I'm sure I'll sound like a complete philistine when I say that arriving in Southbourne feels like walking into Paradise, but then, having been trapped in Brighton for the past few years and not having had a holiday for ages, my expectations of what 'eyes have not seen, nor ears heard' have perhaps lowered somewhat, so, if I do actually make it into Heaven, I can say, "Good Lord! And I thought Hengistbury Head was nice!" If I end up in Hell then at least I can reflect on my memories of a more pleasant micro-climate with nicer scenery.
Anyway, I'm back now and I am heartily pleased that the Pilgrim Leader's package of passes and other Papal Visit memorabilia stuff has arrived as well, so I am glad to report that I shall be leading a trainload of Brightonians, probably with a stick, to make me feel at least a little bit like Moses (unless, that is, sticks are banned), to Hyde Park, so that we can all see the Successor of St Peter in the flesh and adore Our Blessed Lord in the Sacrament of the Altar with him, having been bombarded all day with a veritable host of 'liturgical entertainers' set to make the Royal Variety Performance guys look like a bunch of talentless amateurs. God bless 'em!
Having been back at home now for at least 20 minutes, I have seen, yes, mine eyes have seen the glory, the beatific vision that is the Altar stage for the Beatification Mass at Cofton Park. Just in case you missed it, here it is, posted on the Papal Visit 2010 website for yet more evidence, if it were needed, of the Cliff Richardisation of the Sacred Liturgy, architecture, music and direction of the Catholic Church in England and Wales dictated by the organisers of the 'V2' festival: Dated, still singing naff songs from the 70s and suffering a heartbreaking, expensive and quite bizarre obsession with cosmetics in order to appear modern and youthful in the face of an aging and dwindling fanbase that just cannot understand the urgent and pressing issues facing 21st century man.
|So modern! Altar 'Stage' for Cofton Park Beatification Mass|
Well, I've heard of 'white elephant' projects before, but I didn't think the liturgical designers would actually use the concept as a template! Presumably, just off shot on the left is the spiritual 're-birthing room' requested by the Blairs!
I wonder what the kneelers will look like? The stage designers do know that the Holy Father only gives Communion on the tongue, kneeling, don't they? They're clearly very familiar with Pope Benedict's XVI theology and heavily documented reverence for the Blessed Sacrament.
This appears to be the difference between the traditional and liberal elements in the Church. If you were to ask a liberal how he will stand at Our Lord's Glorious Second Coming, he would say, "Gosh...I don't know!" or "Second what?" or "I hope that God is merciful to me." If, on the other hand, you were to ask a traditional Catholic how he will stand at Our Lord's Glorious Second Coming, he would say, "I wouldn't stand at all. No, no! I'd definitely kneel!"
Well, enough of this carping and bitchiness over the organisation of the Beatification Mass in Cofton Park and Hyde Park by a cartel of vulgar modernists, because even torrential floods of rain and liturgical pap won't stop me from being thrilled to see the Holy Father. Also, if there is one thing that makes Saints out of us sinners it is in being terribly nice, smiling a lot and keeping absolutely schtum about heresy both inside and outside the Church, that is, according to Christina Odone, who really takes issue with the possibility that England's latest-soon-to-be-Beati will, God willing, one day be declared a fully paid up canonized Intercessory Saint in Heaven. For Heaven's sake, Christina! Nobody's perfect!