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Monday, 28 July 2008

Merton Conference begins

I was hoping to post some photos that I took today but the one piece of equipment I forgot to bring was a mini-USB lead so I'll have to pick one of those up later. (Actually I also forgot to bring a cotta but Richard Luzar has kindly lent me one from his fine collection.)

Above is an older photo that I have of the Merton College Chapel where the conference began with Solemn High Mass. Celebrant was Fr Anthony Conlon, Deacon was Dr Laurence Hemming, and subdeacon was Fr Andrew Wadsworth. The Schola Sainte Cecile sang Mass XI (Stelliferi Conditor Orbis) and the propers partly in simple Gregorian chant and partly in the wonderful faux-bourdon which is a trademark of theirs.

The Latin Mass Society has not only arranged the course but have arranged provided each priest with a copy of the new Libreria Editrice Vaticana edition of the 1962 missal. The texts and chants for all the liturgical functions are printed in a hardbound book with ribbon markers, a copy being given to each priest.

I will be looking after one of the several small groups of "beginners", going carefully through Low Mass. Fr San Finnegan is leading a group learning to sing the Another, larger, group is learning to sing the Mass. From Wednesday afternoon onwards, there are classes in Latin, the celebration of the sacraments and the breviary.

It is great to catch up with many old friends. Bloggers Fr Ray Blake, Fr John Boyle, Fr Sean Finnegan, Fr Paul Harrison, and Bro Lawrence Lew are here - I have probably forgotten someone: do feel free to let me know. The three English Oratories are represented with Frs Jerome Bertram (Oxford), Guy Nicholls (Birmingham) and Ignatius Harrison (London) all helping in one capacity or another.

This evening, the Society of St Catherine of Siena is offering drinks before dinner and I will be giving a little speech to introduce the priest friends of the Society, a group for which I have taken responsibility. We are having a retreat in December at Belmont Abbey and priests at the conference have been given a personal invitation to this.

More news of the Conference and, Deo volente, some photos over the next few days.
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