Thursday, 6 August 2009

The Norbertines



Fr Hugh (3rd in from the left) came to visit St Mary Magdalen's yesterday and I served a low Mass for him at the Altar. I am beginning to feel more comfortable serving the Latin Mass now that I know the movements better, where to be, left or right of the Priest. I think the server is meant to always be on the Epistle side of the Altar. This time, I even remembered to lift the Priest's chasuble at the Consecration! What I did forget to do was light the candle's before Mass. Pretty basic stuff really but without a mistake here or there we don't learn.

He was kind enough to take Fr Ray and myself out for a lovely meal at a classy french restaurant on Western Road. He was very good to talk with and has an excellent sense of humour. Every now and then a Priest from another place in the UK just pops in to St Mary Magdalen and wants to say a private Latin Mass, which I think is wonderful. He told me about the Norbertines, their founder St Norbert, the history and current standing of the Order. Apparently, Fr Hugh told me, two of St Norbert's initial followers died because they couldn't hack the penance of their founder. Hardcore! Here is some info on the Norbertines. May God continue to bless Fr Hugh and the Canons of St Philip's Priory.

Click here for the St Philip's Priory, Chelmsford and here for the Norbertine Vocations Blog...



St. Norbert was born around the year 1080 in the town of Xanten near Cologne, Germany. As a small child, he was sent to be educated by the cathedral chapter of St. Victor in Xanten where he was later ordained a sub deacon and became a canon of the cathedral. It was from here that he was called into service at the court of the emperor Henry V. He soon become noted for his charm and good company which meant he was distracted by the pleasures of Court and neglected his religious life.

However, in the year 1115, Norbert was thrown from his horse and nearly killed. At that moment he heard the words of the Psalmist: “Turn away from evil and do good.” This he now desired to do with all is heart. He immediately began to live the life of a penitent and wandered the country, barefoot and dressed in sheepskin...for more click here...

4 comments:

Fr PF said...

When I learned to be an altar server nearly fifty years ago, the instruction was (if there was only one server) to kneel on the opposite side from the missal, i.e. on the celebrant's left until the Gospel, then on the right until after Communion, then on the left until the end. I think it works quite well, allowing you to follow the gestures of the celebrant; e.g. at the end of the epistle the celebrant would touch the altar with his left hand so that you knew to say 'Deo gratias' (I don't know if they do that today on the priests' training courses, or if that custom has disappeared).

The Bones said...

Yes. I believe that is right. Yesterday I was on the right towards the end and realised again I was on the wrong side of the Priest. Lesson: Never get on the wrong side of your priest!

Mind you, it might also have helped if I had put out the water, wine, lavabo and purificator ready on the table before Mass, rather than realising I hadn't done it during Mass and having to leave after the Epistle.

Next time...

Crux Fidelis said...

I had forgotten about that, Fr PF.

When I first became an altar boy at the age of eight I was the smallest of the group. One one occasion I had to serve Mass in a soutane slightly too long, the only one to fit me being at the cleaners. When it came time to move the book from the Epistle side to the Gospel side (an ordeal in itself for one so small) I stood on the hem of my soutane and tumbled down the steps. No damage done except to my pride. I suspect if this were to happen nowadays we'd have an ambulance chasing lawyer on the scene pronto.

Fr Hugh said...

Thank you serving my Mass and I didn't notice any problems - just local customs....

Hope you had a good feast day,

o.p.i.

Fr Hugh

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