Saturday, October 25, 2008

Oxford Martyrs' Mass at Blackfriars

Martyrs' Mass at Blackfriars

Photo above courtesy of Mr Joseph Nunan

More posts on this event will undoubtedly follow, but here is the first photo from a historic Mass in honour of Oxford's Catholic martyrs celebrated at the High Altar of Blackfriars today, 25 October. It was standing room only in the Dominican priory church as hundreds gathered for the Latin Mass Society's Oxford Pilgrimage organised by fellow NLM contributor, Dr Joseph Shaw.

This was probably the first time that Dominican friars served at a High Mass according to the 1962 Roman rite in their priory church. The celebrant was Fr Dominic Jacob, Cong. Orat., with fra' David Rocks OP as deacon, and fra' Lawrence Lew OP as sub-deacon, and they were ably assisted by a team of brothers from the Dominican studentate who acted as MC and servers. Bishop William Kenney CP, the local auxiliary bishop was in choir with priests and brothers from local parishes, the Oratory and the Dominican community.

A special choir, Cantores Missae, sang Victoria's Missa trahe me post te, Palestrina's Sacerdotes Domini and a setting of the Salve Regina by Victoria.

After Mass and lunch, there was a procession from Oxford's busy shopping street (Cornmarket) to Holywell Street where the four Catholic martyrs were executed in 1589. Crowds of tourists and Oxford residents looked on as the long procession walked the route the martyrs took from the prison near Cornmarket and sang the Litany, Te Deum and Credo. At 100 Holywell Street, a plaque commemorating the heroic witness of Fr George Nichols, Fr Richard Yaxley,Thomas Belson and Humphrey Prichard who died for the truth of the Catholic Faith, was blessed by Bishop Kenney. 

Finally, the procession returned to Blackfriars where Fr Armand de Mallery FSSP gave Benediction.

There will be more photos to come on this event, and especially more close-up shots of the Mass.

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