Yesterday there was another of the Extraordinary Form Masses at Holy Cross Carshalton about which I have written before. David Forster and I drove up to south-west London along the A40, M40 and so via Heathrow to Carshalton through driving rain and motorway spray - well, David did the driving and I did a bit of map-reading.
We set off, and arrived earlier than previously so that we could have a traing session with other servers, and this time we had a full set of servers. This bodes well for the provision of this form of the Mass in the area, and despite the dreadful weather we had a decent number in the congregation.
As it was Quinquagesima Sunday we had to change the hangings and vestments for violet rather than the novus ordo green, and, of course, change them back afterwards. The parish are very welcoming and the sacristan very obliging on these occasions, and those of us who go as helpers from outside feel both appreciated and also that we are getting familiar with the church and its furnishings.
The celebrant, as in November, was Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith, the Parish Priest of Knaphill in Surrey, and who is a columnist for The Catholic Herald.
Excellent music was again provided by Cantus Magnus, who sang music by the Franco-Flemish Renaissance composer Heinrich Isaac (c. 1450 – 1517).They are led by the organiser of the Mass Matthew Schellhorn, who is the LMS Diocesan Representative for Southwark North.
Over refreshments afterwards we were able to plan for future occasions and have a sense that there is here indeed a stable group and that these Masses are becoming an established part of the Catholic life of the area.
The rain, which was only drizzle in Carshalton, seemed to return in full force with driving sleet when we reached the motorway system - it must have been waiting for us - and it accompanied us all the way back to the outskirts of Oxford. Nevertheless we got back safe and sound and had supper before going off to our own homes. A satisfying day.
The next EF Mass at Holy Cross is scheduled for Laetare Sunday, March 10th at 5pm.