The servers at St James's must breath a sigh of relief when Lent arrives. No longer the mad dash between the end of the 0930 Extraordinary Form Mass and the 1030 Solemn Latin (OF) Mass to change everything from purple into green. For a good few weeks (and with a couple of days of exception), it is purple all the way. Here is how the sanctuary looked yesterday immediately after the crowds for the EF had dispersed (but before the 1030 congregation had arrived), and how it can remain for some time. Notice the calm in the sanctuary.
We were pleased to welcome an old friend from Bourne St, still Anglican, to join us both for Mass and for a drink afterwards. He very much enjoyed his visit, and revealed that not only had he been with us on 3 September 2011 (for our Reception Mass), as we already knew, but that he had also from time to time attended the 0930 Extraordinary Form Mass at St James's. His visit recalls this earlier post of ours, when two friends from our earlier Anglican days joined us at St James's.
Now might be a good time to mention two sets of Lenten talks, with different themes, that might be of interest to those in and around London this Lent.
The first is the series being organised by the Ordinariate, taking place on Monday evenings at 7pm at St George's Cathedral, Southwark. More details can be found here. The talks sound like they are ideally suited for those who, while not new to the Catholic faith, are new to the Catholic Church.
The other series of talks are being held at St James's, and are labelled Perspectives in Healthcare, with various medical professionals coming to talk about their role. St James's is situated in Marylebone, where there are many hospitals and clinics (including those in the famous Harley Street). At the time of writing, more details can be found here. The talks are held on Wednesdays in Lent at 6pm, the first one being given by Professor Roy Sanders.
To conclude this short post, a comment on yesterday's music. For the mass setting, we had a Palestrina Mass setting that I didn't know, the Emendemus, very appropriate for the season of course. It was wonderful, especially the Sanctus. Not being able to find it on youtube, here is the no less wonderful Agnus Dei from the Palestrina Missa Brevis.
The communion motet was one of my favourite Byrd motets Civitas Sancti Tui. In this youtube version, sung by the Hilliard Ensemble, it is correctly placed as the second half of a longer piece, following Ne Irascaris Domine. Having said that, Civitas Sancti Tui more than stands up on its own, the Sion Deserta and Ierusalem section of the piece is immensely powerful.