Tuesday 16 April 2013
Students attending the Latin Mass Society’s ninth training conference in the Extraordinary Form, for priests and servers, have said they were ‘blown away’ by the depth and richness of the Traditional Latin Mass. About 60 people attended for all or part of the week-long course, which took place at Ratcliffe College in Leicestershire during Low Week.
Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon, Bishop of Nottingham, opened the conference with a Pontifical Mass of the Annunciation. Afterwards, Bishop McMahon addressed all the participants, putting forward some suggestions of ways to heal the rift that exists between enthusiasts for the older form of the Mass and some of those who oppose its widespread use. This led to a lively discussion.
As in recent LMS conferences, tuition was given to both priests and servers in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. There were also optional Latin classes.
There was a Sung Mass (either chant or polyphonic) each day, as well as Lauds, Vespers, Benediction and Compline. Together with private Masses, these services gave ample opportunity for participants to put into practice much of what they had learned. The musical settings were provided by the Rudgate Singers, with Christian Spence as organist.
LMS Chairman, Dr Joseph Shaw, said: 'The LMS training conferences continue to show their value in giving priests and servers hands-on experience and expert tuition, including the more complex liturgical roles; this year's conference attracted priests from Scotland, Poland, and South Africa, from the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. We also welcomed two seminarians: a Dominican, and a transitory Deacon studying at Oscott for the Diocese of East Anglia. The Leicester conference was also a very convivial occasion and a rare opportunity for like-minded priests, servers, and singers to spend time together.'
One of the tutors teaching servers said: ‘Two of the young married men who were in my group and hailed from Glasgow confessed to being "blown away" by the content of some of my talks on the spirituality and symbolism of the simple Low Mass. The eldest participant was similarly impressed with reading The Mass in Slow Motion by Mgr Knox at his own pace to place the Mass back in context for him.
‘I am unused to suddenly having my photograph taken whilst standing in front of some of my Power Point projections as I work, but this week has been something else. Another young man who had only ever encountered the old Mass once whilst on holiday last summer with his family was similarly moved by his experience of seeing the Mass close up. I was extremely privileged this morning to attend a "private" Mass served near perfectly by this lad.’