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


The annual Requiem for deceased members of the Order and benefactors took place as is customary on the last Thursday in November.  Unlike the occasion of Thanksgiving though, which fell on the same day, the purpose of the Requiem is not only to remember the dead but to pray for them.  As last year, the Formation Day for new candidates was arranged to occur on the same day, and so around fifteen candidates for the Order were also present for both the Mass and Vespers of the Dead – the latter sung by members of the Grand Priory before the beginning of Mass.

Mass was offered by Mgr Antony Conlon, Chaplain to the Grand Priory, and in his sermon Mgr Conlon contrasted the culture of “celebrity death” popularised by the tabloids, with its implicit fear of death and the almost improbable situation of anything beyond it, with the traditional Catholic understanding of death as merely the first part of our journey towards God.  We will all die one day and we will all need the prayers of those left behind as well as those of the saints in Heaven.  Both the Grand Prior and Chancellor of the Grand Priory (himself a member of the Sovereign Council) were on the Sanctuary, adding to the decorum of the occasion.

The music was provided by our friends Cantores Missae – the Dies Irae, alternating polyphony with chant, is always hauntingly prayerful and an aid to prayer.  The sanctuary party was of its usual high standard and it is good to see some new faces amongst the number – all the more so as they are mostly young and are now Companions.  Their dedication and hard work is exemplary.  To them and indeed to the Celebrant and choir we are grateful for taking time out of their busy schedules to ensure that the Requiem was celebrated in due and fitting manner.