|The Ladies' Voices of the Gregorian Schola|
The Monthly Mass on the Feast of Saint Mark was celebrated in the Extraordinary Form with fitting splendour by our chaplain Father David Irwin. Fra' Ian Scott, the Grand Prior, and Chancellor Fra' Duncan Gallie were in choir with several members of the Grand Priory and British Association, and the Mass was ably served by young Companions under the direction of our new confrere Peter Allingham, whose election to the Order was confirmed by Sovereign Council last Saturday. Many congratulations to him. This opportunity for younger members and potential candidates to join in the religious life of the Order is a very welcome development, and those, like these young men, who are involved in the hospitaller work of the Order elsewhere are strongly encouraged to attend these Masses, and complete the double charism of the Order, Obsequium Pauperem et Tuitio Fidei.
The liturgical high-point was nonetheless the truly splendid schola, Saint James's parish Gregorian Schola, who have been planning to sing for these Mass for some months, but this was the first convenient time for everyone. This skilled group, formed about 18 months ago, has undergone some quite intensive training with the monks of Solesmes, which has truly paid off. This evening the ladies' voices sung alone, quite an unusual and delightful experience, which demonstrated not only the beauty of God's gift of the voice to these singers, but the fruits of much practice. It shows what can be achieved by a relatively small number of people conformed to the mind of the Church, and is an example and challenge to parishes around the world. We look forward to hearing them again.
The Mass was followed by a reception in the Rectory dining room, courtesy of the Rector.