Saturday, 27 May 2017

Mass at Sizergh Castle

Yesterday evening's Mass in the private family chapel at Sizergh Castle was truly wonderful. Canon Gwenaël Cristofoli (prior of the ICKSP at Preston) not only prayed the Latin beautifully, but also truly understood the meaning of gesture.

That is not to say that he in any way drew attention to himself - quite the contrary - but that all was oriented towards the most reverent celebration of the Sacred Mysteries.

The congregation was very small, but ultimately, that didn't matter at all. The Sacrifice was offered.

Which reminds me, in my missal (inherited from my father), it says this: Here, Holy Communion is administered, should there be any of the Faithful desirous of receiving it, and should the Mass be one in which Holy Communion can conveniently be given.

That reads so oddly to us today, because we have been brought up to think that the laity's participation, and particularly the reception of Holy Communion, is the whole point of the Mass. But it was not always so. In our forefathers' days, the most important thing was that the sacrifice be offered. Of course, partaking in the sacred banquet has always been a great privilege of the baptised; but the work of Calvary was accomplished by Christ, with only a very few (His blessed Mother, St John, and one or two others) participating - with no lessening of its efficacy or potency. And there were only very few at the first Mass on Maundy Thursday - but again the value was not diminished by that.

But back to Sizergh - because after Mass, Benediction was also celebrated with equal reverence and beauty, ending with a stirring Regina Caeli.  All in all, a wonderful evening.  Future EF Masses at Sizergh Castle are on 9 June and 21 July, both at 7.00 pm and both followed by Benediction.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You were blessed have Canon Cristofoli. He is a truly humble servant of the Church, and says Mass so reverently that you don't know he's there.