Monday 9 November 2009

Charlie's confirmation

On Saturday we got the early train to London, for Charlie's confirmation (traditional Latin rite) at St James's Spanish Place.

A number of good things about the day - above all, of course, the descent of the Holy Ghost on Charlie and the others. Also, the Saturday morning Mass prior to the confirmation (yes, we were there a couple of hours early...) which was Novus Ordo, but featured a single male altar server (who also read), communion under one kind, distributed by the priest alone to a congregation kneeling at the altar rails, who all received in the traditional manner, rather than in the hand.

Then the ceremonies themselves: noble and beautiful; adorned by wonderful singing, both chant and polyphony, and excellent organ playing. The bishop's homily, too, was good; taking as its starting point the current exhibition at the National Gallery on the Sacred made Real - you can see where that went. Seeing old friends is also a great part of the day - we ended up in the Pizza Express (as did nearly everyone else it seems) which was very convivial.

A couple of less positive aspects: the lady behind us who kept chatting in a louder than necessary voice about her shopping, her swine flu jab etc for an hour or so before the confirmations was not atypical of many, who seemed to forget this was a sacred occasion; there was less silence, and generally less reverence than one might have expected from a traditional crowd... And the LMS produced booklet looked hastily-done - didn't live up to the high standards of almost everything else.

But overall, a great day: please remember all those confirmed, and Bishop George Stack, in your prayers.