Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Mass at Carshalton

Last week my friend David Forster, Secretary of the Latin Mass Society, asked if I could help serve as thurifer at an EF Mass at Carshalton in Surrey that was being arranged for yesterday afternoon. Fortunately I was free and I was very happy to assist.

By the time we got  away from Oxford with our cassocks, lace cottas, an altar missal,  a set of altar cards and the all-important maniple packed into David's car it had turned into a mini tatmobile* and off we went on the M40 and M25 into what was terra incognita for both of us. I was navigating from a series of maps downloaded from the internet, and, with only one overshooting of a junction in Carshalton and a bit of lucky backtracking, we got there. I was particularly interested to find that en route we travelled round the perimeter of Nonsuch Park, the site of King Henry VIII's spectacular Nonsuch Palace - but I will put up a separate post about that.

Our Lord on the Holy Cross

The reredos in Holy Cross
Image: rc.net/southwark/carshalton

The Mass was celebrated in Holy Cross church in Carshalton, and was, I gathered, the first one there using the 1962 Missal since 1969. The organiser had a fine schola to sing the Missa cantata and the celebrant was Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith.

The congregation was a good number of people, and drawn from a wide age range. I was told afterwards that some of them were people who had not been to the church for a considerable while and who had come back specially for the Mass. Over coffee afterwards it was clear that there was genuine enthusiasm for such an EF Mass at Carshalton, and that our part in making it happen was greatly appreciated.

* A private joke some readers will appreciate

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