Thursday, May 31, 2018

Corpus Christi Sunday

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Corpus Christi Thursday remains on the list of no longer holy days of obligation in this country and as such the feast is observed on the following Sunday as an external solemnity. This is what we have on Sunday and we have two Masses:

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton  missa cantata
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford missa lecta

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Blessed Trinity

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Blessed be the Holy and Undivided Trinity now and forever.

This weekend is the feast of the Holy Trinity and we have two Sunday Masses:

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

Confessions at call.
Masses during the week at Sacred Heart, Broughton at 10.30 a.m.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


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This Weekend is the Birthday of the Church and marks the descent of the Holy Ghost in tongues of fire in the upper room on the apostles as told in the Epistle.

Vigil of Pentecost on Saturday:

10.30 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton

On Sunday we have three Masses:

8.00 a.m. Leeds Cathedral, Cookridge Street, Leeds
11.00 a.m.  Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford. We shall sing the Veni Creator Spiritus.

Forward notice. We are hoping to have another Solemn High Mass in the Wakefield Deanery for the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in June. Details to follow.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Easter VI

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This Sunday, often omitted in recent times because of the observation of the Ascension itself on this day, is the sixth after Easter and that within the octave of the Ascension. The Gospel looks forward to next week's great feast of Pentecost, when the Comforter is come.
We have two Masses:

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
12.30 p.m. St. Joseph's. Pakington Street, Bradford (missa cantata)

I was pleased to see that last week's pilgrimage to the Lancaster Diocese's English Martyrs church in Preston which is under the custody of the Institute of Christ the King enjoyed great success. Had our daughter not been giving birth I should have been there.
In another neighbouring diocese, this time Middlesbrough, there is to be a Mass according to the Ordinariate form in York. I am copying and pasting this event from the Leeds Diocese website.

The Rudgate Singers, an ad-hoc choir founded in the Diocese of Leeds, will be singing for a Pontifical Mass for the Ordinariate at St Mary Bishophill Junior in York on Saturday, 12th May at 4pm.

Mass will be celebrated by the Rt Rev. Mgr Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.  For Catholics, the Mass will be the anticipated Mass of Sunday, (Sunday after the Ascension) and it is an opportunity for anyone to attend and sing/listen to sacred music in its proper liturgical context.
Music for the Order of Service will be:

1. Entrance Hymn. The head that once was crowned with thorns (St Magnus)
2. Introit Proper (sung by Schola only) from the Graduale Romanum
3. Kyrie. Batten (Short Service)
4. Gloria. Tallis (Communion Service in D)
5. Greater & Lesser Alleluias (sung by Schola only)
6. Responses before/after the Gospel. Tallis (Communion Service in D)
7. Creed. Merbecke (Communion Service)
8. Offertory Proper (if enough voices - especially sopranos!)
Ascendit Deus - Peter Philips
9. (if needed) Offertory Hymn. Eternal Monarch, King most high (Gonfalon Royal)
10. Sanctus & Benedictus. Tallis (Mass for four voices)
11. Agnus Dei, Tallis (Mass for four voices)
12. Communion Proper (sung by Schola only)
13. If ye love me. Tallis
14. Communion Hymn. Alleluia, sing to Jesus (Hyfrydol)
15. Regina Caeli - chant simple tone (sung at the Lady altar)

The Rudgates and their Choral Director, Christian Spence, are delighted to be involved in what is believed to be an historical first: a Pontifical Catholic High Mass in an Anglican church (as opposed to a cathedral).  The organist will be Craig Cartwright, Assistant Director of Music at Middlesbrough Cathedral. 

There will be a reception in the Tower Room afterwards, with wine and 'nibbles'!

The formation of the Rudgate Singers in 1996 stemmed from a conversation between Fr Richard Aladics and former member of Leeds Cathedral Choir, Mike Forbester, who will be directing the Gregorian Schola at the Mass in York.  Members of the Rudgates hail from all over Northern England & Scotland, as do the places where they sing, including Catholic, Church of England and Orthodox churches. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


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Thursday marks the restoration of the Feast of the Ascension on its scriptural day and as a holy day of obligation. We have two Masses:
11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
5.00 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

Welcome to the latest member of our traditional Catholic community - my eldest daughter gave birth to a little boy on Saturday. Weighing in at 8lb 9oz Dominic James and mum are now both doing well and are home. There will be another baptism at St. Joseph's before long!
Finally I am pleased to reproduce the final of Fr. Michael Hall's Triduum Sermons given on Holy Saturday. 

Paschal Triduum 2018
O salutarisHostia
Paschal Vigil
Christian dost thou see them
On the holy ground
How the hosts of Midian
Prowl and prowl around?
Christian, up and smite them,
Counting gain but loss;
Smite them by the merit
Of the Holy Cross
I have not been able to find that hymn in any Catholic hymnbook, but in my Anglican days it was one of my favourite Lenten hymns.  (We were partial to a bit of smiting!).  Written by the 7th Century Archbishop Andrew of Crete, it uses the word “host” in the third of our senses.
Just to remind you, on Holy Thursday we looked at Our Lord as the Host of the Last Supper – the hospes in Latin; yesterday we looked at him as the Saving Victim –hostia.  Today – though very briefly – we look at the third root of our English word – hostis – enemy, army, multitude.
Read the historical books of the Old Testament, particularly in an older translation, and you will find that fighting is done by hosts – the hosts of Midian, the hosts of Egypt, the hosts of Israel.
You even come across the host of heaven.  This is used in two ways.  It can refer to the sun, moon and stars, though the sense here is more of a “multitude” that an army.  It can also refer – in the sense both of multitude and army – to the angels.
Shortly we shall sing Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabbaoth – Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts.
In the next two minutes I want to try to answer two questions:
1.     Who are the Hosts that God is Lord of? 
2.     And what does this have to do with the Resurrection?
First, he is Lord God of any army in heaven, earth, or hell.  If we run true to form, then at the end of this Mass we shall be singing “Battle is o’er, Hell’s armies flee”  Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, has put the hosts of Hell to flight.
Second, he is Lord God of the universe and its multitudes.  As our Lord died on the Cross, so St Matthew tells us, the sun was darkened and the moon turned to blood.  Now as the first rays of the sun pierce the gloom of the garden, and the tomb is seen to be empty.  Soon, very soon, and because of the triumph of her Son, St John will have his vision of Our Lady standing on the moon, clothed with the sun, and with the stars crowning her head.
Third, he is Lord God of Angel hosts.  “Put your sword away, Peter,” the Lord says.  “Do you not realize that if I wanted a battle, I could call on millions of angels?”  But as Our Lord goes to his Cross the angels hang back, and veil their faces at the approaching sacrifice.
Now, two of them are on duty telling the disciples, “The Lord is not here.  He has risen, as he promised”.  Now, as St John’s vision also tells us, those brigades, and divisions, and armies of angels wait for the trumpet call to sound the final conflict that brings in the new heavens and the new earth.
One last thing.  I mentioned yesterday the changes made in the ancient rite of Milan on Holy Thursday.  The Roman Rite has its changes too, but the Ambrosian ones are more radical.

In the section of the Canon called the “Communicantes”, the rite of Milan says,
Thou, o Lord, didst command us to be partakers of Thy Son, sharers of Thy kingdom, dwellers in Paradise, companions of the Angels; ever provided we keep the sacraments of the heavenly army with pure and undefiled faith.
The words “keep the sacraments of the heavenly army –refer to a common pre-Christian sense of the Latin word “sacramentum”– a military oath of allegiance.
In our baptism – of which today’s rite reminds us – we came to share in the Death and Resurrection of our Lord.  And we were enlisted into God’s heavenly army on earth, the Church.
The Mass, then, unites those three senses of Host – hospes, hostia, hostis.
Christ our Host at table gives us, with his own hands, himself the Saving Victim, the salutaris hostia.  And receiving that sacramentum, whether in physical or spiritual communion, we renew our military oath of allegiance as earthly members of the heavenly host.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise him all creatures here below
Praise him above, ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Fr. Michael Hall
Given at Notre Dame, Leeds
Holy Saturday 2018

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Easter V

This Sunday is the fifth Sunday after Easter and we have two Masses:

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton (missa cantata)
12.30 a.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

As I promised last week I am reproducing below the second part of Fr. Michael Hall's series of sermons for the Sacred Triduum.
I hope you find it as illuminating as I do. Thanks to Fr. Hall for this. The third part will appear for the Ascension next Thursday for which we have two Masses:

11.00 a.m. Sacred Heart, Broughton Hall, Skipton
5.00 p.m. St. Joseph's, Pakington Street, Bradford

O salutaris Hostia
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Good Friday Liturgy
“He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, for the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all”
Over these three days I am looking at the Latin roots of our English word “host”.  Last night we saw that there are three such roots, which makes this one English word so versatile.
Last night we looked at hospes – the host who provides hospitality.
Tomorrow we shall look briefly at hostis – enemy, army, multitude.
But this afternoon we look at the Latin word that gives us Catholics the phrase that means so much to us – hostia – victim or sacrifice.
O salutaris Hostia,
Quae caeli pandis ostium
Bella premunt hostilia
Da robur, fer auxilium
I hope that those lovely words from the beginning of Benediction are as precious to you as they are to me.  Did you notice another “host” word in that verse – hostilia- enemy?
O Saving Victim, opening wide
The gate of heaven to man below
Our foes press hard on every side
Thine aid supply, thy strength bestow.
It could be argued that most of the epistles of the New Testament are trying to work out the implications of what Our Lord did in these three days of the Triduum.  Nowhere is this more clear than in the Epistle to the Hebrews, which in 13 densely argued chapters shows how Our Lord Jesus Christ has fulfilled, and thus replaced, the sacrificial system that was at the heart of the religion of the Old Testament, not to mention the priesthood that went with it.
He offers himself once for all upon the cross, but because of what he had done the night before, as host of the Last Supper, he gave his Church a way in which the One Sacrifice could be revisited, re-presented, realized throughout time and space.  At each Mass, our Lord, in the person of the priest, offers himself as the saving victim.
But even using that word “victim” begs the question – just what does that mean?  We live in a society where, perhaps, the word is cheapened because everyone claims to be a victim – what is happening to me is someone else’s fault.
Turning to the Latin victima, we find that it means a beast for sacrifice - in other words a hostia.  But if we dig deeper, and ask where victima comes from, we gain further illumination.
It may come from the verb vigeo – to be full of life (vigor, vigorous).  Seems odd to apply this to a sacrificial animal, but you can’t sacrifice a dead animal!  The whole idea is that the life with which that beast is full is poured out in worship and intercession.
Apply this to Our Lord.  He is the way the truth and the life, he is the light which gives life to humanity.  There is no-one that is more full of life – more a victima:  and that life is poured out on the cross.
It may also be that the word victima may refer to the vitta, which was a garland or headband placed around the head of the sacrificial victim.  So popular an image was this that poets and brides and the Vestal Virgins would wear a vitta to show that they had been set apart for some noble service.
I hardly need to join the dots for you here, do I?  Our Lord, the Saving Victim, goes to his cross wearing his own vitta – a twisted crown of thorns.  His oppressors thought that they were having a laugh by giving him a crown made of thorns, but in fact what they were doing was marking him out as the hostia, the victima, who would die for the sins of the world.

Just how did those hours of suffering redeem the world?  That’s perhaps too big a question for this afternoon.  But it’s interesting to see that some of the Latin words that come from Hostia give us a bit of a hint:
The verb hostire means, among other things, to make even, to return like for like.  You’ve broken your auntie’s favourite vase, so you buy one just the same.  It carries with it the sense of reconciliation, of replacement.  God was in Christ, says St Paul, reconciling the world to himself – making things even, returning it to what it was meant to be.
Hostimentum is a recompense, a requital – a paying of the bill.  Sin and Death, those spawn of Satan, have a claim on humanity because of Adam’s fall, renewed by us in each successive generation.  But Christ requites that claim – he pays the bill.
The final word our Lord speaks from the Cross, in the Greek of St John, is tetelestai – it is finished.  But that word has an alternative meaning.  If you went to settle your accounts with a merchant anywhere around the eastern Mediterranean in those days, he would write on your bill, tetelestai – “paid in full”
In the diocese of Milan, where the ancient Rite of St Ambrose is still celebrated, significant changes are made to the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.  I want, in closing, to tell you about just one of those.
In a normal Ambrosian Mass on any other day, the priest will introduce the Lord’s Prayer with words with which we would be familiar – Praecepitus salutaribus moniti etc.
But listen to what happens on Maundy Thursday.  The Lord’s Prayer has a special introduction used only on this day,

It is His commandment, O Lord, which we follow, in Whose presence we now ask Thee…that as we carry out the truth of the heavenly sacrifice, so we may draw in the truth of the Lord’s Body and Blood.
I love the play between “carrying out the truth” and “drawing in the truth”
The sacrifice of our Lord is now enshrined for ever in heaven.  Carrying out its truth is not “just doing it”- carrying out the motions of the Mass, or this Liturgy -but literally carrying that sacrifice out of heaven and down to wherever we are gathered – as in a short while the Cross will be carried out for your veneration.  And as we carry it out, the spiritual aroma of that sweet and fragrant sacrifice fills our nostrils, we draw in our breath and we are filled with the truth of Our Lord’s Body and Blood.

All praise and thanks to thee ascend
For evermore, blessed One in Three;
O grant us life that shall not end
In our true native land with the.  Amen.
Fr. Michael Hall
Given at Notre Dame, Leeds
Good Friday 2018

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A little treat

I cannot remember the last time I uploaded a video to watch on this blog but having watched the sermon at this Mass offered by Archbishop Sample from America's Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on Fr. Brown's Gateshead Revisited blog I felt compelled to find and upload the whole thing on YouTube. I was not disappointed that I did. 
Indeed I was reminded of Fulton Sheen for a number of reasons.
Enjoy, as they say these days.