Monday, 31 August 2009
Sunday, 30 August 2009
Saturday, 29 August 2009
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
House of Bernadette
Bernadette lived in this room with her aunt, and it is open to visitors in the afternoon.
The church of St. John the Baptist is fairly notable and worth seeing. While it has remains of a medieval sanctuary, most of it dates from the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries, and has quite a remarkable reordos depicting the life of St. John the Baptist. Luckily it has been spared the liturgical vandals and is almost intact, and with a portable table for it's forward altar it is ready for ad orientem worship.
The High Altar
The Lady Altar
St. Joseph's Altar
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Nevertheless, even though it may be among the last liberal bastions to crumble, the extra - ordinary form has gained a foothold, and every Sunday at about 9.30am there is a 1962 missal low mass in the Upper Basilica. Or so it may seem, for I arrived at precisely 9.30am as advertised to find that they were already in the homily.
As far as I'm aware this mass took a lot of in - fighting to get established, but hopefully it will be here to stay!
By early evening we arrive at the port of Dover, for the ferry to Calais:
The ferry leaves as we have dinner:
Then it is then long haul up to Paris and down the helter - skelter motorway across Central France to Toulouse and then across to Pau and finally Lourdes, with the occasional toilet break. By the time we arrive we are pretty exausted.
Arrival at the Hotel Santa Lucia, to be greeted by our old friends Alain and Marie - Anne!
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
..a teenage boy who had traveled from Israel to Russia... for an implant of neural stem cells to treat a rare degenerative disease. Four years after the procedure, according to the study, the therapy hadn't worked, and the transplanted stem cells had morphed into a brain tumor.
The article continues:
As Kriegstein shuffled through his papers, looking for the report, he explained his fear that current efforts in California to create stem-cell–based cures, which he views as premature, could have similar results. "The likelihood of something going wrong is pretty high," he said. "Something like tumors are probably going to happen. This is an area where the risks are great. The public has to be prepared."
The great Mac McLernon has also demanded that I show forth my seven greatest loves, after agreeing with her on no. 6 (caffeine, in the form of what I call Dr. Tannin: tea). So here they are in full:
1) The Catholic church, the mystical body of Christ (same as Mac).
2) Our Blessed Lady, on whose Feast of the Expectation I was born in the town of Evesham, an old shrine of Our Lady.
3) The sacred liturgy with it's wonderful sacred music.
4) The Birmingham Oratory, my beloved parish church, whose great choir I sing in.
5) Downside Abbey, my old Alma Mater.
6) Tea, as explained before.
7) Alcohol, in copious amounts. If all else fails, then just drink....
Monday, 17 August 2009
Sunday, 16 August 2009
My fellow blogger Jackie Parkes has taken this short clip from just beneath the East choir gallery where we sing vespers, and this is in the middle of the long psalms and proper antiphons. We are in fact one of the very few places in the world where we have vespers with polyphonic hymn and magnificat settings. I have written some myself for our choir which can be downloaded here at the Choral Public Domain Library. What a pity she didn't take this clip during the Hymn 'Ave Maris Stella', the Magnificat, and during benediction: we had the most glorious music then:
Office Hymn: Ave Maris Stella, Diego Ortiz
Magnificat: Tone 8, Orlando Lassus
Tantum Ergo: Max Reger no.4
Final anthem: Introduxit Me Rex by Palestrina
Organ voluntary: Improvisation by John Pryor FRCO on Salve Regina
Saturday, 15 August 2009
Friday, 14 August 2009
Thursday, 13 August 2009
This was suggested to me by a member of the Birmingham Oratory choir, who had just come back from a choir tour singing Mendelssohn's German settings as part of a church service, that a Latin version could be made up. This is carrying on a long established tradition and practice in the Birmingham Oratory of reworking Mendelssohn's German and English anthems into Latin for use at our High Mass. Hence we sing Cum Natus Esset adapted from Da Jesus geboren ward at Epiphany, Sicut Cervus from Like as the hart pants, and Justus ut Palma on St. Joseph from a chorus in Paulus.
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Sunday, 9 August 2009
Hence you can see his grave almost intact. Just before we started, I took a few pictures of Rednal's surroundings. Here is shot of Jackie Parkes:
The entrance gate to the grounds:
The crowd gathering for the prayers:
And very poignantly, the grave of Gerard Tracey, the Birmingham Oratory librarian and archivist, whom I remember well and was for many years a key figure in the life of the Oratory. He was also a great cook and used to provide wonderful buffet dinners for the parish on major feasts such as St. Philip's day and the Epiphany. He died of a brain hemorrhage, and is very sadly missed. Next to him is the grave of Frances Wootton, the matron of the Oratory school under Cardinal Newman.