Monday, 29 June 2009


Oratre fratres!

I drove up to the Brompton Oratory for another fix of Mass in the Extraordinary Form on Sunday. I was right at the back of the very ornate and beautiful Church so I was unable to get an eyeful of the Sacred Vestments. Suffice to say however that they will have been splendid. It was, of course, the Feast of SS Peter and Paul. St Peter, enthroned, was dressed up to the hilt in red and gold.

The choir sang some wonderful polyphony and chant, but of course, due to the fact that the Oratory is so spacious, it is difficult for them to really fill the Church with sound. Not so much a problem, when we have a large choir, at St Mary Magdalen's Church, Brighton.

These are exciting times at BN1. Existing proposals for renovation of the building look like they will make a huge impact on an already beautiful Church. Hopefully the Church will be given the financial go-ahead to begin the work. Apparently, in the plans for the renovation, the gallery will be restored and the Choir will have its own place to sing our own Gregorian Chant, and hopefully, one day, polyphony at St Mary Magdalen's. If only more parish Churches took some leaves out of the Oratorians book on liturgy!

St Philip Neri, founder of the Oratorians, was a very inspiring Saint. He established a lay order of Little Brothers of the Oratory and had many lay men deepening their faith and bringing the Faith of Christ to many others. Who knows, perhaps one day some of the Oratorian practices will be established in the heart of Brighton. With the apostolic and liturgical efforts of a handful of Sussex priests, it is a distinct possibility...The Brighton Oratory!


Antonio said...

A post on the London Oratory but a picture of Birmingham!

Are you sure you went to the old rite? - sounds like you went to the 11am Solemn Latin Novus Ordo.

The Bones said...

You are correct on both counts!

Fr Ray told me the same yesterday!

Richard Collins said...

Laurence, try the Little Oratory, I think at 10am or St James Spanish Place at 9.30am. Both low Masses but the real EF.
London is very poorly served for EF Masses, something that, maybe, the new Archbishop may take a look at.

Antonio said...

Shepherd - the 10 am mass in the Little Oratory has now moved to the high altar at 9am. Thank goodness too, as I thought it was a bit undignified to keep the mass hidden away as if it were some "naughty mass" but the old 10am in the Little Oratory, 9.30 am at Spanish Place and Monday 6.30pm at Maiden Lane were the refuge in the dark days of the late 80s and most part of the 90s.

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