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Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Loitering at Liturgies in London

This afternoon, after travelling down from Birmingham New Street, (reading up on the Monophysites and Chalcedon on which I am lecturing tomorrow) I had some time to spare in central London since it wasn't worth going out to Blackfen and into town again. It was a sweltering day, so the cool of Westminster Cathedral was most welcome. After saying some office, I was able to check my email and do a couple of blog posts from an internet café and then return for Vespers - sung superbly as ever by the Cathedral Choir.

As the Cathedral is dedicated to the Precious Blood, the team there had been hard at work for the feast day today. They moved St John Southworth to the middle of the nave for veneration, and put up a very fine frontal on the High Altar. I would have liked to get some closer photos but that was not appropriate during Vespers. The Westminster Diocesan website has some fine photo galleries so perhaps they may be able to put some up from today.

There was a good antique frontal on the Blessed Sacrament altar as well. I'm sorry that the photo doesn't do it justice:

In the evening, I attended the Missa Cantata celebrated by Fr Dominic Jacob in the Little Oratory for the boys of St Philip's Preparatory School. The school choir sang Terry's Mass in C and the Gloria from Palestrina's Missa Brevis, Mozart's Laudate Dominum and the Ave Maria by Parsons. Fr Ignatius Harrison preached. This was the first time that the school has had Mass in the older form and so Fr Jacob asked me to give a short talk to the parents afterwards in the St Wilfrid's Hall where a buffet supper was served.

It was a delightful occasion - the boys sang and served very competently and were a credit to their parents and to the school. Just to add a little extra joy to the day, the under-10 cricket XI won a match earlier in the afternoon.

Later I was reminded that it was my birthday today and I was given a copy of Eamon Duffy's new book on Mary Tudor - an excellent present which I look forward to reading.
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