Chesterton said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”

FURTHER UPDATE - ROSARY on the COAST

ROSARY on the COAST  – SUNDAY 29th APRIL at 3pm
The Rosary will be led by the GRAND PRIORY OF ENGLAND on the Thames Estuary, between Leigh-on-Sea and Southend, which is officially the nearest North Sea coast to London!

The Arrangements for Sunday are as follow : MEET AT THE PETERBOAT Public House, on the Seafront in Old Leigh, 27 High St, Leigh-on-Sea SS9 2EN, from 12.30. It's a good place. Be there definitely by 2.30, as we may move off after that.   MAP, CLICK HERE

SMOM FACEBOOK Event HERE.  Not essential to sign up, obviously, but helps us assess numbers.

Depending on numbers we shall either join with the local parishes, including our dear friend Monsignor Kevin Canon Hale, the local Parish Priest, or lead the Holy Rosary independently.

TRAINS OUT OF FENCHURCH STREET (fast to Leigh-on-Sea) :
09.55 - arr10.55, 10.25 - arr11.25, 10.55 - arr11.55, 11.25 - arr12.25, 11.55 -arr12.55, 1225 - arr13.25, 12.55 - arr13.55, 1325 - arr14.25
From the Station to the Peterboat is pleasant walk of about 1/4 hour behind the cockleshells.

MASS TIMES at Leigh-on-Sea (shorter walk if you take the train to Chalkwell, the next station, 5 minutes longer train journey) :
8am, 9.30, 11.30.
Parish website (for directions etc) HERE

More general information may be had from the Rosary organisers' website, HERE, where those of you who are unable to join the Malta London group can join other groups or set up your own.  There is an interactive map showing where the Rosary is happening. There are lots! We would, however, ask that wherever you go, you do so visibly as a Member or Companion of the Order of Malta, or OMV. Our common witness is important; this is Tuitio Fidei.

PLEASE TELL FRIENDS ABOUT THIS AND BRING THEM ALONG.


Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us
Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us
Our Lady of Philermo, pray for us

FIRST MASS AT SAINT MARGARET'S CHAPEL, EDINBURGH

His Grace the Archbishop of Edinburgh has most generously placed for the benefit of the Order in Scotland the beautiful chapel of Saint Margaret, in the Gillis Centre, the seat of the Diocesan curial offices. The Chapel is just beyond the Meadows to the South of the City, in Morningside, an easy journey, even a walk, from the City centre.

The handsome chapel, with a romanesque nave, was designed by the Scottish architect James Gillespie Graham, with input from his then associate Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin. It was opened in 1835, and the gothic chancel added by Archibald McPherson in 1893. Ancestors of present members of the Order, including Lord Ralph Kerr and Robert Monteith of Carstairs, had links with the Chapel. It houses the relics of Saint Crescentia, believed to have been a young Roman girl martyred for her faith, which were donated by Pope Gregory XVI. The Reliquary in which they are preserved was designed by Pugin.
Masses will be organised by the Order in Scotland on a regular basis.  The first took place on the evening before the Edinburgh Ball, Friday, 13th April, the feast of Pope S Martin I.

The Mass was celebrated by Father Scott Deeley, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, beautifully served by Companions, in the presence of Fra' Ian Scott, Grand Prior.   Father Deeley will be joining the Order on Saint John's Day this year.  Liam Devlin played the organ, and was responsible for the excellent music. The suitably grand recessional was Jeremiah Clarke's Trumpet Voluntary.

The Mass was followed by a wonderfully organised reception in the Library, under the able direction of Mrs Mark Hamid. Many members of the Order, Companions and friends were present, including a very young member, whose family had travelled from Wick. The photograph shows her receiving a medal from Peter McCann, at the reception which followed in the Library. The photographs were very kindly taken by Scottish Companion Uilliam ÓhAicéad.

A convivial Dinner followed, attended by Monsignor Burke, who had regrettably been prevented from arriving in time for the Mass.

It is to be hoped that members will continue to support these Scottish Masses in ever growing numbers.

REMINDER - APPEAL!!! DONATE FOR CANDELABRA FOR THE BLESSED SACRAMENT!

U P D A T E!
We are re-posting below this Appeal, with sincere thanks to those Readers who have already contributed so generously.  The Appeal has still a little way to go to reach its target, and we ask you again to be generous.  Fr.Z's blog was very successful in raising £5,000 for a Blessed Sacrament canopy for this same church of Corpus Christi, so let no-one say that our Readers are less willing to share in honour of the Blessed Sacrament!

Come on! Do it NOW!

The Church of CORPUS CHRISTI, MAIDEN LANE, near Covent Garden in London, the first church in England to be dedicated after the Restoration of the Hierarchy to the Mystery of Corpus Christi, has for the past few years been undergoing a comprehensive restoration, and is to be formally opened by His Eminence Vincent Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, on the Feast of Corpus Christi this year, Sunday 3rd June.

The Church will become a centre for adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament in the Diocese.

The Parish is seeking contributions of funds toward the purchase of a pair of English Gothic candelabra, which have come from a Catholic church, and bear the symbols of the Holy Family, Jesus Mary and Joseph, on enamel shields. It is hoped that members of the Order of Malta and Companions and Friends will contribute generously; part of our charism as an Order is the promotion of excellence in the Sacred Liturgy, as a part of our work of Tuitio Fidei, and this is a very good practical way of doing it.

They would stand either side of the High Altar and would be used for the Feast of Corpus Christi and particularly for the annual 40 Hours Devotion which is to be restored at the desire of His Eminence the Cardinal.
For those wishing to make further Lenten almsgiving, here is a good opportunity!

The Candelabra cost £6,000. Donations may be made on the Parish's special Candelabra Donations page HERE.

Those readers with blogs, Twitter or Facebook pages etc, are encouraged to disseminate this notice as widely as possible.

Should you wish to give more to the wonderful work at Corpus Christi, general donations to the Restoration Fund may be made HERE.

Benefactors are recorded in the Benefactors’ Book and are remembered at the Altar in a specific Benefactors’ Mass each month.

For those wishing to participate spiritually in the work of the Church of Corpus Christi, you may join the SODALITY OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENTvisit the website HERE. 

Adoremus in aeternum Sanctissimum Sacramentum!

FEAST OF THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Monday of Low Week is the transferred feast of the Annunciation, which fell on Palm Sunday, and thus could not be celebrated then.  Happy Feast to all our readers.
"The angel Gabriel descended in the midst of a heavenly light. The light enveloped the Virgin, and the angel was vested in a garment so bright that I can not compare him on earth. 
"When she saw the light with her own eyes, she got up and was seized with fear. Looking at the angel, she found on his face the reflection of her chastity. She was standing, in an attitude of modesty, listening, all her senses attending. 
"Then the angel greeted her and annouced to her the will of God; His words pleased the heart of the Virgin, filled her senses and set her soul on fire; however, her virginal modesty and love for God prompted her to ask for an explanation. 
"When she was instructed, she opened her heart with all good will, then knelt down and said: "I am the servant of God, that your words are fulfilled. Then the whole Trinity with the power of the Divinity, the good will of Humanity, and the nobility of the Holy Spirit penetrated his whole virginal body."
Blessed Mechtilde of Magdeburg (†1282)

The Angel of the Lord announced unto Mary !
And She conceived by the Holy Ghost !

The image shows the Annunciation by Caravaggio.

Readers may wish to revisit Fr Stephen Morrison's talk on this Mystery at the Annunciation Day Recollection last year, HERE.

EASTER GREETING FROM THE GRAND PRIOR

Dear Friends,

I write to you from Rome, where I have assisted over the last three days at the solemn ceremonies of the Easter Triduum, as I am sure many of you have all over the world. You have been in my prayers before the altar throughout these days.

In this age it is easy to lose sight of the fact that our Salvation is already assured by Christ's Sacrifice on Calvary and Resurrection. So many troubles beset us on every side. This is no less true of our own beloved Order of Malta.

But these holy days show us that the Battle is won — Hell’s armies flee. I am grateful to our Chaplain for his insightful mediations which we have been privileged to read during Holy Week. All we need to do is to keep the Faith, and we are thereby collaborating with the Risen Christ in our own Salvation. But we are also collaborating in the Salvation of our fellow men, because we are all brothers within the Church which He founded on Maundy Thursday, and which he entrusted from the Cross to the maternal care of Mary, Mother of the Church - "Son, behold thy Mother". 

Let us ask Her prayers, the prayers of Our Lady of Philermo, that all of us in the Order of Malta, and all of you who pray together and work for the Poor within our great Order family, may never waver from the path we have been shown over these last few days.

A very Happy Easter to you all.

Fra' Ian Scott
Grand Prior

The picture above shows the Resurrection, by a follower of Caravaggio, around 1600, possibly Francesco Boneri, knows as 'Cecco del Caravaggio'. It is housed in the Art Institute of Chicago.

HOLY SATURDAY REFLECTION

THE EASTER VIGIL

THE LITURGY in the form revised by Pope Pius XII in the 1950’s re-introduced the time of an evening celebration, begun after dark on Holy Saturday evening. This is considered by some –incorrectly- to be the most popular time of the celebration for the ancients.  The missal indicates that the Church in Rome where this liturgy was customarily celebrated was that of St John Lateran. This great basilica was previously known as the Basilica of our Saviour and is the mother church of all Christendom. It was the first great public place of Christian worship specifically built as such in the fourth century by the Emperor Constantine. There it was that in the centuries following the end of the early persecutions of Christians, the new Roman converts were publicly baptised and initiated into the mysteries of the Church. Submerged in the water three times, in memory of the three days of Christ in the tomb, they emerged as new members of His Church. They had symbolically died to sin to be brought back to new life with Him.

THE liturgy of this night is the richest and the most lengthy of all the great ceremonies of this week. It begins in darkness and ends in light. This darkness is symbolic as well as real. The light in this case is not natural but is the illumination of faith, signified by a lighted candle. We have been led out of the bondage of ignorance and slavery to sin to the light of truth and the freedom of the children of God. This is nothing less than an expression in visible symbols of what has happened to us in baptism. In the early centuries, as we know from study and research, the ceremonies of baptism usually occurred during this celebration and were an essential part of it. All the great themes of the struggle against evil, and death its elder child, are apparent in the rites and prayers in use in this liturgy. This evening, I would just like briefly to mention something about the presumed origin of some of the rites and symbols associated with this liturgy. I am indebted to the works of Dr Heinrich Kellner, Heortology, A History of Christian Festivals and Mgr Louis Duchesne, Christian Worship, both written in the first decade of the 20th century, for most of these details.

THE very first part of the Vigil, the blessing of the new fire, was unknown in ancient Rome. Kellner says it originated in Germany, where it was known as the “Osterfeuer” and it was introduced into Rome by Pope Leo IV (847-855).  Duchesne however, maintains that it came from the British Isles. From there it was brought to  Germany by the British and Irish monks who were evangelists there in the eight century. This is certainly more likely, for the ancient Celts are renowned for their particular devotion to fires in their pagan rites.  The Easter fires were always new and lit from new flints. Rome had its own version of the new fire. On Maundy Thursday, all the old oil from the church lamps in the Lateran Basilica was collected into three large vessels containing wicks, which were placed in the corner of the church. From these vessels all the candles and other lights used at the Easter Vigil were lighted. The ceremony of taking the light from these vessels was always solemn, being done at the Pope’s order by a bishop or a priest.

GOOD FRIDAY REFLECTION

LAST NIGHT we went in spirit to the Garden to keep vigil with the Lord in His agony. On that same night, in the first Holy Week, he was taken by force, abandoned by most of His friends and dragged before the Sanhedrin. It is to the Gospels that we turn for the recorded details of that night. They convey enough of the scene for us to envisage the worst that occurred. Our imagination may do the rest. We can also look more deeply into the account and put together from other sources what is not immediately available in that narrative. 

THE betrayal itself was done with a kiss. John’s Gospel –the one that we shall hear today- does not mention this. He desires more to show the voluntary and majestic manner of Jesus in the moment of His arrest. The other Gospels speak in Greek of the kataphilein: it was a kiss of the tender, loving kind by which Judas betrayed the Master.  The trial of Jesus –if we may so describe it- before the Sanhedrin and Pilate, is given in its outline by the Gospels with Luke adding the extra detail of a trial before King Herod. If we understand something of the custom of Jewish trials of the time, we shall observe how far short of justice this one fell.

MAUNDY THURSDAY II - EVENING REFLECTION



MANDATUM NOVUM DO VOBIS

THE Missa in Coena Domini commemorates and recreates Our Blessed Lord’s last communal action with his beloved Disciples. We gather in symbolic and ceremonial action in the church, which for this occasion becomes as it were, the Cenacle in Jerusalem. Here, the intimacy between us and our Divine Lord is both poignant, because it also involves remembrance of betrayal, and also precious, because we celebrate the institution of the Priesthood, The Mass, and the reality of His abiding presence in the Sacrament of the Altar.  The heart and mind of each person participating in the liturgy should be focused on the Person of the Lord in a more profound and penetrating spirit of gratitude and sorrow for past neglect. The custom of an evening Mass, specifically to celebrate the institution of Priesthood and the Holy Eucharist developed in consequence of the earlier morning liturgy being primarily one of reconciling public penitents and later the Blessing of the Holy Oils. The celebration of evening Mass of the Mandatum and the rituals associated with it that have been handed on to us are the accumulation over time of the piety and liturgical traditions of centuries of developing faith and ceremonial.

THERE are some ancient customs associated with this Mass that have now fallen out of use. Unusually during the early centuries of the Church – and certainly in the fourth century as described by St Augustine - the Mass followed a festal supper and the normal fast before Holy Communion was suspended. It was also the custom — as it ideally should be still — for no individual Masses to be offered on this day, but for the clergy to communicate together at the Mandatum. White vestments or cloth of gold are now the order of the day but there are early indications that green vestments for this Mass have also been used before the early Middle Ages. A recent study by Giovanni Scarabelli on the cult and devotion of the Order of Malta, drawn from archives in the National Library of Malta provide us with many valuable insights into our former customs.  According to the rites and customs of the Order in its long history of Conventual life, the celebration of the Maundy liturgy was to be carried out with the scrupulous attention to detail and arrangement of accessories and wearing the most precious vestments. The altar ornaments were always to be of silver. In accordance with a papal decree, from 1363 until 1770, the Bull “In Coena Domini” of Pope Urban V, listing all the censures incurring instant excommunication and reserved to the Pope for absolution, was decreed by the Holy See to be read at the Missa in Coena Domini, following the Credo. The Order faithfully observed this custom during the time it was in force. The list of censures was revised several times during the centuries, eventually extending from five to twenty, and including among other items “Hindering the supply of the exportation of food and other commodities to the Roman court; The supply of arms and weapons to Saracens or Turks” and “violence done the Cardinals, Legates or Nuncios.” After a storm of protest grew from various bad Catholic rulers in the 18th century, Pope Clement XIV –famous for his Trevi Fountain initiative - did not abolish the bull but quietly removed the order to publish it. It was eventually abrogated by Pope Pius IX.

MAUNDY THURSDAY I - MORNING REFLECTION

POPE BENEDICT XVI, while still Cardinal Ratzinger, makes the point in his book The Spirit of the Liturgy that the Exodus from Egypt of the Chosen People is inseparably linked to worship. It is not primarily about a land to live in, but a permanent place in which to render appropriate homage to God according to His own mandates. Every time Moses confronts Pharaoh with God’s demand to “let my people go”; it is always followed by this reason:  that they may sacrifice, or make a feast to Him in the wilderness. (Ex. 5-10) When they have reached it, the supremacy of that aspect of this covenant is emphasised. The Book of Exodus itself devotes six chapters (Ex. 35-40) to liturgical prescriptions. The essence of the Passover is therefore indisputably liturgical. It is so in a sacrificial sense.

THE post-Exodus worship has been described by Archbishop Fulton Sheen as “A veritable haemorrhage of blood”. It was in and through the shedding of blood — the blood of the Passover lambs — that the Jews achieved deliverance. Later, in the land where they came to dwell, they continued to acknowledge this and rendered appropriate homage to God whose power had saved them. It signified both absolute dependence and obedience. The only true title deed to the territory they came to possess rested in their fulfilment of those rituals of worship commanded in their sacred writings. In the course of time a designated permanent sanctuary and a system of priesthood came into existence. The synagogue services carried on throughout Israel, Judea and the Jewish Diaspora in the first century AD had begun only in the 6th century BC. That was the time of the exile in Babylon, when there was no Temple and therefore no sacrifices. The synagogue services continued when they came back to the Promised Land.  But they were always secondary and in addition to what was happening in the Temple. By the time of Our Lord, this was still very much the case.

PALM SUNDAY REFLECTION

CRUCIFIED AND CROWNED
  
IS THERE ANYONE who has not felt betrayed or wounded by a relative or friend at some time? If we have, can we recall what our feelings were at that time? Perhaps we can; very easily. Maybe because the hurt has never really gone away and we have not yet forgiven the person responsible. If we think that those who have wronged us have a case to answer, what about all the offences committed against God and against His justice and goodness? Day after day, on our screens and in our papers, crimes against humanity and the blasphemies against God and His holy ones confront us and condemn those responsible. 

BLASPHEMERS will say that if there is a God He should have better things to do than feel offended. They say this unaware that every beat of their hearts is a work of His love. Unrepentant evil-doers defy God and pile on crime upon crime unmindful of the consequences and heedless of the thought of judgement. Millions, who should be in church each week and will hardly enter it on Easter Sunday, will instead trace their steps to the exclusive pursuit of pleasure in all its forms, hardly sparing a thought for the welfare of their souls. 

SHOULD we take refuge in cynicism and indifference because of all this? Though there have been times when our society was less fractured and less steeped in materialism, there has always been in some other parts of the world, a framework of oppression or of heathen systems of social engagement. Centuries ago, while Europe was enjoying a golden age of faith, there was savagery on other continents. But it was unknown to most in Europe. Now, the distribution of communication and technology makes it possible for us to see instantly the misery of others and challenges both our faith in God as well as our obsession with our own convenience. It is hard to be a Christian now but Calvary can help us to make sense of the confusion.

HOLY WEEK MEDITATIONS

With heartfelt thanks to the Chaplain of the Grand Priory, Dr Antony Conlon, we are presenting this Holy Week a series of Spiritual Reflections to allow members of the Order to make a person retreat, on Palm Sunday, and on the three days of the Sacred Triduum.  Many of us do not have the advantage of being in places where much spiritual food is available in our parishes, and it is for these people that the Grand Priory exists to assist in their fully participation in the Mysteries of our Salvation.

The talks were first delivered as part of the Triduum Retreats which in earlier terms were held, of high successive years, at our Conventual Church in St John's Wood.  (The editor has made only modest revisions, such as updating references to the then Cardinal Ratzinger, but readers are to accept them both as having been prepared a decade ago, and as being written to be read aloud.)

Let us make the most of these three days which hurry past us in the twinkling of an eye, and come to the joy of the Resurrection fully prepared by the fasts and spiritual practices of a good Lent well-lived.

The posts will come up early in the morning of each of the days.

On the evening of Spy Wednesday, 28th March, there is a monthly Conventual Mass, at 7pm at Spanish Place.  This is a good opportunity to begin the last great days of Holy Week together, even if we are then to all go our separate ways.



CHATEAUBRIAND GOES TO CONFESSION

François-René de Chateaubriand, the late 18th Century French writer, politician and bon-viveur, and a Knight of our Beloved Order, recounts the joyful experience of his First Confession, which will be a good reminder to many of us this Lent, especially perhaps our young members on Retreat in Walsingham this weekend, to avail ourselves fully of this great gift of the Church, to the protection and exaltation of our eternal souls.  Do not be afraid of Confession!
The schoolboy Chateaubriand is being prepared for his first confession by a severe-looking priest, “a man of fifty with a stern appearance” (in Robert Baldick’s translation). Having read a frightening book about the eternal fate of those who hide their sins in the confessional, the young lad grows unbearably anxious. When the day comes, he is shaking with fear and scarcely able to stammer out his sins. Then the priest prepares to say the words of absolution. 
If Heaven had shot a thunderbolt at me, it would have caused me less dread. I cried: 
“I have not confessed everything!”  
This awe-inspiring judge, this delegate of the Supreme Arbiter, whose face filled me with such fear, became the tenderest of shepherds. He clasped me in his arms and burst into tears.  
“Come now, dear child,” he said, “Courage!”
It was, Chateaubriand recalled, an instant of supreme happiness, like a mountain lifting from him: “I shall never experience a like moment in the whole of my life.”
We are grateful to the inimitable Father Zulzdorf for this quotation.

The illustration above, of Chateaubriand's entry into our Order, as the quotation, come from his autobiography, Mémoires d´outre-tombe (1841).  The illustration, oddly, shows what appears to be a rite of tonsure, but in a lay context.  This is not the subject of this post but someone might wish to look into it.

FEAST OF THE SEVEN SORROWS OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

This last Friday of the Lenten season, the Friday in Passion Week, was celebrated widely (and remains a Commemoration) as the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady, she who felt the pains of the Passion more than any other creature.  She it was who watched in silence as the Lord underwent these agonising trial for us, for our Salvation, for me, and for you.
From the sermon "On the Twelve Stars" by St Bernard of Clairvaux
The martyrdom of the Virgin is set before us both in the prophesy of Simeon and in the story of Our Lord's Passion. The saintly old man had said of the child Jesus, "Behold this child is destined as a sign that shall be contradicted." To Mary he said, "And your own soul a sword shall pierce." Yes, truly, O Blessed Mother, the sword pierced your soul. Only by passing through your soul could it penetrate the Body of your Son, When Jesus your Son had given up his spirit, when the cruel spear which pierced his side could no longer touch his soul, it transfixed yours. His soul was no longer there. Yours was. It could not be torn away. The sword of sorrow did indeed  pierce your soul. 

We call you more than martyr because your love, which made you suffer with your Son, brought pain of soul far more exquisite than any pain of body. "Woman behold your Son."  Was not this word of your Son more piercing that any sword as it thrust in and cut apart soul and spirit? O what an exchange! You are given John for Jesus, the servant for the Lord, the disciple for the Master, the son of Zebedee for the Son of God, mere man for very God. How keenly these words must have pierced your loving soul! Mere remembrance of them can wring with sorrow our hard steely hearts. 

Do not wonder, my brethren, that Mary is said to be martyred in spirit. He only may wonder who has forgotten the words of the Apostle Paul. When he wrote of the sins of the Gentiles he placed among their greatest that they were without affection. Such want of affection was far from Mary's heart. O may it be equally far for those of her servants! Do some people comment, "But she must have known beforehand that He was going to die." Yes, she knew it. "Had she no hope that He would soon rise again?" Yes, she had hope; she had absolute faith. "Did she in spite of this mourn for her crucified Son?" Yes, and deeply. Who are you, my brother? What kind of wisdom is yours? Do you marvel less that the Son of Mary suffered than that Mary suffered with Him? He could die in body. Could she not die with Him in her heart? His death was brought about by a love greater than any man has; hers by a love no other mortal ever had, except she. Tu autem, Domine, miserere nobis.
CUM VIDISSET Jesus Matrem stantem juxta crucem, et discipulum quem diligebat, dicit Matri suae : Mulier, ecce filius tuus. Deinde dicit discipulo : Ecce mater tua.  
V. Ora pro nobis, Virgo dolorisissima. 
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.  
Oremus. DEUS in cujus passione, secundum Simeonis prophetiam, dulcissimam animam gloriosae Virginis et Matris Mariae doloris gladius pertransivit : concede propitius ; ut qui transfixionem ejus et passionem venerando recolimus, gloriosis meritis et precibus omnium sanctorum cruci fideliter astantium intercedentibus, passionis tuae effectum felicem consequamur. Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

FATHER NICHOLAS KAVANAGH RIP

Of your Charity please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Nicholas Kavanagh, who died this morning at 3.20 am, following a long illness, fortified by the Rites of Holy Mother Church.

Father Kavanagh had been resident at St James's Spanish Place for many years, and was a friend to many members of the Order.  He was a Chaplain of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.

Requiescat in pace. 

UPDATE — THE FUNERAL ARRANGEMENT ARE THUS:

Father Kavanagh’s body will be brought to St James's Spanish Place church at 5pm on Tuesday. 
The 6 o’clock Mass that evening will be offered for him. 
On Wednesday (28th) Cardinal Nichols will celebrate the Funeral Mass at the church at 11am.

APPEAL!!! DONATE FOR CANDELABRA FOR THE BLESSED SACRAMENT!

The Church of CORPUS CHRISTI, MAIDEN LANE, near Covent Garden in London, the first church in England to be dedicated after the Restoration of the Hierarchy to the Mystery of Corpus Christi, has for the past few years been undergoing a comprehensive restoration, and is to be formally opened by His Eminence Vincent Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, on the Feast of Corpus Christi this year, Sunday 3rd June.

The Church will become a centre for adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament in the Diocese.

The Parish is seeking contributions of funds toward the purchase of a pair of English Gothic candelabra, which have come from a Catholic church, and bear the symbols of the Holy Family, Jesus Mary and Joseph, on enamel shields. It is hoped that members of the Order of Malta and Companions and Friends will contribute generously; part of our charism as an Order is the promotion of excellence in the Sacred Liturgy, as a part of our work of Tuitio Fidei, and this is a very good practical way of doing it.

They would stand either side of the High Altar and would be used for the Feast of Corpus Christi and particularly for the annual 40 Hours Devotion which is to be restored at the desire of His Eminence the Cardinal.
For those wishing to make further Lenten almsgiving, here is a good opportunity!

The Candelabra cost £6,000. Donations may be made on the Parish's special Candelabra Donations page HERE.

Those readers with blogs, Twitter or Facebook pages etc, are encouraged to disseminate this notice as widely as possible.

Should you wish to give more to the wonderful work at Corpus Christi, general donations to the Restoration Fund may be made HERE.

Benefactors are recorded in the Benefactors’ Book and are remembered at the Altar in a specific Benefactors’ Mass each month.

For those wishing to participate spiritually in the work of the Church of Corpus Christi, you may join the SODALITY OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT, visit the website HERE. 

Adoremus in aeternum Sanctissimum Sacramentum!

THE FEAST OF SAINT PATRICK

A legionary wearing
the Lorica Segmentata
Today we celebrate a home-grown British missionary saint, a cause of great joy. As a young man Patrick was sent away to study in Paris, and received a very powerful vocation from Almighty God to be a messenger of Christ to the people of Ireland. He spent his life in the service of God and of the Irish people and built a community of Faith which was once called the land of saints and scholars.

In his mystical writings we count the Breastplate, or "Lorica", which is also the word used for the incantations used by Roman soldiers going into battle, as we should use this prayer going into our spiritual warfare of Obsequium Pauperum et Tuitio Fidei. This famous prayer is a gift to the whole Church. 

Fr Z has a lovely post HERE, giving the text in both Latin and English, and a 'podcast' which you may listen to HERE. We are very grateful to him.

St Patrick, pray for us.

FEAST OF THE MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD

This, the Friday after the IV Sunday of Lent, the last Friday before Passiontide, when all these sacred devotions will come together for our Salvation, was celebrated in many places as the Feast of the Most Precious Blood.  The Mass and Office is the same as that of the universal feast celebrated on the 1st July.
Caravaggio - the Burial of the Christ
ERIT sanguis Agni vobis in signum, dicit Dominus : et videbo sanguinem, et transibo vos, non erit in vobis plaga disburdens. 
V. Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni. 
R. Quos pretioso sanguine redemisti. 
Oremus.OMNIPOTENS sempiterne Deus, qui unigenitum Filium tuum mundi Redemptorem constituisti. ac ejus sanguine placari voluisti : concede, quaesumus, salutis nostrae pretium solemni cultu ita venerari, atque a presentis vitae malis ejus virtute defendi in terris ; ut fructu perpetuo laetemur in coelis. Per eundem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Let us renew our prayers, this last Friday, for the wellbeing of our holy Order, and for the strength in a time of trial for our beloved Religious members, who through all their human frailty, have dedicated their lives to our sanctification.

Let us place in God's saving hands especially the constitutional reform of our Order taking place at this time, and ask him not to forget the graces merited by so many of our predecessors over the last 900 years, but to renew us in strength, for our sanctification, and for the glory of His Redeeming Son whom we serve in Our Lords the Poor.

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee. 
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

UPDATE - ROSARY on the COAST - SUNDAY 29 APRIL

Following our recent post HERE, we can confirm that the Order of Malta will be organising a group to pray the ROSARY on the COAST together on Sunday 29th April at 3pm.

Provisionally the location for those in or near London, led by the Grand Priory, will be near Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, which is an easy journey from London by train, and from Essex and Kent. More information will appear on this blog, and a Facebook group will be set up soon. We shall hopefully all meet up for a jolly lunch by the sea first, there are some fine fish restaurants in Old Leigh, a Roman fishing village.  Keep following us for details.

More general information may be had from the Rosary organisers' website, HERE, where those of you who are unable to join the Malta London group can join other groups or set up your own.  There is an interactive map. We would, however, ask that wherever you go, you do so visibly as a Member or Companion of the Order of Malta, or OMV. Our common witness is important; this is Tuitio Fidei.

Monsignor Armitage, one of our chaplains in the Order, and Rector of the National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham, presents a video about this wonderful witness. The picture of Monsignore saying the rosary quietly in the snow in the Shrine grounds is very moving. Pray for him too.
Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us
Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us
Our Lady of Philermo, pray for us


REPORT ON LENTEN EVENING OF RECOLLECTION

The Lenten Evening was given last Wednesday by Father David Howell in the beautiful Lady Chapel of St James's Spanish Place, to many members of the Order and Companions.

The evening began, with sung Vespers of the Little Office, and Father Howell then spoke on what Saint John the Baptist offers us for Lent by way of guidance in prayer, fasting and almsgiving. He spoke of Fraternal Correction as a form of Almsgiving, which links in with the Order's understanding of the inseparable nature of Tuitio Fidei and Obsequium Pauperum. John the Baptist listened to God's call and to the voice of Jesus which gave him joy, even during his imprisonment when his faith was wavering. He fasted as a way to hunger for the Messiah before he came and he gave alms (charity) in a refined way: by gently correcting Herod, so gently that Herod was even "glad to listen to him" afterwards, and by pointing out Jesus to others by his preaching and the example of his sufferings which foreshadowed the Passion of the Lord. The evening closed with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

We are very grateful to Father Howell for his insights, and hope in due course to be able to bring our readers a further mediation on this subject.  He spoke from notes on the evening, so we do not have a transcript.

St John the Baptist, pray for us.

FEAST OF THE FIVE HOLY WOUNDS

This feast, once so precious in our own country, was celebrated in many places until recently on the Friday after the third Sunday of Lent.
The Tudor banner of the Five Holy Wounds, under which our
countrymen gave their lives in defence of the Faith.
EGO sum vestro redemptio : manus meae, quare vos fecerunt, clavis confixae sunt : propter vos flagelis caesus sum, spinis coronatus sum : aquam petitii pendens, et acetum porrexerunt : in escam meam fel dederunt, et in latus lanceam : mortuus et sepultus, resurrexi : vobiscum sum, et vivo in aeternum.
V. Viderunt in quem tranfixerunt.

R. Et dolebant super eum, ut in morte primogeniti.
Oremus. DEUS, qui unigeniti Filii tui passione, et per quinque Vulnera ejus sanguinis effusione, humanum naturam peccato perditam reparasti : trubue nobis, quaesumus ; ut qui ab eo in suscepta Vulnera veneramur in terris, ejusdem pretiosissimi sanguinis fructum consequi mereamur in coelis. Per eundem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Let us continue to pray especially this year on these Fridays of Lent, for the wellbeing of our holy Order, and for the strength in a time of trial for our beloved Religious members, who through all their human frailty, have dedicated their lives to our sanctification. 

Let us all pray on this day for our country of England, that by His Holy Wounds, Christ may free those in authority from the promotion of all injustice and evil, that his reign may once again be established within our shores.

NOTICE – LENTEN EVENING OF RECOLLECTION – WEDS 7 MARCH

Our Lenten Evening of Recollection will take place on Wednesday 7th March, beginning at 7pm. Through the kindness of the Rector, our confrère Father Christopher Colven, it will be held in the Lady Chapel of St James’s Church, Spanish Place. 

The evening will be led by the Reverend Father David Howell, assistant priest at Corpus Christi, Brixton Hill. Fr Howell was ordained in July 2016, and is known to a number of us through Oxford and OMV connections. The evening will begin with Vespers, followed by a Lenten Reflection given by Fr Howell, and will conclude with Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. 

As ever, everyone is welcome: ALL members of BASMOM, other members of the Order in Britain, Companions and guests. 

St James’s Spanish Place is at 22 George Street, London, W1U 3QY – north of Manchester Square, behind the Wallace Collection.

There will be drinks in the Rectory afterwards, and a contribution of £10 per head (£5 for younger attendees) will be invited to cover the expenses of the evening.

FEAST OF THE MOST HOLY SHROUD OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

This week it was the custom in many places on the Friday after the Second Sunday of Lent to celebrate the Feast of the Holy Shroud in which Our Blessed Lord was wrapped in the Tomb.
The Holy Shroud, which is kept in Turin
JOPEPH, nobilis decurio, expectans et ipse regnum Dei, mercatus est sindonem, et deponens corpsu Jesu, involvit illud in sindone.
V. Tuam sindonem veneramur Domine.

R. Tuam recolimus passionem.
Oremus. DEUS, qui in nobis sancta Sindone, qua corpus tuum sacratissimume cruce depositum a Joseph involutum fuit, passionis tuae vestigia reliquisti : concede priopitius ; ut per mortem et sepulturam tuam, as ressuretionis gloriam perducamur. Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
It is never too late to begin our Lenten observances, so if you have not joined us on the previous two Fridays, please pray this week, as we are on the Fridays of Lent, for the wellbeing of our holy Order, and for the strength in a time of trial for our beloved Religious members, who through all their human frailty, have dedicated their lives to our sanctification. 

REMINDER - MONTHLY MASS

It is Lent – it is good to go to daily Mass whenever one can, and especially in this holy season, but it is also good to go to Mass together. Catholics are not just individuals, but form a community; Members of the Order of Malta form a specific community, so it is good to do things in common.  For that reason, these Masses are arranged. 

Wednesday 28th February, the Conventual Mass, of the Lenten feria, will be sung in the Lady Chapel of St James’s, Spanish Place at 7pm by Father David Irwin, Conventual Chaplain ad honoremto whom we are very grateful.

FEAST OF THE MOST HOLY LANCE AND THE NAILS

The second Friday of the season of Lent, Friday after the first Sunday, was in many places celebrated as the Feast of the Holy Lance and the Nails of Our Lord's Passion.
The Lance and Nails on a stola of the Professed of our Order,
showing also the Crown of Thorns from last Friday's feast.
VERE languores nostros ipse tulit, et dolores nostros ipse portavit : et nos putavimus eum quasi leprosum, et percussum a Deo, et humiliatum. 
V. Foderunt manus meas et pedes meos.

R. Dinimeraverunt omnia ossa mea. 
Oremus. DEUS, qui in assumptae carnis infirmitate, clavis affigi et lancea vulnerari pro mundi saluti voluisti : concede propitius : ut qui eorumdem clavorum et lanceae solemnia veneramur in terris, de glorioso victoriae tuae triumpho gratulemur in coelis. Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Let us continue to pray, on the Fridays of Lent, for the wellbeing of our holy Order, and for the strength in a time of trial for our beloved Religious members, who through all their human frailty, have dedicated their lives to our sanctification.

POSTSCRIPTUM
We have been asked the whereabouts of these holy Relics.  The relic venerated as the Holy Lance is now kept in Vienna, having for a millennium been in the care of Holy Roman Emperors. The reliquary contains also one of the Holy Nails, the latter has been authenticated as 1st century Roman.  Other Nail relics are variously in Rome, in Trier, in Milan, in the Holy Crown of Lombardy and elsewhere.  All may be truly venerated as relics of Our Lord's Passion, even though there are too many.  This is no cause of scandal or humour, but a refection of the genuine piety of our predecessors.  We must not lose sight of the fact that in our own Order we legitimate may venerate three heads of our holy Patron.

DAY OF RECOLLECTION and MONTHLY CONVENTUAL MASS

This Saturday provides an opportunity for us all to attend Mass on the Ember Saturday, also the Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle, with the Order's monthly Day of Recollection at the Little Oratory.  Next Wednesday, 28th February, is the Monthly Mass at St James's Spanish Place.  See below for details of each.

MONTHLY DAY OF RECOLLECTION
 
The February Day of Recollection will take place on Saturday 24th February at the London Oratory.  Through the kindness of the Oratory Fathers, Lauds, Mass, Vespers and Benediction, and the Spiritual Conferences will take place in the Little Oratory; lunch will take place upstairs, in St Wilfrid’s Hall. The day will be led by Fr Ronald Creighton-Jobe of the London Oratory, a chaplain of the Order since 1995, and well known to most through his long involvement in the life of the Order.
  
As ever, everyone is welcome: ALL members of BASMOM, other members of the Order in Britain, Companions and guests.

HORARIUM

10:30am

Lauds (choir dress for Members of the Order)
11am

First Spiritual Conference followed by Confessions and the recitation of the Rosary.
12 noon

Mass (choir dress)
1.15pm

Lunch
2pm

Second Spiritual Conference
3:15pm

Vespers, and Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament (choir dress)

No formal arrangements will be made for lunch.  For those who wish to bring something with them, we will ‘picnic’ in St Wilfrid’s Hall.  Feel free to bring things to eat and drink which may be shared, bearing in mind that this is for many people a fast day.  Some may wish to go to a local hostelry.  The day will resume with the second Spiritual Conference promptly at 2pm.  A donation of £10 per head will be asked for on the day, to cover the costs of the clergy.

MONTHLY MASS

Wednesday 28th February, the Conventual Mass, of the Lenten feria, will be sung in the Lady Chapel of St James’s, Spanish Place at 7pm by Father David Irwin (correction) to whom we are very grateful.