Monday, April 07, 2008

Leigh-on-Sea, Essex: Another Witness to the Beginnings of the Liturgical Reform of Benedict XVI

I recently posted some images sent in to the NLM of a parish which had newly begun to use the "Benedictine altar arrangement".

This same parish, Our Lady of Lourdes, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, has now also sent in some photos of their newly established usus antiquior Mass, presently celebrated on the first Sunday of the month in the parish.

In this parish we can perhaps witness a snapshot of the early stages of the influence of the pontificate of Benedict XVI and his programme of liturgical reform; liturgical reform in continuity. (A programme that is by no means yet complete it is fair to presume.)

We have seen here the beginning of the re-orientation of a typical versus populum celebration of the modern Roman liturgy by means of the central altar cross as well as the six candlesticks upon the altar -- fruit of the Pope's own practice.

Further, we have seen re-introduced into parish life ad orientem worship and the traditional liturgical piety and ceremonial of the Roman rite through the celebration of the usus antiquior -- fruit of the motu proprio.

Kudos go out to Fr. Hale, the parish priest, for recently taking these two steps in his parish -- steps we continue to hear being taken elsewhere by other priests as well.

These are all signs of the early springtime of the Benedictine liturgical reform that is slowly but surely beginning to unfold.

If any other parish priests have similar developments to share from their parishes (who have not shared it before with the NLM), please let me know by email (and preferably accompanied by pictures). These things can help to embolden and encourage your brother priests that they might themselves add their own voice to the springtime of the liturgical reform of Benedict XVI.

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