The North Greenwich Station car park is usable again in the morning now that the O2 (the Millennium Dome with a new name) has started working. I left my car there and took the tube over to South Kensington for lunch with Fr Michael Lang who is soon off to Rome where he will be working at the Pontifical Council for the Cultural Heritage of the Church.
Since I had another appointment in London in the evening, I had the opportunity to spend a quiet afternoon praying in the Oratory Church and then at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane where I could also light a candle to St Philomena. Corpus Christi is the venue for a weekly Mass (Mondays, 6.30pm) in the older form of the Roman Rite; this evening I was the celebrant for a Missa Cantata.
In his "The Mass in Slow Motion", Ronald Knox said that it was many years since he had celebrated a High Mass and that all he could remember of it was that he wanted to die before the Preface. A Missa Cantata is more taxing since the celebrant not only has to sing the Preface but the Epistle and Gospel as well. I think these were OK but I was rather floored by the Ite Missa Est which I should have sung according to the Mass setting, with which I was unfamiliar. I tried my best and then rounded it off in a way that I hope did not sound too awful, allowing the choir to correct me with the Deo Gratias. Next time, I am there (Mon 27 August), they are singing Mass 2 which I think I can manage.
After Mass, a group of us repaired to the Lyceum Tavern to swap stories, jokes and news over a pint of Sussex Ale. At least that is what most of us were drinking, but a certain regular (and well-informed) blog commenter insisted on cold lager. One of the company disparaged it as Novus Ordo Eurofizz.
DISCLAIMER: I say the Novus Ordo most days. I agree that it can be said reverently. I don't think you are a lesser Catholic if you go to the Novus Ordo. I also drink lager sometimes. French and German people are very nice. Etcetera. But I thought it was funny.