On the snowy morning of Sunday 10 December, Fr Verrier was with us and chose Prayer as the topic for his homily. Here are just a few points.
Father gave a definition of prayer as lifting the heart to God, and communicating with Him, and described the various forms prayer can take: Adoration, Thanksgiving, Contrition and Petition. He gave some practical suggestions as to how we might overcome any distractions in prayer (imagine the distraction is a cricket ball and use the bat to hit it away) and how we need to be persistent and constant in prayer during our daily activities, i.e. praying for the driver who cuts us up! He encouraged us by saying that the prayer which we find the most difficult is counted by God as the most meritorious.
This was the last time we shall be seeing Fr Verrier at Bedford for now, as he is moving from Reading to Warrington in the New Year. We thank him for the times he has been with us over the last few months and his encouraging and inspiring words. Our prayers and best wishes go with him as he moves North.
On Saturday 9 December, seven potential Latin Mass choir members – three men and four ladies – met under the direction of Fr Verrier, who is a music graduate and before his ordination taught music in schools. He began with a prayer that our efforts might glorify God and that humility would form part of our disposition. He went on to give the history of the part played by a choir at the Latin Mass and how it is a privilege rather than a right for lay people to sing. We then warmed up our voices and got on to the actual music, working through the ‘Missa Angelis’ which forms the basis of a Sung Mass. All those numbers and mysterious signs in the notation – which looks very different from classical music notation – were explained. We sang with a reasonable degree of accuracy, considering that Gregorian chant was new to most of us and that we had not sung together before. Finally Fr Verrier explained which parts of the Mass are sung by the priest, which by a small group and which by a larger group, including the congregation.
By this time, a fascinating two hours had passed! After a closing prayer and a blessing, we went our separate ways.
We hope to sing for the first time on Sexagesima Sunday, 4 February 2018. Fr Verrier will not be with us, as he is moving to Warrington after Christmas, but we will find ways of building on what he has started. Please contact Barbara Kay, who has volunteered to be secretary to the choir, on email@example.com for details of future practices.
It is with regret that we announce that the Mass planned at Christ the King, Bedford, on Friday 8th December at 7.30 pm, for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, has had to be cancelled. This is due to there being no celebrant available, despite every effort on our part. This is the first time that this has happened since the Latin Mass came to Bedford in August 2015.
There will be an Novus Ordo Mass to mark the Immaculate Conception which Parish Priest Fr Patrick Hutton has kindly offered to say at 7.30 pm.
Please pray for more vocations to the sacred priesthood and for more priests to learn to say the Traditional Mass.
Fr O’Donohue was with us this morning and continued his series of homilies on the Seven Deadly Sins. Having spoken about Pride, the deadliest of all the sins, a few weeks ago, today he turned to Envy, which he described as a capital sin and the daughter of Pride, since both are sins of self-centredness. Envy is the state of wishing for something that someone else has which we would like. We think we deserve it and they do not, we resent the fact that they have it, and this leads to backbiting against that person and worse. Examples from the Bible such as Cain and Abel, Joseph and his brothers were cited, as were examples from literature such as Othello and Macbeth.
The remedies against Envy are to immediately squash any thoughts of it, as one would swat an annoying insect, and to emulate the saints and others who give a good example of charity.
We look forward to Fr O’Donohue’s next visit on 17 December to talk about another of the Deadly Sins.
Due to popular demand, we plan to have a sung Latin Mass at Bedford once a month. Can you sing Gregorian Chant? Would you like to? If so, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services -The Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium #116, December 4th, 1963
Further to the talk to the Latin Mass Men’s Group given by Guardian Andrew Hinde at the Shrine recently, Guardian Barbara Kay will give a talk to the Ladies’ Group which has arisen from the Latin Mass at Christ the King about the Miraculous Relic Image, on the Feast Day of Our Lady, Tuesday 12 December. This meeting is open to all ladies and will take place at the group’s usual venue in Ampthill at 10.30 am. Tea and coffee will be available before the talk. Please contact the host, Grace Bozzino, on email@example.com or Barbara Kay on firstname.lastname@example.org for directions.
Mustard was an essential accompaniment to beef. It became associated with vigour and enthusiasm because it added zest and flavour. By the early 20th century, the association was so strong that the word was used like this: 1925 E. Wallace, in King by Night: “That fellow is mustard.”
Fr Ian Verrier was at Christ the King yesterday and took as the theme for his homily the Gospel passage of the day, St Matthew 13: 31-35 about the grain of mustard seed, and the leaven in the dough. We are called upon to be as keen as mustard in our faith, in contrast to the lukewarmness of those people spoken of in the Apocalypse who are indifferent to the things of God.
Fr Verrier suggested that daily Examination of Conscience will help to sharpen our faith and how to go about this – certainly a challenge for myself and I am sure for others.
We are grateful to Fr Verrier and the other FSSP priests for giving us so much teaching to put vigour and enthusiasm, zest and flavour into our faith.