Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Invitation - Epiphany High Mass

Traditional Feast of the Epiphany
Solemn High Mass in the Classical Roman ('Tridentine') Rite
Birmingham Oratory
(at the High Altar)
8pm - Tuesday, January 6th 2009

Following the success of the Birmingham Oratory's Solemn High Mass for the feast of the Epiphany 2 years ago (excess of 200 in attendence), the Oratory Fathers will once again celebrate a traditional High Mass.

Most Catholics in England & Wales are forced now to celebrate the Epiphany on the nearest Sunday. Here is the perfect opportunity to observe this important feast of Our Lord on the day it is properly intended. Tailored Mass books and full translations are provided, which will make it perfect for newcomers to the Tridentine Rite.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Oratory Christmas Masses

You can see the latest Oratory newsletter with a complete breakdown of all the masses at the Oratory for the Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord.

But I wanted to draw people's attention to the ones in Latin, since people are prepared to travel far and wide for these:

Christmas Eve:
"Mass of Christmas Midnight"
according to the 1962 Missal: Wednesday December 24th at 4pm (fulfils obligation)

Christmas Morning:
Low Mass
according to the 1962 Missal in St Philip's Chapel: Thursday December 25th at 9.30am
Solemn High Mass in Novus Ordo: Thursday December 25th at 11am

Feast of St Stephen (Boxing Day):
Low Mass according to the 1962 Missal: Friday December 26th at 9.30am

Feast of St Thomas Becket of Canterbury (Patron of English Clergy):
Solemn High Mass according to the 1962 Missal: Monday December 29th at 11am

Hopefully I will be able to book annual leave at short notice for the latter mass! Luckily I am not on the rota to work over Christmas itself and am looking forward to a lovely family affair. However, spare a thought for all those who are not so lucky. In fact, maybe Christmas Day should be transferred to the sunday after, to avoid any possibility that anyone would miss this important feast. Or maybe not.

I think we will have to stop calling the traditional, extraordinary form of the Latin Mass, the "1962 Missal" since it was updated by the Holy Father this year, with a new prayer for Good Friday, and is therefore more properly called the 2008 Missal (the most recent form of the Roman Rite, forever old and forever new!)

Saturday, December 13, 2008


GAUDETE in Dómino semper: íterum dico, gaudéte. Modéstia vestra nota sit ómnibus homínibus: Dóminus enim prope est. Nihil dolíciti sitis: sed in omni oratióne petitiónes vestrae innotéscant apud Deum.

REJOICE in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: for the Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous : but in every thing by prayer let your petitions be made known to God.
(Introit, Third Sunday of Advent, Philip 4: 4-6)

Advent is not merely anticipating the first Christmas of Christ's birth, but takes St John the Baptist's call to repentance afresh in order to prepare for the second coming, the day of the Lord. We are reminded after every Mass in the old Rite, at the Last Gospel, of this important call:
[St John the Baptist] came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men might believe. He was not the light but was to bear witness of the light. That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world.
(beginning of St John's Gospel)

Thus it is that every Mass should be a preparation for Christ's coming; a chance to make fresh our conversion, and anticipate the glorious coming of Christ. For where he once came into the world at Bethlehem, so he comes into the world anew every Mass at the consecration, through the action of the Holy Spirit; and so will he come at the end of time, in glory, to judge the living and the dead.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ethics Essay

When I was in my first year at medical school, being drip-fed Beauchamp and Childress' principles of biomedical ethics, I confess to have missed the excitement in healthcare ethics. In recent years I have come to hold it in high esteem, and benefited immensely from the recent Linacre Conference.

This is all just as well, since it is a core competence of Foundation Trainees (junior doctors) to consider these issues. I was determined to show a degree of aptitude, and so I wrote an essay for a competition run by the Institute of Medical Ethics. The title was based on the well known maxim Primum non nocere (First do no harm) and went on to recommend Virtue Ethics in the practice of medicine.

Alas, I did not win a prize. But at least I can be proud of my work, and will now welcome any comments. I have published it over at the Catholic Physicians Blog (click on the title of this post for a direct link to my essay).

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Santa Claus!

Look who visited our house today! I guess a lot of Catholics will be dressing their boys up as Bishops today, but we have not resorted to dressing Maddy up as an Anglican Primate yet.

For my previous post about St Nicholas of Myra, whose feast day it is today, go here!