|Cardinal Raymond Burke|
(source: Raymond Cardinal Burke Facebook page)
Cardinal Burke at the Brompton Oratory
As far as I’m concerned, the big event this Saturday will be Cardinal Raymond Burke’s celebration of Pontifical High Mass for the Feast of St Philip Neri at the London (Brompton) Oratory. As St Philip is the founder and spiritual father of the Congregation of the Oratory, the Brompton Oratory’s festivities leading up to and on St Philip’s Day are always spectacular, inspiring, and joyful occasions. But, it seems that this year’s celebrations promise to be amongst the very best the Oratory will ever have witnessed – especially as Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, and one of the most important of our current ecclesiastical leaders, will be present as celebrant and guest of honour.
The Triduo leading up to the Feast of St Philip on Saturday will begin at the Oratory this evening with Devotions and Benediction at 6.30pm, and the same will be repeated tomorrow evening at 7.15pm. On Friday 25 May, Solemn First Vespers of St Philip will be sung at 5.30pm, which will be followed by Pontifical Benediction. At 11.00am on the St Philip's Day itself, His Eminence Raymond, Cardinal Burke, will offer Pontifical High Mass, which will be set to Haydn’s Theresienmesse. I gather that many people from all over the UK plan to be at this Mass – so to get a seat it would be advisable to turn up early. From what I’ve been told, this event is not to be missed!
Ordinariate ordinations at Westminster Cathedral
Having said that, those of you who support the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Wasingham may wish to attend another important event on the same morning. Westminster Cathedral will be the venue for the ordination of 17 deacons for the Ordinariate at 10.00am on Saturday. At this Ordination Mass, which will be celebrated by Bishop Alan Hopes of Westminster, the popular John Hunwicke will be ordained into the diaconate. Many of his friends and blog followers were dismayed last year when it was announced that his ordination had been ‘deferred’, so I am sure that they will be much comforted and relieved to see that he is now well on his way to becoming a priest in the Catholic Church. I have been informed that it has been quite some time since Westminster Cathedral will have witnessed the ordination of so many men at the one Mass. A truly historic event, then!
A Mass for Marriage
Another important event will take place later on in the day at Westminster Cathedral. At 3.00pm, Archbishop Vincent Nichols will celebrate the annual Thanksgiving Mass for the gift of Matrimony. This Mass will be offered especially for those married couples in the Diocese of Westminster who are celebrating their Tenth, Twenty-fifth, Fortieth, Fiftieth and Sixtieth+ wedding anniversaries this year. Due to the numbers wishing to attend this Mass (which is always a popular event), it seems that admission is by invitation only (contact details here). Aware of the threat currently facing the institution of marriage and its very nature and purpose, I have a feeling that this year’s Mass for Matrimony will be of particular note.
Stations of the Kings Cross Exhibition
Finally, this Saturday will also see the opening of a Catholic themed art exhibition in London, called ‘Stations of the King’s Cross’. I have already highlighted this forthcoming event, here, so won’t repeat myself in this post. Suffice to say that the young artist who will be exhibiting her work at this event has used her traditional Catholic faith to produce one of the most beautiful booklets I have ever come across – an aid for all those who might wish to pray the Stations of the Cross whilst travelling on the London Underground. This exhibition, which opens on Saturday at 7.00pm in St Mary's Somers Town, will also provide an opportunity to bid for the original paper-cuts that were used for this project, and will incorporate First Vespers of Pentecost Sunday as well as personal readings of her poems by the Catholic poet, Sarah de Nordwall.
So, if any of you happen to be in London this coming Saturday, please do try and attend at least one of these events. It's not often that four things like this all come along at once. Those wishing to attend both the St Philip’s Day Mass and the Ordinariate ordinations, though, will have quite an unenviable choice to make! Let’s just say, I have always had a particular devotion to St Philip Neri…