I'm grateful to the cantors, servers and of course Canon Francis Doyle, our celebrant at the 4th Sunday Mass [Missa Cantata] at Holywell which took place this morning. Below are some photographs of the Mass.
Mass for the First Sunday of Advent will be celebrated on Sunday 27th November at St Winefride's, Well Street, Holywell at 1130am.
The Lord is coming; I place myself in His presence and go to meet Him
The rumour mill is now turning that the letter will contain something relating to the Society of Saint Pius X.
If the rumour becomes reality (and actually even if it turns out to be gossip), I can only say that this pontificate never fails to surprise, rather like a fairground roller coaster for Traditional Catholics. Pray and wait and see!
We have seen how that Mass of the 23rd Sunday was regarded by our forefathers as really the last of the Cycle. According to the teaching we have already pondered over, the reconciliation of Juda was shown us as being, in time, the term intended by God: the last notes of the Sacred Liturgy blended with the last scene of the world’s history, as seen and known by God. The end proposed by Eternal Wisdom in the world’s creation, and mercifully continued after the Fall by the Mystery of Redemption, has now (we speak of the Church’s Year and God’s workings) been fully carried out—this end was no other than that of divine union with human nature, making it one in the unity of one only body (Eph. 2: 16). Now that the two antagonist-peoples, Gentile and Jew, are brought together in the one same New Man in Christ Jesus their Head (Ibid. 15), the Two Testaments, which so strongly marked the distinction between the ages of time, the one called the Old, the other the New—yes, these Two Testaments fade away, and give place to the glory of the Eternal Alliance.
It was here therefore, that Holy Mother Church formerly finished Her Liturgical Year. She was delighted with all She had done during all the past months; that is, at having led Her children, not only to have a thorough appreciation of the divine plan, which She had developed before them in Her celebrations—but moreover, and more especially, to unite them, by a veritable Union, to their Jesus, by a real communion of views, and interests, and loves. On this account She used not to revert again to the Second Coming of the God-Man and the Last Judgment—two great subjects which She had proposed for Her children's reflections, at the commencement of the Purgative Life, that is, Her Season of Advent. It is only since a few centuries that, with a view of giving to Her Liturgical Year a conclusion more defined and intelligible to the faithful of these more recent times, She closes the Cycle with the prophetic description of the dread Second Coming of Her Lord, which is to put an end to time and open eternity.
“Come, ye blessed of My Father, Possess the kingdom prepared for you….” Mt. 35:40
In his book of meditations on the liturgy, Divine Intimacy, Fr. Gabriel of St. Magdalen, OCD. comments: “The Mass for today, the last Sunday of the liturgical year is a prayer of thanksgiving for the year that is ending and one of propriation for that which is about to begin; it is a reminder that the present life is fleeting, and an invitation to keep ourselves in readiness for the final step which will usher us into eternity….With the description of the end of the world and the coming of Christ to judge the living and the dead, the Gospel (Mt. 24:15-35) reminds us that just as the liturgical year comes to an end, so does the life of man on earth. Everything will have an end, and at the end of all, will come the majestic epilogue: “Then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven [the Cross]: and then shall all tribes of the earth mourn; and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power and majesty.” (Mt. 24:30) In today’s Epistle (Col. 1:9-14), St. Paul shows us how we can be assured of a place in the heavenly kingdom at the end of the world if we live according to God’s will: “We … cease not to pray for you and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will … that you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing; being fruitful in every good work,” Col. 1:9-10
Eternal Glory in Heaven
Fr. Gabriel tells us about the importance of today’s Epistle for the attainment of eternal glory in heaven: “This is a beautiful synthesis of the task which the interior soul has endeavoured to accomplish during the whole year: to adapt and conform itself to God’s holy will, to unite itself to it completely, and, being moved in all things by that divine will alone, to act in such a manner as to please Our Lord in everything. God be praised if, thanks to His help, we have succeeded in advancing some steps along the road which most surely leads to holiness. Making our own the sentiments of the Apostle, we should give thanks to “the Father who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light.” (Col 1:12) The lot, the inheritance of the saints, of those who tend toward holiness, is union of love with God– here below in faith, hereafter in glory. This heritage is ours because Jesus merited it for us by His Blood, and because in Jesus “we have redemption, the remission of sins” (Col. 1:14); thus, cleansed from sin and clothed in grace by His infinite merits, we also can ascend to that very lofty and blessed state of union with God.”