Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pontifical Vespers from Oxford

As promised, here are photo's from Pontifical Vespers for the feast of St Ignatius of Loyola. Bishop Malcolm McMahon OP pontificated at this beautiful and solemn liturgy.

The Altar prepared with cope and mitres for the bishop to vest after he arrives in the chapel of Merton College, Oxford.

The bishop and clergy entered in procession.

The bishop paused for prayers before being vested.

Watched by the MC, Dr Alcuin Reid and assisted by Fr Tim Finigan and Rev Dr Laurence Hemming, the bishop was vested in pontificals over his rochet.

At this point, with the bishop seated in splendour on the faldstool, the organ sounded an organ voluntary and we paused to pray before the clock struck six to signal the appointed time of Vespers.

The bishop sings Vespers, seated at the faldstool.

Fr Tim Finigan and Deacon Laurence Hemming seated during Vespers, with the cantors behind them. The psalms were intoned by the bishop and 4 prelates in choir.

The bishop intoning the hymn.

Incensing the High Altar during the Canticle of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The bishop, the prelates in choir and the clergy and then the laity were all incensed.


The bishop had been vested in the gold mitre but during the Gospel canticle, he had changed into the precious mitre. Here, he is seated before the Collect.

The bishop imparted the blessing from the High Altar.


Vespers was followed by a champagne reception and a dinner. Here, the bishop is seen with Fr Benjamin Earl OP whom he had clothed in the habit of St Dominic, when he had been Prior Provincial of the English Dominicans.

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