Sunday, 8 February 2009

Fifth Monthly Mass in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin

After last month's visit by the Bishop, February's monthly Mass would always struggle to exceed its immediate predecessor. The presence of a new celebrant, Fr. Simon Leworthy, FSSP, might have created a flutter of interest. The switching on of the main lights and the flood of sunlight at the beginning of Mass certainly created a different atmosphere in the Church.

A view from the pews at the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar

A sprinkling of snow earlier in the morning may well account for the smaller congregation. Besides Celebrant and server, 13 people were present for the Mass, not quite half the size of last month's congregation, although that number could be increased to 15, if the Parish's Sacristy Staff were to be counted. On the positive side, the local people attending were in a clear majority (as were the members of St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association, if that is noteworthy).

Fr. Leworthy celebrated the Mass of Septuagesima and, in his sermon, said that these are two-and-an-half weeks to prepare to receive the ashes of repentence.

Fr. Leworthy reads the Epistle at the Ambo

Happily, the use of the Maniple has been restored, although, unfortunately, at the loss of the Chalice Veil. However, a complete and most welcome innovation was the use of an Altar Crucifix, which had been absent for the first four months.

The Sanctuary flooded with light at the Offertory


Anonymous said...

I really liked these pictures. The ones from previous months were not so easy to see. Where is this church? It looks very big for a country parish. Why are there so many empty seats? Has there been a shift in population since it was built. Its a pity that Latin Masses are sited in far away locations but sometimes its good that a Latin Mass can keep a church open.

Anonymous said...

I hardly think that 13 would keep a Church open unless they were very very generous.

Anonymous said...

No maniple and then no veil? Is this just a case of the New Liturgical Movement thats been misidentified as a Usus Antiquor. Has anyone checked the texts that are used? It is possible that this celebrant is trying to celebrate the Paul VI Mass in a more solemn and reverent way.

The veil is mentioned in the rubrics of the Paul VI Mass but is opetional. The 'eastern orientation' is consistent with the Paul VI rubrics. If you consider the references to turning towards the congregation and then back to the altar, maybe its MORE consistent than the more normal orientation. Latin is the norm for the Paul VI Mass. English is an exception permitted at the discretion of the Episcopal Conference.

If this celebrant is doing his best to be part of the New Liturgical Movement that Benedict XVI is leading then he should be given credit for that and not just stuck with a Usus Antiquor label.

Anonymous said...

It is a pity to see such a small turnout and to see the numbers falling so rapidly but the Church is beautiful. The colours are amazing.