Monday 27 October 2008

Chant Day at Farnbrough

Schola Gregoriana Sancti Nicolai

Gregorian Chant Workshop
St Michael’s Abbey,
Farnborough led by Dom Cuthbert Brogan, OSB - Abbot of Farnborough

SATURDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2008: 10.00-16.30

This will be our third Farnborough Abbey Chant Workshop. The objects include improvement of skills, recruitment of new members, and increased enjoyment of Gregorian Chant and the Old Liturgy which is now encouraged and authorised by the Catholic Church Worldwide since the Moto Proprio of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. St Michael's Abbey, Farnborough GU14 7NQ is situated within walking distance of the railway station.

Programme - 10.00 Registration Workshop Part I Office of Sext - chanted by the monks Break for Lunch Workshop Part II Office of None - chanted by the monks Break for coffee Workshop Part III 16.30 Workshop completes 16.45 Office of Vespers - chanted by the monks Syllabus - will include notation, modes, chant practice (including psalmody) - Chants to be covered - a. Ordinary - Mass IV Cunctipotens Genitor Deus b.

Propers for feast of St Nicholas: Introit - Statuit Gradual - Inveni Alleluia - Justus ut palma Offertory - Veritas mea Communion - Semel juravi

Materials - all being prepared by Fr Abbot Cuthbert

Fees: £15 (including tea but excluding lunch) Tea will be provided and sandwiches for lunch - at a small charge Contact: or Tel: 01798-344541

Sunday 26 October 2008

First event of Michaelmas 2008: LMS Oxford Pilgrimage

Our first event of the year was the Latin Mass Society Oxford Pilgrimage. Each year there is a Solemn High Mass, a procession to one of the sites of martyrdom in the city, and Benediction. This year Bishop Kenney, an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, blessed a new plaque honouring the four Catholics executed in 1589, who were beatified by Pope John-Paul II in 1987.

The picture above shows part of the procession with Bishop Kenney, other clergy, and the Schola in front of them. (In accordance with the custom, the bishop was at the back of the procession.) We sang the Litany of the Saints, the Te Deum and other things as we walked along. After the procession we sang at Benediction in Blackfriars: picture below. There is more about the events of the day here and here.

Tuesday 21 October 2008

Matins of the Dead, Worcester College

We have received this email:

Dear Gregorian Chant Society:

There will be a sung Matins for the Dead on 1 November (Saturday of 3rd) at 11
pm in Worcester College Chapel. The plainsong has been newly transcribed from
the extant manuscripts of the liturgical use of York.

Some of your members may be interested in attending. If so, please pass on these
details; there is a link to a Facebook event below.

Wednesday 8 October 2008

Freshers' Fair 2008

Here is our stall, manned by our President, Richard, among the stalls of Oxford innumerable choirs. The lady in the straw hat behind him is at the Gilbert and Sullivan Society stall.

Wednesday 1 October 2008

Our Logo

Our logo is based on the rebus of our spiritual patron, Bl. Thomas Abel (c.1497 to 1540), which he carved on the wall of the Beachamp Tower at the Tower of London while awaiting execution by King Henry VIII. Visitors to the Tower can see it today.

It is a pun on his name: A - bell. It also recalls the pilgrims' souvenirs from the shrine of St Thomas of Canterbury - see this example in the British Museum which says 'CAMPANA ThOME' on it. (St Thomas' shrine was destroyed by order of Henry VIII in 1538.)

Thomas Abel had been a student at Magdalen College, Oxford, and was Chaplain and Music teacher to Queen Catharine of Aragon. He supported her during the King's attempts to divorce her, and he wrote a pamphlet on the subject: Invicta Veritas, an answer to the determination of the most famous Universities, that by no manner of law it may be lawful for King Henry to be divorced from the Queen's grace, his lawful and very wife.

Oxford University, in fact, had refused to support the King's case; only the Faculty of Theology had been prevailed upon to give a favourable response.

Bl. Thomas Abel suffered with two other priests, Bl. Edward Powell and Bl. Richard Featherstone (links to the Catholic Encyclopedia), together representing Queen Catharine's legal team, on 30th July 1540. They were dragged on hurdles from the Tower to Smithfield, each sharing a hurdle with a Protestant condemned for heresy - an interesting ecumenical gesture - and hanged, drawn and quartered. The Protestants, Barnes, Garret, and Jerome, were burned at the stake.

The three priests were beatified by Pope Leo XIII, on 29th December 1886. Presumably because Bl Edward Powell was born in Wales, in the Extraordinary Form they have a joint feast day on 30th July in the Dioceses of Wales.

The logo was drawn for us by the Catholic artist Daniel Mitsui.