The oldest diocesan priest regularly celebrating the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (Fr Wilfred Elkin of St Mary's, Barnard Castle) celebrated his 80th birthday some 3 weeks ago. Fr Elkin has had some health problems recently but is now on the mend & traching his new dog, Prince, the highways & byways of 'Barnie'. We wish Fr a speedy & full recovery & many more years of faithful service to the Church.
We had our twice monthly (1st & 3rd Sundays) Missa Cantata yesterday & it has to be said that the music was quite appalling. The Processional & Recessional were tuneless & uninspiring, not what one expects on Easter Sunday. We hope & pray that very soon we will have a choir to sing our Propers & Ordinaries in a form suitable to a parish church. The Propers were sung (badly) from the Liber Usualis which is suitable to monastic Masses but are too long & boring for parish Masses.
Today Theresa & I had the great pleasure & privilege of attending the Palm Sunday EF Mass said by Fr Bede Rowe at the tiny church of St Mary's at Swinburne near Hexham in Northumberland. Although we were the only 2 in the congregation we had the blessing & procession of palms followed by Holy Mass & the reading of the full Passion. After Mass we took Fr Bede & his mother, Dorothy, for lunch to The George Hotel in Chollerford.
Fr Bede is a convert from Methodism (his mother remains a Methodist) & is a priest of the Clifton diocese. He has recently returned to the UK following a spell as chaplain & maths teacher a Chavagne College in France. He is presently studying for his doctorate at Durhan University.
During his parish visitation we were delighted that Bishop Seamus Cunningham sat in choir at Missa Cantata on Sunday 22nd March 2015. The celebrant was v Rev Dr Michael Brown with a young serving team from the parish led by MC Andrew Armstrong (one of our 3 newly appointed LMS Local Representatives) and music provided by the Westland Singers of Sunderland under Paul & Theresa Dewhirst. Our usual congregation of some 50/60 were present to greet the bishop after Mass. It was good that his lordship saw a wide age range in the congregation. All we need now is for Bishop Seamus to celebrate the EF Mass for us in St Mary's Cathedral.
John Wilson conducted the Royal Northern Sinfonia with Sir Thomas Allen in an eclectic concert on Sunday afternoon 15th March 2015. Sir Tom was in great voice singing many lovely ballads including a nice selection of local songs,
Having stood down as a Joint Local Representative of the Latin Mass Society for the diocese of Hexham & Newcastle I have resurrected my previous blog. I hope that my new posts will contain items of fairly wide interest ranging from church matters, LMS matters, music etc, etc
My first post concerns music as Theresa & I were pleased to attend a concert in St Mary's Anglican Church in Ponteland nr Newcastle upon Tyne on Saturday last. The concert was given by chamber choir Northern Praeclassica under the direction of Mark Edwards who also directs Felling Male Voice Choir. Their music is all a capella & the concert itself was entitled "Ave Maria" which encompassed "...sacred music from European Renaissance and Romantic composers, including Palestrina's Missa Brevis & Allegri's Miserere. The most modern work was Angelus by Biebl (1906 - 2001) - wrongly named in the programme as Ave Maria. Also included were works by Brahms, Anerio, Willaert, Verdei, Mendelssohn, Stravinsky & Tomas Luis de Victoria.
In addition to the choral works organ solos were played by Warren Smith (church choral director & asst to Mark at Felling MVC) who played works by Boellermann & Bach/Vivaldi.