You may recollect that a couple of weeks ago – immediately after the Holy Father’s visit – I had mentioned that there was to be a Solemn High Mass (albeit in the Ordinary Form) at the London Oratory at which the Archbishop was going to bless the new Chapel in honour of Blessed John Henry Newman; but that I was not going to be able to be there myself due to a more pressing engagement in Oxford : fr Robert Verrill’s Solemn Profession.
Well, the New Liturgical Movement has just posted a splendid set of pictures of the entire affair which give you an excellent idea of what great occasions are like at the London Oratory; and I do recommend you to look at them and relish them . . . and make sure you notice the lavish ‘relic station’ against the Gospel wall of the Sanctuary which contains the reliquary which holds one of the very few actual Relics of Blessed John Henry, as well as all the more obvious excitements.
That said, and just to tease a little, let me also point out two other things which I find slightly odd.
First, I wonder why the Archbishop wears a black shirt under his purple cassock ? Why can he not wear a white one – or, I suppose, even a purple one ?
And finally, I do have to say that I find the machine-made lace on the ‘ordinary’ servers’ cottas (the MCs, of course, wear very handsome antique lace) rather reminiscent of the stuff which large stores used to put (and still do, for all I know) on the edge of ladies’ lingerie . . .
But those odd points apart, I have to say that it was clearly a wonderful evening . . . and if you’ve not been to the Oratory before, you know where you want to visit next time you’re in London !
(But, in case you’re wondering, even having seen the photos I don't think I made the wrong choice about where to be that evening; for the reasons I’ve already given !)