Following the promulgation of the motu proprio of Pope Francis, Traditionis Custodes, in July 2021, Cardinal Vincent Nichols wrote to his clergy saying, inter alia, “It is important to heed the reminder of the Holy Father that ‘whoever wishes to celebrate with devotion according to the earlier forms of the liturgy can find in the reformed Roman Missal according to the Vatican Council II all the elements of the Roman Rite, in particular the Roman Canon which constitutes one of its more distinctive elements.’ This clearly includes the use of Latin in such celebrations”.
The ALL at Walsingham: live-streamed Mass and Vespers for the feast of Corpus Christi 6th June 2021
Mass began with the Introit Cibavit eos while the sanctuary party entered – crucifer, thurifer and celebrant – Mgr Philip Moger, Rector of the Shrine. It was heartening that in the opening rites, from In nomine Patris onwards and in many other parts of the liturgy, Mgr Moger had all the Latin from memory. The Kyrie and Gloria were sung, as was the rest of the ordinary, to the setting Lux et Origo, followed by the collect Deus qui nobis sub sacramento. The first two readings were given by a young layman, in English, but they concluded with Verbum Domini, as did the Gospel, which was also preceded by the prefatory dialogue in Latin. Interspersed were the Gradual and Alleluia created by Fr Guy Nicholls according to the Graduale Parvum model, with the sequence Lauda Sion between them.
Mgr Moger prefaced his homily on the essence and meaning of the feast of Corpus Christi, by welcoming the ALL and explaining the purpose of our mission. Credo III followed, and here almost more than anywhere the persistent ban on congregational singing was keenly felt. The bidding prayers each ended with the petition Dominum deprecemur: te rogamus audi nos.
During the Offertory the choir sang Byrd’s four-part Ave Verum Corpus, which was followed by the oratio super oblata and the Preface dialogue, all in Latin, as was Eucharistic Prayer III. Inevitably, Covid restrictions prevented the congregation from joining in the sung Pater noster, and there was of course no Offerte vobis pacem. After the Communion antiphon the choir sang César Franck’s Panis Angelicus, succeeded by the Postcommunion, blessing and dismissal.
After a break of about 45 minutes, Vespers were sung and Benediction celebrated. As there had been at Mass, there were problems with the sound quality as heard over the live-stream, with some acoustic interruptions, fading and distortion. The singing itself, though, was excellent. The hymn Pange lingua was followed by the psalms Dixit Dominus domino meo and Credidi, propter quod locutus sum and the NT canticle Salus et glória et virtus Deo nostro. Vespers were entirely in Latin, including the reading – on the Institution of the Eucharist – and the orations.
Likewise Benediction, except that the Divine Praises were said in English. Tantum ergo, Panem de caelo and Adoremus were all sung to familiar chants which, in better times, will be ideal for participation by all. After the Blessed Sacrament had been returned to the tabernacle in the lateral wall of the sanctuary, priest and servers processed to the nearby statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, when they and the choir sang the simple Salve Regina.
The Association wishes to thank Paul Henriksen for all his work in making this event possible, and we are most grateful to Mgr Moger for his warm welcome and hospitality, fine Latin and excellent singing!
SUMMER 2021 OPEN MEETING, Saturday 28 August: PRACTISE SINGING CHANTS FROM THE GRADUALE PARVUM
It is with a sense of great relief, after so many months overshadowed by Covid, that we announce our first meeting since the highly successful 50th Annual meeting in September 2019. It will take place at St Joseph’s Church, Queens Road, Aldershot GU11 3JB. Please see our Meetings page for details.
Mass in the Age of COVID
‘Introíbo ad altáre Dei – but not in person until the Sunday Obligation is restored’ may be the attitude to Mass attendance held by some Catholics at the present time (reminding us of St Augustine’s request ‘Make me chaste, but not yet). Some of them, especially those with underlying health conditions, may be unwilling to return to church … continue reading …
Latin Liturgy Bulletin No. II: Lent 2021
Please see our Bulletin of current news and events which appears on our News page.
Streamed Services from Pluscarden Abbey
The monks of Pluscarden Abbey, near Elgin, Scotland, have maintained the tradition of singing all their services in Latin (apart from the 8am Mass on Sundays). Mass and parts of the Office are now being live-streamed. The daily schedule of services may be found here.
Latin Liturgy Bulletin No. II: Lent 2021
Please see our Bulletin of current news and events which appears on our News page.
NOVEMBER – The month to remember those who have died
Priest members of the ALL have offered Requiem Masses for the eternal rest of members and all who have died as a direct, or indirect, result of the coronavirus.
Sung Mass in Latin was live-streamed on the internet from the Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation, King’s Lynn, on Saturday 7 November and the recording can be found on this link.
Similarly sung Mass was live-streamed at St Joseph’s, Sheringham, on Saturday 21 November. The link to the recording of the live stream is here.
Other priest members of the Association have also celebrated Requiem Masses in November for our intentions.
As we were not able to meet on Saturday 6 June, Fr Liam Carpenter offered his Mass that day for the Association, and the parishioners of St Norbert, Crowle, Lincolnshire, whose patronal feast it was. It was a Novus Ordo sung Mass, entirely sung by Fr Liam, and may be viewed on the parish website. Click the menu item ‘Videos’. See also our Facebook page.
Caveat ! The situation relating to the pandemic changes. Whatever appears below may change at very short notice.
The Oxford Oratory are streaming their Masses and they say, “We are live streaming Mass every day at the following times: Sunday 8am (EF Low Mass with sermon), 11am (Latin Sung Mass with sermon), 5:30pm (Vespers & Benediction). Monday–Saturday 8am (EF Low Mass) and 6pm (English Low Mass with sermon)”. Go to the Oratory’s website and click on the link to Live Stream. Sung Mass in Latin is also celebrated on Holy Days at 6pm.
Celebrations of low Mass in the Dominican Rite have been recorded in the Dominican church in London.
The church of St John Cantius, Chicago, broadcasts its services. The Solemn Sunday Latin Mass is at 11.00 (17.00 BST). The same applies to the church of St Agnes, St Paul, Minnesota, where the Solemn Mass is at 10.30 (16.30 BST).
We have also learnt that the Manchester Oratory is planning to televise its Masses on YouTube. Please check its website which can be found here. The Solemn Sung Mass is at 11.00 on Sundays.
Glenstal Abbey (Benedictines in County Limerick) has all its services televised, and they include some use of Latin in the Conventual Mass at 12.10 on weekdays, and Vespers in Latin every evening at 18.00.
OUR NEXT OPEN MEETING: Spring or Summer 2022 Deo volente
We plan to meet next at Mayfield School, East Sussex, in 2022 and everyone, member or not, will be welcome. Full details in due course.
50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOUNDATION OF THE ASSOCIATION IN SEPTEMBER 1969:
Full details of our successful and enjoyable celebrations appear in Latin Liturgy 157.
CARDINAL SARAH’S MESSAGE TO THE ASSOCIATION PRO LITURGIA
A message was delivered on behalf of His Eminence Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in September 2018 at the General Assembly of our fellow association in France, the Association Pro Liturgia. It was first published in French; an English version may be found here.
NORWICH DAY A GREAT SUCCESS
‘Sing with the Angels’ at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Norwich 29th September 2018
The Narthex of the Cathedral proved to be a space exceptionally well suited to events of this kind, with a large room for rehearsing the chant, and plenty of space for socialising over coffee, lunch and tea, both indoors in the bar and outside at tables in the sunshine. There is also an excellent café and a shop. The Association is most grateful to Paul Henriksen, whose idea the day was and who made all the arrangements for it, to Daniel Justin, Master of Music of the Cathedral, to Canon Peter Rollings and Fr Tim Bugby. Our thanks also go to the hospitality team, ably led by Karen Neale, who looked after everyone so well and served an excellent lunch. There was a very good attendance, with numbers in the mid to high thirties.
The sales table displayed the Graduale Parvum in both its formats and as a set of CDs, as well as copies of all the Association’s other publications. In addition, the last remaining copies of our Latin-English Missal, with the old (“And also with you”) translation were given away free with each purchase.
The Chairman briefly announced the theme of the day by explaining that the Graduale Parvum is currently the Association’s major project, launched in April 2018 at Oscott College with the publication of the first book, the Introits. He then introduced Fr Guy Nicholls, architect of the Graduale Parvum and indeed the inspiration behind it, who explained the rationale of the GP, how the project began, and why there is such a great need for it. He showed how the metrical hymn fails in its liturgical function, something that only Gregorian chant can truly fulfil. He also reiterated the pre-eminence of the Latin language in the Latin Rite, despite the post-Conciliar – and indeed contra-Conciliar – use of the vernacular in the Western Church almost everywhere today.
Fr Guy then turned to the Proper chants for the Mass of the day, that of the feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels – hence the title of our event, ‘Sing with the Angels’. These were the Introit Benedicite Dominum omnes angeli eius, the Gradual with the same text, the Alleluia Sancte Michael archangele, Offertory Stetit angelus iuxta aram templi and Communion Benedicite…hymnum dicite. Starting with the Introit, he pointed out the close resemblance of the opening of this 3rd Tone chant to the opening line of Tantum ergo Sacramentum, and that the words ‘mode’ and ‘mood’ belong together etymologically. We continued with the Communion chant and then on to the remainder of the Proper. The standard of sight-singing among the participants in this unaccompanied first rehearsal was generally good.
Lunch was taken at 12.30, with many taking the opportunity to eat outside in the very pleasant garden, the weather being particularly fine and warm. Then at 1.30 we went into the Cathedral itself for the second chant session, led by Fr Guy, and accompanied by Daniel Justin. Here, the rich, warm and spacious acoustic of the Cathedral combined with Daniel’s very sympathetic organ accompaniment added a new and greatly enhanced dimension to our singing. As well as the Proper, we rehearsed the Ordinary, Cum Iubilo, and the Ave Regina Caelorum with which Mass was to conclude.
We were especially fortunate in that the Mass, sung by Canon Peter Rollings assisted as Deacon by Fr Tim Bugby, was celebrated ad orientem. That this mode of celebration is associated in the popular mind solely with the old Rite is quite wrong, as the A.L.L. frequently points out. Nowhere do the Council Fathers mandate celebration versus populum, but unfortunately, like the use of the vernacular, it has become the norm.
The Mass was an inspiring one, and Graeme Jolly, the MC, led an able team of servers in the spacious sanctuary. In his sermon, Canon Peter spoke of the angels as part of God’s creation – created, indeed before we were. They exist purely to see and praise God, and are always here; they particularly gather around the altar in attendance upon God, and as we sing the Sanctus, they join with us as they sing perpetually: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” [Isaiah VI, 3]
After Mass we returned to the Narthex, where Paul Henriksen spoke of his work with children in primary schools, telling them about the psalms, Latin and plainchant, and involving them in active and practical ways. He teaches them very simple melodies to start with, using round notes without stems on four-line staves, eventually progressing to neumes, and ending up with the children able to sing a full Kyrie or a Sanctus. And as for the question ‘why Latin?’ the children think it entirely logical that there should be a universal language! Paul’s enthusiasm was captivating, and it made for a lively, entertaining and instructive talk.
All that remained was for the A.L.L. members present to convene for the brief AGM, an account of which will appear in the next edition of Latin Liturgy. All those assembled warmly applauded a vote of thanks to Fr Guy for his inspiring leadership and musicianship. Finally, everyone had tea, and compared notes on their experiences in their own choirs and parishes, before dispersing at the end of what had been a most successful and enjoyable day.
GRADUALE PARVUM LAUNCHED
Our latest publication, the Graduale Parvum, was launched at St Mary’s College, Oscott, on Saturday 21 April, in the presence of Archbishop Bernard Longley and Bishop Alan Hopes.
For the first time, Gregorian chant Introits for every Sunday and Holy Day are available in both Latin and English, simple to sing but wholly authentic, and well within the capability of choirs of any parish church.
This pioneering work will be followed by collections of the remaining chants of the Mass, giving choirs and small groups of singers a complete repertoire for these Masses for the whole of the liturgical year.
See also our News page.
The Graduale Parvum and the accompanying set of five CDs which have recordings of all the chants may be ordered here.
Please see our News page.
Aims of the ALL
The Association was founded in September 1969. Its aims are:
to promote understanding of the theological, pastoral and spiritual qualities of the liturgy in Latin;
to preserve the sacredness and dignity of the Roman rite;
to secure, for the present and future generations, the Church’s unique inheritance of liturgical music.
The Association believes that its objectives are most likely to be achieved by frequent celebrations of the Mass in Latin in the Ordinary Form of the Roman rite, to which the majority of the laity are accustomed, while many are dissatisfied with the shortcomings of much current liturgical practice. The Bishops of England and Wales recognized the Association in 1970 as an approved Catholic Society, and in 1975 Pope Paul VI conferred on it the Apostolic Benediction.
Enquiries to: The Chairman, Christopher Francis – email.