Q. Why should anyone attend two Chrism Masses on successive days?
A. Because he is a priest of the Ordinariate, who also has responsibilities in a Catholic Diocese. So on Monday it was St James' Spanish Place at 11am, presided over by the Apostolic Nuncio to the United Kingdom, His Excellency the Most Reverend Antonio Mennini, with our Ordinary, Mgr Newton, receiving our renewal of vows and preaching.
My, that was a rush; our train was impeded by a broken-down freight train. By Divine Providence the Nuncio was also delayed, which gave me just time to dive into a chasuble and join the procession.
After a sandwich lunch, Mgr Keith addressed his priests (and what a good turn-out there was; more than fifty already ordained, and a number of others hoping for ordination later this year). He and Mgr Broadhurst spoke of the financial situation, how we are doing better than we were, but that there is still a need for more committed giving - not least because we have the resonsibility of paying pensions for our priests. I had to dash off before the meeting ended, since I was on duty in the evening hearing confessions as part of the Penitential Liturgy in Lymington.
Although the liturgy was the same, the feel of the event today in Portsmouth was quite different. Whereas in London a choir sang historic settings of Sanctus and Benedictus, in Portsmouth the entire eucharistic prayer was intoned by Bishop and concelebrants. The sermons, too, were both very inspiring, and both quite different from each other. Bishop Crispian began in Portsmouth "When I preached at this Mass last year, I was confident that it would be for the 23rd and last time. However, as they say, man proposes and God - and the Vatican – disposes and I am still here to celebrate with you my 24th Mass of the Oils. I am as certain as anyone can be that I won’t be here this time next year, though you never know!" There is clearly great affection between him and his clergy, and warm applause greeted what he had to say. You can read it for yourself at http://www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk/bishop/homilies/2012_Sermon_for_the_Mass_of_the_Oils.pdf. Equally, Mgr Keith's sermon is available at the Ordinairate website, along with many pictures http://www.flickr.com/photos/catholicism/sets/72157629723790149/show/
The ones in this post are taken from that set, by the kindness of Dn James Bradley.
7 hours ago