SEPTEMBER IS THE MONTH OF THE SORROWFUL MOTHER ‘THE SEVEN DOLOURS OF MARY’
THE TWENTY-THIRD WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME
‘You are just, O Lord, and your judgement is right; treat your servant in accord with your merciful love’
On Friday we celebrated the feast of Pope St Gregory the Great. He is one of the greatest popes we have ever had whose ministry was universal in scope: in church governance, ‘evangelization’, theology, spirituality, statecraft, arts and music and service to God’s poor. He is also great because he was a holy and humble man who accepted the great burdens of his office as the cross given to him by God.
Amongst his many achievements, he is famous for having organised the collation and codification of the music of the mass and sacred offices, hence the traditional music of the catholic church is given the name ‘Gregorian’ chant. For all the church’s history, this has been the music of the church. It still is. The roots of chant go back even before Christ, to the intoning of the psalms by the ancient Hebrews. It developed throughout the Christian centuries and can be highly embellished, but the most ancient chants are very simple and recent adaptations of the chant in both English and Latin have been made or kept simple, so that it is within everyone’s reach.
The chant is not an end in itself. It is not a pretty tune that you will easily remember and whistle as you work. It is ancient and sacred music, existing as a vehicle for prayer, which are mainly words of scripture used in the Sacred Liturgy. When the church talks about a ‘sung mass’ , this is what is meant. Hymns, which in the last few decades have become all pervasive, are often imported from other Christian traditions. They may add extra ‘decoration’ to a worship, but they are not essential to it. Chant on the other hand, gives emphasis to what is essential to the mass, which is sung to elevate the prayers and communicate and emphasise the words both proper to that day but also the ordinary prayers, such as the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Pater noster, Agnus Dei . Gregorian chant has been adapted to the new English translation and we frequently use the tones in the missal in the responses. At St. Thomas More, we are increasingly moving towards achieving this true catholic tradition of a ‘sung mass’ , which means just that: the mass is sung, rather than the protestant tradition of spoken prayers and readings in between hymns.
On Sundays at 9.00 and 11.00, we have recently begun to sing the Entrance Antiphon, which is a traditionally called ‘the Introit’. These antiphons are ancient and normally consist of a short verse of scripture which lead us into the mass. In traditional chant these may be quite elaborate, but have been adapted for English and simplified for greater accessibility. This is in accord with Sacrosanctum Concilium of Vatican II ‘It is desirable that an edition be prepared containing simpler melodies for use in smaller churches. You have the words in your parish mass book. Listen to the cantor and then after each verse is sung, the people join in with the antiphon which this week is ‘ you are just, O Lord, and your judgement is right; treat your servant in accord with your merciful love’ / Iustus es, Domine, et rectum iudicium tuum; fac cum servo tup secundum misericordiam tuam’.
Since the time of Pope Gregory the Great and before, the church has treasured her chant, which has a unique and irreplaceable part in the church’s liturgy. In more recent times (1947) Pope Pius XII issued his encyclical "Mediator Dei" ("On the Sacred Liturgy"), encouraging active participation by the laity in the liturgy, further reinforcing Gregorian chant.
Pope Pius XII has a very specific paragraph on Gregorian chant where he actually says that the chant enables people to participate actively and that this is the people's music and they should be singing it. The pope is telling us that the chant belongs to all Catholics, it is not just the preserve of monasteries.
This decree that Gregorian chant is the music of the catholic church and that the people should participate in it, was further promoted by Vatican II in Sacrosanctum Concilium. Below are some more key statements:
1.‘The musical tradition of the universal church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater than even any other art. The main reason for this pre- eminence is that, as a combination of sacred music and words, it forms an integral part of the solemn liturgy.
2. ‘Litugical worship takes on a more dignified character when the rites are celebrated solemnly in song, with sacred ministers taking part and with the active participation of the people’.
3. The church recognises Gregorian chant as especially native to the Roman Liturgy. Therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services’
4.. The pipe organ is to be held in high esteem in the Latin church, for it is the traditional musical instrument, the sound of which can add a wonderful splendour to the church’s ceremonies and most effectively elevate people’s spirits to God and things above.
At St. Thomas More we have been making great progress towards fulfilling the intentions of Vatican II for the reformed liturgy and realising the words of St Augustine ‘when we pray in song, it's almost as if we're praying twice’. Please join in when and where you can, using the parish mass books and at the 11.00 joining in the mass settings which are in the booklets. It will take time to familiarise yourself with it, but it will come. And please think about supporting the music in your parish either by:
1. Encouraging your children to sit in the front row near the piano to make a choir at the 9.00
2. Joining yourself, the 11.00 choir and coming to the practice on Fridays at 6.00 p.m.
In so doing, we will fulfil this last point of Sacrosanctum Concilium of Vatican II:
‘The treasury of sacred music is to be preserved and cultivated with great care. Choirs must be diligently developed… pastors of souls must do their best to ensure that whenever a liturgical service is to be accompanied by chant, the whole body of the faithful may be able to take that active part which is rightly theirs’.
MISSIO RED BOXES
Thank you to the parishioner who has offered to take over distribution and collection of Missio Red Boxes from Helen. Hopefully, this means that through the collection of small change (or otherwise) in the Red Boxes through the course of year, the parish can continue to make its generous contribution to financial support of the Missionary Work of the church. More details to follow.
Church & Hall Redecoration
Some more will be done this week, but soon the money runs out. In order to complete the repair of the Wall Areas to the rear of the church (the entrance wall) we need nearly another £2,000, including the necessary hire of two men and a tower scaffold. If you can help with this, please make your donation online with reference to Church Redecoration or in an envelope marked the same.
ACC NO. 21361606
SORT CODE 517014
for the credit of: RCAS ST THOMAS MORE - BOSTALL PARK
Ref: church redecoration
Next week on Wednesday and Thursday there will be a further finishing touch to the Hall, with new flooring being installed on the stage, making us ready for a very booked and busy autumn ahead.
Thursday Lunch Club
The next Thursday Lunch Club Afternoon Tea is on Thursday 9th September at 2.00 p.m. To all our Senior Citizens, please think about coming along and meet up with old friends or make new ones. Please note there is no Afternoon Tea this coming Thursday due to the work being done on the hall that day (as mentioned above)
If you would like to assist with Afternoon Tea for our senior parishioners (or future lunches) please contact Marian on 0208 3037584 or Joyce on 0208 3032424.
Deaths For all our brothers and sisters who ate the Body of Christ, the bread of Life, that they may be raised up on the Last Day. (Drawn from the intercession of the Funeral Mass)
Please pray for the souls of:
Thomas Furlong, aged 88, who died on Friday 16th July. The Funeral was on Thursday 2nd September with burial in Ireland.
Helen Gaskin. who died on Tuesday 24th August aged 69. Funeral details awaited.
Sandra Nourse who died on 3rd September 2021. Funeral details awaited.
May the divine assistance remain with them always, and may their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.
PARISH GOLF DAY. MESSAGE FROM TONY BROOKE. Saturday 18th September 2021 to be held at Pedham Place Golf Club, Farningham.
Bacon rolls from 11am. First tee off at 12 noon. 18 holes of golf followed by a one course meal and prize awarding. In an attempt to keep the price down we have dropped to a one course meal and bumped into a very gracious sponsor who will hold down the price to £40per contestant. There will be the usual charity raffle attached to the day that parishioners will have a chance to be involved with by purchasing tickets after Mass.
Any enquiries / interest to Tony Brooke 07833707016. Provisional numbers please ASAP so that we can secure tee times.
MASSES AND INTENTIONS FOR THE COMING WEEK: THE TWENTY-THIRD WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME
Psalter week 3 Ferial cycle 1 at mass.
Please come to mass once a week only, on any day of your choosing, to help with numbers and social distancing.
Mass intentions booked for masses cancelled or replaced with a funeral will be moved to another day.
Please note the Sunday 10.30 mass has been moved to 11.00 due to the lack of time after the 9.00 to prepare for the next mass and consequently the consistent late start of the 10.30. We will try this new time for a few weeks and see how it works.
Saturday 4th September THE TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (B)
6.00 p.m. Confessions
+ 6.30 p.m. MASS [said] Molly Andalee Fuller R.I.P.
Sunday 5th September
8. 30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+ 9.00 a.m. SUNG MASS. The people of the parish.
+ 11.00 a.m. SOLEMN LATIN MASS [with English Readings] Maria Pereira
Monday 6th September feria.
9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+ 10.00 a.m. Patrick Berry R.I.P.
Tuesday 7th September feria.
+ 10.00 a.m. Kate Folan W.B.
Wednesday 8th September The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, feast.
The Daily Rosary at home, in private.
NO PUBLIC MASS TODAY
Thursday 9th September St. Peter Claver, priest.
9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+ 10.00 Nappy Flaherty W.B.
2.00 p.m. Thursday Lunch Club Afternoon Tea.
Friday 10th September feria.
9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+ 10.00 a.m. Ferdie Rodrigues R.I.P.
6.00 p.m. choir practice
Saturday 11th September Our Lady’s Saturday .
9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+ 10.00 a.m. [Latin] Peter Collison R.I.P.
11.30 a.m. Baptism.
[ + 6.30 p.m. THE TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME. Bill Maloney R.I.P.]
SEPTEMBER PRAYER TO OUR LADY, THE SORROWFUL MOTHER:
Our Lady is there listening to the words of her Son, united to him in his suffering, when he cried out ‘my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’. What could she do? She united herself fully with the redemptive love of her Son and offered to the Father her immense sorrow, which pierced her pure heart like a sharp-edged sword. In this month of the Feast of Holy Cross on Tuesday 14th and the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows the next day, let us offer to our Sorrowful Mother the mortification of keeping quiet about our pains and discomforts unless necessary, and bearing the small inevitable daily inconveniences and disappointments of life with patience, uniting these with the torments of Mary as she stood by her crucified Son.
Let that offering to God, in union with our Sorrowful Mother, be our September prayer.
(Adapted from ‘A Handbook of Prayers’ p 493, Midwest Theological Forum)