Saturday, April 25, 2015

Easter III

This weekend is the third Sunday after Easter.

Mass in the Extraordinary Form:

Saturday ; 6.00 p.m. (vigil) St. Mary's, Halifax.
Sunday;    11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
                  3.00 p.m. St. Joseph's, Castleford

Thank you to all who attended the first Mass at the Cathedral last week. It was good to see so many people at such an early hour. I have written to Mgr Moger to thank him for his hospitality and am delighted to say that he is to offer the next Mass there.

Commentary for the Readings in the Extraordinary Form:
Third Sunday After Easter

"A little while and you shall see Me no longer. . .because I go to the Father. . .And you therefore have sorrow now; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no one shall take from you" (Gospel).
Christianity is a religion of joy! (Introit). May "those. . .in error" receive this "light" (Prayer). Jesus predicts, however, that our joy can never be perfect here. The "cross before the crown" (Alleluia Verse) would indeed be a mystery had no Jesus lived it out for us.
An unbelieving "world shall rejoice" because it regards Him as dead and gone. But Christ departs only for a "little while" (Gospel) to test our love and loyalty. He shall return (as indicated by little figure of Christ in the clouds).
Prepare for His coming "in the day of visitation" by good example. "Behave yourselves honorably among pagans; that they ... observing your good works" for God and country (described in the Epistle) may recognize that Christianity is a religion of joy, now and forever!
Excerpted from My Sunday Missal, Confraternity of the Precious Blood and found on the "biformal" website

Friday, April 17, 2015

Easter II

This weekend sees our first regular monthly Sunday Mass at the Cathedral. Please do all you can to attend this (or indeed any of the others).

Saturday - Vigil, St. Mary's. Gibbet Street, Halifax - 6.00 p.m.
Sunday - St. Anne's Cathedral, Great George Street, Leeds - 8.00 a.m.
              Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton - 11.00 a.m.
              St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford - 3.00 p.m.


Friday, April 10, 2015

New Schedule

Image result for our lady of lourdes leeds

This weekend sees the first of our additional Masses in Leeds. It is a vigil Mass and will be held in the oratory at Our Lady of Lourdes, Cardigan Road, Leeds at 5.30 p.m. Word has not yet been fully circulated about this Mass which will be held each second Saturday at this time. Next Sunday (19th April) sees our first Mass at Leeds Cathedral at 8.00 a.m. Please spread the word about these latest Masses. We must show that there is a demand for our Masses and the only way to do this is to attend them.

Masses this weekend for Low Sunday

Saturday 5.30 p.m. Our Lady of Lourdes (oratory*), Cardigan Road, Leeds
              6.00 p.m. St. Mary's, Gibbet Street, Halifax

Sunday 11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart Chapel, Broughton Hall, Skipton
              3.00 p.m. St. Peter's, Leeds Road, Laisterdyke, Bradford (Missa cantata)
              3.00 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford,

NEXT SUNDAY - 8.00 a.m. St. Anne's Cathedral, Great George Street, Leeds.

* the oratory at Our Lady of Lourdes is beside the presbytery.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Happy Easter!

Our Vigil concluded earlier this evening with Battle is o'er and the Regina Caeli. Many thanks, as always, to Fr. Michael Hall our celebrant who  just keeps coming back for more, thank goodness.
This afternoon we learned about Christ as the anointed King and how we share in the Royal Priesthood.

Thanks also to Fr. Kravos for so kindly allowing us to use the chapel again and our cantor and servers who carried out their duties with the usual gravitas. This year we managed to use a dozen charcoals and wood from the paschal fire - we shall probably still be able to smell the incense at Christmas.

Masses tomorrow for Easter Sunday:

Missa cantata at Broughton Hall at 11.00 a.m. and Low Mass at St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford at 3.00 p.m.

Et inclinato capite tradidit spiritum.

After Fr Hall had sung the whole of St. John's account of the Passion and death of our Lord this afternoon he went on to preach about Christ the anointed prophet. Incisive as ever, we are to hear the concluding part tomorrow when he will speak about Christ the anointed king.

It was good to see people turning up in very respectable numbers again this afternoon for the Sacred Liturgy.

The Vigil is again early this year at 3.00 p.m. and confessions will be available from 2.30 p.m.
Please do all you can to attend this Mass - with extra Masses starting iminently in Leeds, including at the Cathedral we must show that there is an increasing demand for the Extraordinary Form of Mass. Perhaps I should say - bring a friend.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Consummatum est

Holy Mass last evening was well attended and some of the faithful watched at the altar of repose until 9.00 p.m. People came from far and near and it was very encouraging to meet a young man who had come from Sheffield as part of his personal Triduum. Tomorrow he will be in the diocese of Shrewsbury at the Dome of Home for the next part.

Mass was slightly late starting and I make no apologies for this as it was because of the number of penitents before Mass, some who waited for over half an hour.
Fr. Hall will be available again for confession today and tomorrow on Holy Saturday. Please remember that Confession is always available at call at any of our Masses.

The sermon last evening, the first in the series of three about the Messiah, exposed the essence of Christ the anointed Priest - on the most Eucharistic of feasts;  in it Fr. Hall also referred to Bishop Stock's sermon to his clergy at the Chrism Mass and very impressive both sermons were.

On an entirely personal note I love to attend the Chrism Mass because it is an opportunity to meet up with friends and fellow Catholics whom I would not normally see. Having received the Sacrament of extreme unction twice in the last fifteen years and both upon danger of death I always give thanks to God for our Bishop who blesses the oils of the catechumens and the sick and then consecrates the oil and balsam for the next generation of Priest and people.

Sacred Liturgy at 3.00 p.m.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Holy Week

It seems like no time since I was writing that Lent was upon us, now it is Holy Week that is upon us and the most profound time of the Church's year is here again. Once again we are privileged to have the Sacred Triduum with its dramatic re-enactment of the sacred passion, death and eternal victory over sin of our Blessed Lord and God - the very author of life.
The symbols of water, fire, wine, bread, wax, and oil so often referred to in the Old Testament become things of the earth which bring Christ to us in the Sacraments.
Oil consecrated by the Bishop - breathed upon by him at the Chrism Mass is used in the blessing of baptismal waters on Holy Saturday and then sprinkled on us at the Vigil and on Easter Sunday as we sing Vidi Aquam and recall the Resurrection and our renewed baptismal promises. We are children of the God who comes to us in the form of bread and wine - consecrated at that first Mass on Holy Thursday, when the apostles were made priest bishops and empowered to absolve sins and extend that Priesthood into time and eternity by the power of the eternal High Priest.

So then, in the stream of eternity we are at Holy Week 2015 as the Paschal candle will remind us. Mass and Sacred Liturgy in the Extraordinary Form as appear in the 1962 Rite, and given to us by Pope Benedict in his Motu Proprio with his own form of the prayer "pro conversione Jud├Žorum" on Good Friday are as follows:

Palm Sunday
Saturday (Vigil) 6.00 p.m. St Mary's, Gibbet Street, Halifax
Sunday            11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
                           3.00 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford
                           UPDATE Correction - no Mass at Heckmondwike

Holy Monday, Tuesday & Spy Wednesday,    
                           9.30 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton

Maundy Thursday    
                          7.30 p.m. Notre Dame chapel , St. Mark's Avenue, Leeds

Good Friday             
                           3.00 p.m. Notre Dame chapel , St. Mark's Avenue, Leeds

Holy Saturday Vigil        
                           3.00 p.m. Notre Dame chapel , St. Mark's Avenue, Leeds

Easter Sunday     
                          11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton  
                            3.00 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford
                            (No Mass at Heckmondwike)

After Easter our new additional regular Masses at the Cathedral and at Our Lady of Lourdes, Leeds, will start gently. Fr Wiley sent me the details this afternoon and I was pleased to see that the Cathedral Dean, Mgr Moger joins the celebrants. I shall post details during the week of these and reminders of the various Masses and Liturgies of the Triduum. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Passion Sunday

With just a fortnight to go to the great Feast of Easter we are entering now into the final stages of Lent. This morning I went to the Cathedral and the staff there were busy veiling the statues and erecting curtains behind the tabernacle. Things are beginning to look and feel different, from now until Easter there is no Judica me psalm and no Gloria Patri at the introit or lavabo.

Masses this weekend:

Saturday (Vigil) St. Mary's, Gibbet Street, Halifax 6.00 p.m.
Sunday              Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton 11.00 a.m.

PLEASE NOTE NO MASS AT CASTLEFORD - due to unavailability of a priest. Sincere apologies for this.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


The fourth Sunday of Lent is upon us already. I am having to prepare for the Triduum once again and I am sorting things out - apart from the Easter fire which has caused a pre-paschal laugh in the past at the Vigil - I'm confident that things are under control, but as for the Easter fire - watch this space.

The Gospel of today's Mass looks forward to Holy Thursday, a feast which is then given its own prominence at Corpus Christi. We are at the half way point. The penitential nature of the season lightens a little, there are rose vestments.

Masses this weekend:

Saturday Vigil St. Mary's, Gibbett Street, Halifax. 6.00 p.m.
Sunday            Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton, 11.00 a.m.
                      St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford. 3.00 p.m.
                      Holy Spirit, Bath Road Heckmondwike. 4.00 p.m.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Increased provision

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of meeting our new Bishop along with Fr. Wiley the diocesan co-ordinator for the Extraordinary Form.
His Lordship was very supportive and is keen for us to continue and expand our activities in the everyday life of the diocese. He expressed a strong desire to see in house training in the diocese in such things as the spirituality of the Extraordinary Form and even suggested a possible speaker for us.
He has also requested that there be a monthly Sunday Mass at the Cathedral and increased provision generally in Leeds. He also offered to attend some of our Masses to preside and so I shall be contacting him again with a list of suggestions. This means we will have a Solemn High Mass. It has also been agreed that we have a Solemn High Mass of Requiem in November in the Cathedral. When details of these extra Masses have been agreed and the arrangements made I shall of course post the information. There is also to be a solemn high Mass on the Feast of the Holy Trinity at the end of May in Leeds.
We are lucky in this diocese to have daily Mass at Broughton Hall and several Sunday Masses but in order for this to continue and for us to expand it does mean that people will have to attend the Masses to show that there is a demand and to make our clergy feel that their considerable efforts and time commitments are appreciated.
We have also been given permission to advertise our activities on the diocesan website, something which sends out the signal that not only is the EF Mass provided but also promoted in this diocese as foreseen in Pope Benedict's motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, the contents of which the Bishop was well aware of.
I shall write to his Lordship again to thank him for his solicitude and personal kindness.

Masses for Lent III

Saturday Vigil  St. Mary's, Gibbet Street,  Halifax, 6.00 p.m.
Sunday             Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton 11.00 a.m.
                       St. Peter's, Leeds Road, Laisterdyke, Bradford, 3.00 p.m. (sung)
                       St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford, 3.00 p.m.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Lent II

The second Sunday of Lent is upon us and the Gospel recounts the Transfiguration an occasion which has its own feast in August - 40 days before the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The Transfiguration is of course a feast which looks forward to the joy of the Resurrection. Easter.

Masses this weekend:

Saturday Vigil, St.Mary's, Gibbet Street, Halifax. 6.00 p.m.
Sunday Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton, 11.00 a.m. Sung Mass.
           St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford, 3.00 p.m.
           Holy Spirit, Bath Road, Heckmondwike, 4.00 p.m.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A charming read

One of the best things about school holidays is the chance to read more than time normally allows. A scout round a second hand bookshop earlier this week enabled me to pick up a delightful read. Patrick Leigh Fermor's A time to keep silence recounts his experiences in French monasteries in the 1950s.

At the Abbey of St Wandrille de Fontanelle in Normandy he recalls conventual High Mass:

"Tierce ended, the officiating monk entered in his vestments, and the deacon and sub-deacon, the acolytes and torch-bearers. They genuflected together,and the Mass began. Every moment the ceremony gained splendour. If it was the feast of a great saint, the enthroned abbot was arrayed by his myrmidons in the pontificalia. A gold mitre was placed on his head, and the gloved hand that held the crosier was  jewelled at the point of the stigma and on the third finger the great ring sparkled over the fabric. The thurifer approached the celebrant and a column of incense climbed into the air, growing and spreading like an elm-tree of smoke across the shafts of sunlight. The chanting became steadily more complex, led by a choir of monks who stood in the middle of the aisle, their voices limning chants that the black Gregorian block-notes, within their comet-like tails and Moorish-looking arabesques, wove and remove across the threads of the antique four-line clef on the page of their graduals. Then, with a quiet solemnity, the monks streamed into the cloister in the wake of a jewelled cross. Slowly they proceeded through the cylinders of gold into which the Gothic tracery cut the sunlight. Their footfalls made no noise and only the ring of the crosier's butt on the flags and the clanging of the censer could be heard across the Gregorian....The antiphonal singing from the stalls continued to build its invisible architecture of music: a scaffolding that sent columns of plain-song soaring upwards, to be completed by an anthem from the choir that roofed it like a canopy. The anthem was followed by a long stillness which seemed to be scooped out of the very heart of sound. After long minutes, a small bell rang and then the great bell from the tower which told of the rites that were being celebrated and the mysterious events taking place; and the heads of the monks fell as if one blow had scythed them away. Next, an unwinding, a decrescendo. The Mass sang itself out, the kiss of peace passed like a whispered message down the stalls, the officiating court dispersed, and the vestments were removed." pp 36-37.

I found this to be quite breathtaking.

No sung or high Mass for us in Leeds this weekend - but Masses for the 1st Sunday of Lent are as follows:
Saturday (Vigil) St. Mary's, Gibbet Street, Halifax. 6.00 p.m.
Sunday Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton. 11.00 a.m.
           St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford, 3.00 p.m.

A quick look at this Sunday's gospel reminded me of Pope Benedict's compelling chapter on  the temptations of Jesus in part 2 of his Jesus of Nazareth. The temptation account is this weekend's Gospel. The Pope devotes an entire chapter of over 20 pages to this and in it compares Jesus in the wilderness of the desert with the wild beasts with Adam in the paradise of the garden. Christ is with beasts and angels but here for 40 days peace is restored, the peace Isaiah proclaims for the days of the Messiah when the wolf shall dwell with the lamb and the leopard with the kid. When sin has been overcome peace and harmony with God shall be restored.  Again it is of course pointing to Easter and I suppose to Mary's discovery in the early hours of Easter day - the new Sabbath.

Daily Mass at Broughton (except Sundays) at 9.30 a.m.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ash Wednesday


Saturday, February 14, 2015


Masses this weekend:

Saturday- St. Mary's, Gibbet Street, Halifax. 6.00 p.m.
Sunday - Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton, 11.00 a.m.
              St. Joseph's, Pontefract Road, Castleford, 3.00 p.m.
AND      St. Joseph's, Skipton Road, Bilton, Harrogate, 4.00 p.m. followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  Thanks to Fr. David Smith the celebrant and PP Fr. Byrne.

Lent begins on Wednesday and there will be Mass with imposition of ashes at Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton. Mass at 11.00 a.m. 
It is of course a day of fast and abstinence which ever increasingly seems to fast forwards us to Good Friday. 
Mass every other weekday will be at the usual time of 9.30 a.m. throughout Lent except on Sundays when Mass is at 11.00 a.m.

Spring is in the air; there are more than tiny little signs of a new season sprouting up out of the ground in the garden, parkland and woodland alike. The frosts are still long and sharp and the fogs are still freezing but the amount of daylight lengthens. From this root we get the word Lent. 
Lengthening suggests something which reaches a yielding point when something stops or irreparably changes. The source and the summit for us is naturally the Resurrection - the risen God - who suffered and died for us when He became man.
There is for me a holy terror about the word resurrection, as opposed to resuscitation, regeneration or reawakening. Its immediacy is startling and unique. 

Lent will soon enough be over if I don't make up my mind now how to celebrate the spiritually beneficial opportunities this season brings without simultaneously trying to lose weight or save up money for the Easter "do" etc.
Time to be spent carefully is Lent. 

Friday, February 6, 2015


Masses this weekend

Saturday 6.00 p.m.St. Mary's, Gibbet Street, Halifax
Sunday 11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
             3.00 p.m. St. Peter's, Leeds Rd. Laisterdyke, Bradford
             3.00 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pontefract Rd, Castleford