year DV...?

As far as the way His Holiness would like it to go. Not sure. And I pose this analogy. If, before his election, the Barque of Peter was sailing due west and was about to drop off the planet somewhere in the middle of the Pacific, at least since last year I've had the sensation that he has gently been changing her course so that she is now 'halfway about' and facing due south. But she is not static and there is still a sensation of continuing turn about towards the east.

I think he knows that the status quo represents great progress and will be content for now. He also knows that 'ad orientem' is one of the most sensitive issues and will not go full steam ahead. However he offers hiw own private Mass AE and in the preface to VOL I of his collected works, although he laments that the relevant chapter of The S of the L. was read largely out of context with the rest of the book, he pays a great compliment to Michael Lang's book, 'Turning towards the Lord'.
Clearly he is for AE but is more interested in leading us all to understand his Theology of the Mass of which AE is just one external symbol.

All that said, as I state on my banner and in my oath. Patience and obedience are the watchwords.