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Enjoying the Feast of the Holy Trinity

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The weather in London today finally broke into just above 20 degrees centigrade, or just tipping 70 if you are using old money. It was a beautiful day to celebrate the feast of the Most Holy Trinity. This weekend and last, I have been helping at St Bede’s, Clapham Park. In a most pastorally sensitive swap, the late Archbishop Smith allowed Fr Basden to move from Clapham Park to Ramsgate, and Fr Holden to move from there to Clapham Park. Thus, continuity was secured for both parishes. The parish choir at St Bede’s has been going from strength to strength. On several recent visits I have heard them sing polyphonic masses with aplomb. Today we had Victoria’s Missa O Quam Gloriosum .  As is the way with many traditional Masses in parishes, the older servers have had children who are now competently taking over. More than one young teenager that has served me as MC has asked his parents for a vintage copy of Fortescue for his birthd

Blessing of the New Painting of St Bede at Clapham Park

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This morning, the parish priest at Clapham Park, Fr Marcus Holden, blessed a new picture of the parish's patron, Saint Bede, painted by James Tildsley. It is sited over a recently installed side altar near the rear of the Church. The altar itself was acquired from Antique Church Furnishings . The website gives the information that the altar was built and carved by a nun in a convent near Liverpool. It a beautiful piece of work and it is always a joy when such works of art find a suitable and dignified home. The inscription on the gradine is AMANS AMATUS AMOR. The sellers translate this as “Loving is the object of love” which is a reasonable stab at “dynamic equivalence”. Today the parish's relic of St Bede was exposed for veneration in its distinctive brightly-coloured reliquary. After the blessing, there was High Mass with Fr Holden as celebrant, Fr Littleton deacon, and myself subdeacon. That gave me the enjoyable task of chanting

Rogationtide and the Prayer of Petition

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Rogationtide is traditionally a time of prayer in preparation for the Ascension; England was one of the earliest countries to spread the custom. In Rome, fasting but not abstinence was observed, a concession to the continuing joy of Easter. Challoner mentions abstinence in the 1775 edition of his Garden of the Soul, but it had gone by the 1872 edition. Guéranger lamented that the Rogation days were so little noticed. At the very least, this time reminds us that it is always a good idea to pray and do some penance before great feasts. The prayer of this Rogationtide emphasises our need to implore the forgiveness of our sins, protection from calamities such as pestilence, and a bountiful harvest. We therefore keep in our hearts not only the needs that we have ourselves, but also the welfare of all those among whom we live. In the past, plagues and pestilence would usually be associated with famine. As we take for granted the sup

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