Remembrance Sunday

The homily on Pride in the previous article was given during the Requiem Mass for Remembrance Sunday.  It was offered for the souls of the fallen in the First and Second World Wars.  Most families will know of someone in this category and indeed my husband and I remembered his uncle, who died in France right at the end of World War 2 aged only 22.  As at the Mass for All Souls, a cataflaque had once again been set up in the aisle and we heard the Sequence. The black chasuble was worn by Fr O’Donohue and removed for the sprinkling and incensing of the cataflaque.

May all who gave their lives for their country rest in peace.

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The Seven Deadly Sins, part 1

St Thomas Aquinas wrote:  “inordinate self-love is the cause of every sin  … the root of pride is found to consist in man not being, in some way, subject to God and His rule.”

Taking up these words was Fr Patrick O’Donohue, our Mass celebrant yesterday.  He  is currently a postulant with the FSSP in Reading and was visiting Bedford for the second time. He gave an inspiring homily on the sin of Pride, saying that pride in our gifts and achievements, and acknowledgement of them in others, was necessary for our own self-respect and good relationships. However, when we take credit for these gifts ourselves and do not recognise them as coming entirely from God, this can cross the boundary into pride.  Indeed the Fall arose from Pride, and thus it may be considered the most deadly of the Seven Deadly Sins as it gives rise to the others. To counteract Pride, we should strive to cultivate the corresponding virtue, Humility.

We look forward to six more homilies on the other Deadly Sins from Fr O’Donohue in the coming months!

Two contrasting Masses

We celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary Form on the evening of All Saints with a congregation of some 60 people. In his homily Fr Goddard said that the Saints listened to God and obeyed Him, and we must do the same, even though it may bring trials to us as it did to them. The Gospel was part of the Beatitudes in St Matthew’s Gospel and we were told that Jesus Himself perfectly fulfilled the ‘Blessed’ statements that He made about being humble, pure in heart and so on. The atmosphere was one of celebrating the lives and examples of those who have gone before us – both known and unknown – and now pray for us in Heaven.
By contrast, the atmosphere on the morning of All Souls was sombre as we remembered the Holy Souls in Purgatory.  About 50 people attended the Mass.  A cataflaque surrounded by candles had been set up in the aisle. Fr Goddard wore a black chasuble and the joyful parts of the Mass, such as the Gloria, were missing. The sequence reminding us of death and judgment was read out. There was no homily and no Salve Regina at the end; the cataflaque was sprinkled with holy water and incensed.

Let us not forget to pray for those whose place in Heaven is assured, but have not reached it yet.

All Saints and All Souls

Mass in the Extraordinary Form will be celebrated at Christ the King, Bedford as follows:

All Saints, Wednesday 1 November – Low Mass 7.30 pm (Holy Day of Obligation)
All Souls, Thursday 2 November – Low Mass 10 am

Our celebrant for both these Masses will be Fr Matthew Goddard FSSP,  who will also be our celebrant next Sunday, 5 November, 22nd Sunday after Pentecost.
We look forward to seeing you again, or perhaps for the first time, in our beautiful church.

Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ

“Be Thou our King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger”

Today in the General Roman Calendar of 1960 is the Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This Feast was instituted by Pope Pius XI relatively recently in his encyclical letter, Quas Primas, in 1925.

Our celebrant today for this Feast was Fr Ian Verrier, on his second visit to Bedford since the Traditional Masses at Christ the King were taken on by the FSSP earlier this month. He wore a magnificant gold chasuble and a deep lace border and gave an inspiring homily tracing the history of Christ as King through the Old and New Testaments, with much reference to Pius XI’s encyclical.  Christ is King over all people, and only by all acknowledging Him as King will there be peace and harmony in the world. At the end of the Mass, we said a beautiful Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ the King, part of which is quoted above.  We were also reminded about the indulgences which may be gained both on this day and in November.

Fr Verrier announced on his visit earlier this month that he will be moving to the FSSP Apostolate at Warrington in the New Year.  We wish him every blessing over the next few months as he prepares to move North.

Birth of Mary – a beautiful prayer

On Our Lady’s birthday the Church celebrates the first dawning of redemption with the appearance in the world of the Saviour’s mother, Mary. The Blessed Virgin occupies a unique place in the history of salvation, and she has the highest mission ever commended to any creature. We rejoice that the Mother of God is our Mother, too. Let us often call upon the Blessed Virgin as “Cause of our joy”, one of the most beautiful titles in her litany.

“Impart to your servants, we pray, O Lord,
the gift of heavenly grace,
that the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin
may bring deeper peace
to those for whom the birth of her Son
was the dawning of salvation.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.” (Collect Prayer)

Ancient Prayer In Honour of Our Lady’s Nativity by St. Anselm

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