I`m not long back from York from today`s other Pontifical Mass. I see from Fr Henry`s blog that over 1,000 people attended Mass for the opening of the Blessed Sacrament shrine run by the Institute of Christ the King. It seems to have been as splendid an event as one would expect from the Institute.
However we also had a splendid Mass, procession and Benediction in York. Numbers did not match the 700 people who came to last year`s Missa Cantata in the Minster. No doubt there will be an official estimate of the size of the congregation but St Wilfrid`s church was full so I would estimate about 200-300 people came.
It was my first experience as celebrant of a Mass in the presence of the Ordinary and I must say I liked it as the bishop shares in the tasks to be done and so took care of blessing incense, the deacon and subdeacon and the water to be added to the chalice. The ceremonies were not as complicated as Mass celebrated by a bishop at the faldstool which I`ve been involved in twice. Full marks to bishop Drainey who seemed to enjoy the day and threw himself into it. After Mass he led the procession with the clergy in honour of St Margaret Clitherow. He was keen to point out the plaque on the bridge which marks the spot where she was imprisoned and killed. It was so refreshing to have a bishop who was willing to give up so much time for an LMS event. It`s only a pity that out of the five priests present none were from his own diocese.
It was good to catch up with friends and meet others previously known to me only via Facebook. The music was splendid and there was lots of it. If I have one criticism it was that the devotions at Benediction seemed to go on rather too long I thought at the end of a tiring day.
No doubt there will be plenty of photos soon.The sharp-eyed will be quick to spot that the sacred ministers only had one maniple between us but there is so much to remember to bring on these occasions there is always something that gets forgotten. I speak as an expert in forgetting things. When at English Martyrs I found I had left a stole I had brought back at St Wilfrid`s. I rang the church and Canon Ryan could not have been more helpful in letting me get it back. I also managed to leave my biretta in the sacristy at English Martyrs which is normal for me (I last left it behind in Westminster cathedral after a Mass at the faldstool) but it was returned to me before I left the church this time.
So let`s hope the York LMS St Margaret Clitherow day is well-established and will continue next year. Thanks should go to Paul Waddington, the local LMS rep., and all who worked to make the day a success.