Monday, November 17, 2008

Requiem for Cardinal Pole in Oxford

Lux aeterna

On 17 November 1558, Reginald Cardinal Pole, the last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury passed from this world, just hours after Queen Mary Tudor, arguably the last pre-Protestant Reformation Catholic monarch of England. So too died their attempts to restore Mary's Dowry to her ancient Catholic Faith, and for almost three hundred years, England was without a Catholic hierarchy, the Mass was outlawed, and hundreds of priests were martyred for bringing the sacraments to the recusant Catholics of this land. 

So, it was with some joy that Catholics in Oxford were able to freely gather and worship God in a rite with which this Council Father of Trent would have been familiar. Moreover, the Mass, organized by the Latin Mass Society, was celebrated in the chapel of Magdalen College, with the gracious permission of the President and Dean. Cardinal Pole had been an undergraduate in this college, and it was a privilege for us to assist in the Mass celebrated in the extraordinary form in this beautiful (essentially) medieval chapel.

The celebrant was Fr John Osman, parish priest of Dorchester-on-Thames, and the Mass was expertly and prayerfully sung by the Schola of Bl. Thomas Abel, Oxford University's Gregorian chant society, which was founded by fellow NLM correspondent, Dr Joseph Shaw.

Elevation of the Sacred Host

More photos in my Flickr set.

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