The Winter/Spring Newsletter of the Fraternity of Our Lady de Salve Regina
A LETTER FROM THE MASTER - FR PHILIP WARNER
When does the Christmas season end? There are different points of view, but if my local supermarket is anything to go by, it ends on December 25th. I went to buy groceries on December 27th and found the shop devoid of tinsel and holly, and (mercifully) the background music no longer had Bing Crosby crooning about a white Christmas. I suppose if you'd put your decorations up in mid-September, it must come as a relief to remove them so quickly. Those of us who resist crib and tree until as close to Christmas Eve as we can, then have a choice when to call time. The earliest is January 6th and the Feast of The Epiphany.
These '12 days of Christmas' are more to do with German folklore, but it does seem consistent with continuing with 'Sundays after Epiphany' until Septuagesima. Others are doctrinaire about the 40 days of Christmas, keeping crib and decorations in place until Candlemass. Others still use the Baptism of the Lord to round off Christmas. This is especially appropriate if the church keeps the Roman use of 'going into green' the next day, and thereafter marking 'Sundays of ordinary time.'
It's a peculiarity of our calendar, however, that the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (and the Purification of His Blessed Mother) falls some weeks after that of His baptism by John, and the inauguration of His earthly ministry. However, the book of prayers and resources 'The Promise of His Glory' (1991) invites the worshipping community to take a more overarching view. It begins with prayers for All Saints' Day, thereby adding the whole of the month of November into an extended Advent (or Kingdom Season). The momentum is maintained until Candlemass, which it encourages us to view not only as the end of Christmastide, but a change in direction towards Lent and Passiontide. The old man Simeon tells the Blessed Virgin that a sword will pierce her soul, a prophecy that was fulfilled in the shadow of her Son's cross.
Whatever date we opt for to pack away the decorations, we know that we cannot indulge in the sentimentality of Christmas as the secular age would have it. The baby of Bethlehem has grown into a man, a man who makes demands of those who would follow him. With Him, we must leave the warmth and safety of the manger, to follow the One who said he had nowhere to lay his head, and bids us carry our own crosses daily, if we would share the glory of His resurrection.
A MESSAGE FROM THE WARDEN - DEINIOL MORGAN
All of us feel one great need, in our private life we call it security, in our public life we call it stability. We need a stable home and the means to support it. We need the stability of a church in the form of strongholds of the faith which endure from age to age even in the darkest times. The uncertainties of the present time are having a deep impact upon us as this generation turns away from the things that do not change, perceiving them as abstract and remote, to the things which continually change. Such is the policy which has been forced upon us even if not all of us are convinced by the reasoning. The price of this omission is uncertainty and instability.
Thanks be to God that there are faithful priests and laity who remain committed to the things that do not change. Maybe our hymn of praise is but a whisper amidst the clamour, but it is not lost upon God.
MARY ANN PYLE-BRIDGES - REMINISCENCES OF HER PILGRIMAGES TO WALSINGHAM (continued)
The last article concluded with the ‘translation’ of Our Lady of Walsingham to the Holy House in October 1931.
Over one thousand people were present and formed the procession, many of them wearing the veil of the Catholic League (presumably the women! - Ed.)
Our Lady, who was robed and crowned, under her canopy looked simply stupendous. All of us had lighted candles in our hands and the scene could well have been on the continent, so reminiscent was it of the pilgrimages we had taken part in in Italy. Our Lady’s hymn was sung and the streets were decorated with banners, flowers and greenery. When we reached the new shrine, Our Lady was enthroned and we all sang the Te Deum—it could be heard miles away! In the photographs that were taken on that day I can be seen in the right hand corner, standing next to my sister, both of us wearing cloche hats. My husband was on the other side of me and just out of the picture was also my mother-in-law. We filed through the Holy House and partook of water from the well. The following day, when the crowds had gone, we spent over an hour in the Holy House, a most wonderful experience, even to this day.
THE WORSHIPFUL COMPANY OF PLUMBERS - the fifth extract from Fr Michael Woodgate’s personal memoirs of St Magnus the Martyr:
This brings me on to say something about the Plumber’s Company with whom I enjoyed excellent and very friendly relations throughout my time in the City. The story of the livery companies and their origin is too lengthy to deal with here and some readers will be familiar with them anyway. However, suffice it to say that the Plumbers had originally been attached through their livery hall to the Parish of St Michael, Crooked Lane. Their patron was St Michael the Archangel and he is depicted on their coat of arms holding the scales with whom he is traditionally associated. The Plumbers were the people who dealt in lead and it was their duty that all lead weights used on scales by traders for selling their wares were correct. Thus they played a key part in fair trading laws of the City. Unlike many livery companies today, the Plumbers still have a large percentage of their liverymen either in that trade or in associated trades such as building. One year, they played an important part in organising an international plumbing conference held at the Guildhall. I was invited as their Chaplain to open the conference with a prayer. When I arrived I was horrified to see myself billed as the opening speaker! As someone lacking in almost all handyman skills I momentarily wondered whether this was a cruel joke, especially as I had discovered a dripping tap in my house that very morning and had not a clue what I was going to do about it. How does one find a plumber in the City of London, especially when any plumber worth his salt was in conference?! However having prepared a prayer with the help of the Easter liturgy, which gives due honour to God’s gift of water, I performed my duty—so well, apparently, that one overseas member of the conference asked me for a copy. The Plumbers, like all the liveries, were very generous in their hospitality.
(Father Michael was Rector of St Magnus the Martyr from 1984—1995...to be continued)
2014 GENERAL MEETING
Twelve members of the fraternity attended the AGM on Saturday September 20th 2014, which was presided over by the Warden, Deiniol Morgan.
Reporting on the year, Deiniol said that five members went to St Cuthbert’s, Philbeach Gardens in West London on a mini pilgrimage in March. The Rosary was said after which Fr Paul Baggot, the parish priest, celebrated Mass. This was followed by a series of reflections on the seven windows in the south aisle illustrating the early life of St Cuthbert. Deiniol concluded by saying that a return visit might be made when reflections on the remaining seven windows in the north aisle were completed.
Eight members went on a pilgrimage to Walsingham by minibus in July. We were very grateful to Tom Ormond for arranging the bus. The pilgrimage was led by Fr Barrie Newton and we stayed in St Anne’s House and took part in all the usual devotions. A Requiem Mass was said for Geoff Dignum on the Monday morning.
Alan Watson, the clerk, read a brief financial report from the Parish Treasurer. The Fraternity had £852 in its account, held by the Parish of St Magnus the Martyr.
Following some discussion on the production of Salve, the present Court were re-elected en bloc. Rick Savage was then proposed and seconded for election to the Court which was accepted by all.
High Mass was then celebrated, the preacher being Fr Mark Woodruff, priest of the Archdiocese of Westminster and Priest Director of the Catholic League.
This was followed by a fine buffet lunch.
In 2015 the AGM and Festival will be on Saturday September 19th. The Walsingham pilgrimage will be from July 24th to 27th. It is also hope to have a day of pilgrimage to the Shrine Our Lady of Willesden.
REQUIESCAT IN PACE
Please remember the souls of those members of the Fraternity who died in 2014: Geoff Dignum, Hazel Dixon, Peter Sowerby.
PILGRIMAGE TO WALSINGHAM—FRIDAY July 24th to Monday July 27th, 2015
If you wish to join us on the pilgrimage, please send a deposit of £20 to Deiniol Morgan: c/o St Magnus the Martyr Church, Lower Thames Street, London EC3R 6DN.
Please make your cheque out to “Fraternity of Our Lady de Salve Regina"