“The only worthwhile striving is after the highest ideals: If you aim for an easy target, your standard will inevitably decline, and no progress is ever made, except through real effort and real suffering.” - Servant of God Fra' Andrew Bertie

RECENT POSTS

FILM - NO GREATER LOVE


This week sees the release in London of a new film of the life of the Carmelite Monastery in Notting Hill, a short journey from the Conventual Church, and probably well known to many of us.  The title is "No Greater Love".  

The film is a spiritual meditation, in much the same way as the 2005 film "Into Great Silence", which received such wide and unexpected audiences.

Bishop George Stack has written a excellent review of this haunting film of the silent life of the Carmel on the Diocesan website, which you may read here.  Further details may be found here, and on the official website,  www.nogreaterlove.co.uk

You are warmly encouraged to go to see this film, which has limited releases this month, check details on the website: www.nogreaterlove.co.uk

OXFORD MEETING OF THE PROFESSED

Professed members of the Order of Malta (those who have taken religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience) met for an international conference last weekend, Low Sunday, at Merton College Oxford, in the presence of His Most Eminent Highness the Prince and Grand Master.  The Prelate of the Order, Archbishop Acerbi, and members of Sovereign Council were also present.

The liturgy and music were provided by the resources of our Conventual Church, and celebrated by the Prelate and Chaplains of the Order from various countries.

On the final day, Sunday Mass was celebrated by Bishop Kenney, auxiliary of Birmingham.

The new icon of Our Lady of Philermo (photographed above on the College's 14th Century lectern), a full-size copy of the original icon, the work of a icon-painter in Bulgaria, and an anonymous gift to the Grand Priory for the Conventual Church in London, was blessed before Mass on Friday by Monsignor Acerbi.

Photographs of the weekend may be found at the links below, courtesy of James Bradley and Serge de Radzitzky, to whom we are extremely grateful.

1) Friday's Pontifical Mass in the Ordinary Form.
2) Saturday's High Mass in the presence of the Greater Prelates.
3) General photographs of the College, the participants and activities.

Please continue to pray for Fra' Fredrik Crichton-Stuart, Grand Prior, who had arranged this event, and whose health prevented his attending.

TRIDUUM REPORT - EASTER VIGIL

The last day of our Easter retreat, the glorious culmination of the solemn celebration of the Passion, as we celebrate our Salvation in the dark of the night with Our Blessed Lord's Resurrection in the first hours of Easter Day.

We are very grateful to the several people who took the photographs which form the reports of the past four posts upon the Triduum ceremonies.  Remember also to scroll down to the short video clip of the Vigil, or click here; we are told there are some others, and they will be added to that post in due course.
The church awaits
"Exultet iam Angelica turba Caelorum..."
During the Responsories
Litanies
Renewal of Baptismal Promises
The Gospel
The Offertory
Elevation of the Chalice
Censing the altars during the Benedictus of Lauds
-----::-----
Surrexit Dominus vere, Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

TRIDUUM REPORT - SOLEMN LITURGY OF GOOD FRIDAY

Procession to the Church
Entry of the Sacred Ministers
Prostration
First Reading
Knights on Choir
Chanting of the Passion
The Solemn Prayers
"Ecce Lignum Crucis"
Holy Communion procession from the Altar of Repose
"Ecce Agnus Dei"
Final prayers

TRIDUUM REPORT - TENEBRAE OF GOOD FRIDAY

The office of Matins and Lauds, which is by ancient tradition conjoined on these three sacred days into the office known as 'Tenebrae', or 'shadows', a word rich in symbolism, reflecting both the nocturnal hour at which it was customarily chanted, the gradual extinguishing of the lights, and the sadness and desolation of Creation during these days of Our Lord's Passion, was sung in choir on the three days.  Images of the Office of Good Friday are below.

The candles of the hearse, one for each of 14 psalms, are extinguished during the repeat of each antiphon.  During the Benedictus on Thursday and Saturday (on Friday the altar is bare) the altar candles are gradually put out. The term 'hearse' survives in the modern church to describe this sloping candlestick, and refers to the similar shaped stands which were customarily used for the many candles placed around the coffin at funerals until the 19th century.
The Office begins with the first Antiphon
Psalms in choir
Extinguishing a candle on the hearse
The Schola
Lamentation

HOLY EASTER TRIDUUM REPORT - MAUNDY THURSDAY

The Sacred Triduum was celebrated in the Conventual Church in the Extraordinary Form.  Below are photographs of the Mass of the Lord's Supper.  The celebrant is the Principal Chaplain to the Grand Priory, Msgr Antony Conlon, with Dr Lawrence Hemming, deacon, and Fr Gareth Jones, Subdeacon.
The Church prepared
Introit: Prayers at the foot of the Altar
"Gloria in Excelsis Deo"
At the Offertory
Elevation of the Chalice
Procession of the Blessed Sacrament
"Pange, lingua, gloriosi Corporis mysterium"
At the Altar of Repose

PRAYERS FOR POLAND


AN INTERNATIONAL ASPECT TO SUNDAY MASS AT THE CONVENTUAL CHURCH
It is a well-known fact that ours is an international Order with 46 National Associations, 5 Grand Priories and 6 Sub Priories across the world.

This was brought home to us in a special way at the Sunday Mass yesterday when we were joined by two Polish confreres who sat in choir.  They had come to the Conventual Church as members of the Order to pray for the souls of those of their countrymen including their country’s President who had been killed the day before in the Katin air crash.  Not only that, they said, but also to support their British confreres in their Conventual Church and to pray for the patients in the Hospital and Hospice.  

We were delighted to have them with us even in such sad circumstances and their witness to Tuitio Fidei was inspirational.  We especially remember the people of Poland at this time and those whose lives were lost and assure them of our prayers.  

Requiescant in pace.
Our Lady of Częstochowa, pray for them.
Our Lady of Philermo, pray for them.

SURREXIT DOMINUS VERE, ALLELUIA!

Sincere and holy good wishes of Easter to all.

Images of the Scared Liturgies of the Triduum will be posted in due course.

In the meantime, here is a short video clip from the Offertory of the Easter Vigil in the Conventual Church, with the Principal Chaplain, Mgr Antony Conlon, as celebrant. The music is Taverner's 'Dum Transisset Sabbatum'.