Sunday, August 10, 2008

In Remembrance of the Original Founder of CIEL UK, Nicole Hall

One of our Premonstratensian readers, Frater Anselm Gribbin, sent in the following obituary tribute for Mrs. Nicole Hall, one of the important and founding figures for CIEL UK. I had the privilege to meet Mrs. Hall at the CIEL conference in Oxford, England two years ago. I recollect her as a very gracious woman.

Nicole Hall, R.I.P.

by Frater Anselm J. Gribbin, O.Praem.

It was with much sadness to have heard that on 8 July, Nicole Hall, the founder of CIEL UK, passed away to her eternal reward. Nicole (born 1941), a devoted mother and grandmother, was very active in promoting the ‘Traditional Latin Mass’, now known as the ‘usus antiquior’ of the Roman Rite. In the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council, she showed great concern for what had happened in the Church in the areas of liturgy and catechesis. Nicole wrote a number of books on the Catholic Faith for children, and from 1978 until 1983 served as an officer on the committee of the Latin Mass Society. In 1982 she gave a speech on catechetics at the inaugural meeting of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice. Even before her death, Nicole was still writing - ‘a religious book for my grandchildren’ (from a letter to the contributor). She was best known for bringing CIEL (Centre International d’Etudes Liturgiques) to the UK in 1997, with an inaugural High Mass in the beautiful church of St. James, Spanish Place in London. I was personally acquainted with Nicole having worked for several years as a volunteer in the production of the English edition of the annual conferences of CIEL, and gave a paper at the colloquium in Paris in 1998. She was very supportive and encouraged young scholars who sought to study, and to make known the riches of the traditional Roman Liturgy through the activities of CIEL. Her dedicated work and tireless zeal for CIEL did more to raise awareness of the necessity of the academic study of the Roman Rite than perhaps most people realise, certainly in the UK. It was truly wonderful that she witnessed the current liturgical revival under Pope Benedict XVI – whom she met when he was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – and the issuing of ‘Summorum Pontificum’. Of your charity please have the Holy Mass offered for Nicole’s soul and remember her, and her family, in your prayers.

Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.

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