Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Notes for an MC at Missa Cantata

Although the form of Missa Cantata which is common in England and Wales is based on that of High Mass, there is another form which can served by two servers only who act much like as they would at a Low Mass, except they would generally stand for most of the Mass, rather than kneel, and they carry torch candles from the Sanctus until after Communion. They kneel when they are carrying their torch candles. There may be two, four or six torchbearers.
Prior to 1962 an indult, renewable at regular intervals, was required for the use of incense at Missa Cantata, but the rubrics of the 1962 Missal permit the use of incense at all sung Masses.
The manner of serving which follows is the usual form of Missa Cantata with incense.
1.- Procession to altar
Order of Procession:
Thurifer with thurible
2 acolytes with candles
2, 4 or 6 torchbearers without their torch candles
Any other servers
2.- Preparatory Prayers
Mc kneels on Celebrant's right on the floor and answers as at Low Mass. Acolytes and thurifer kneel at credence, other servers kneel in choir.
3.- Incensing of altar
After preparatory prayers, all stand. Mc goes to altar with celebrant and thurifer. Celebrant puts incense in thurible at centre of altar.
MC holds chasuble and accompanies celebrant for censing the altar. After altar censed Mc censes celebrant at Epistle'side with 3 double swings. Thurifer takes thurible away. During censing of the altar an acolyte, or the thurifer takes Missal from altar until celebrant has censed where it stands.
4.- Introit to Gloria
MC stands by Missal and points place for celebrant, MC recites Kyrie with celebrant. At end of said Gloria MC leads celebrant to sedilia to sit, gives him biretta and stands at sedilia, takes biretta back after final Jesu Christe and leads celebrant back to the altar. He goes back to his place beside the Missal.
5.- Collect to Alleluia/Tract
Mc stands by Missal and points places for all celebrant has to read and turns pages for him.
6.- Gospel
After the reading of the Alleluia or Tract, when the celebrant returns to the centre of the altar, MC and thurifer join him and he puts incense into the thurible.
Thurifer goes and waits in centre in front of the altar and is joined by acolytes with their candles.
MC takes Missal and changes it to Gospel side as the server does at Low Mass. Thurifer and acolytes genuflect with him and go round to Gospel side of altar and stand there.
MC takes thurible and stands by Missal. After Sequentia...etc, MC hands thurible to celebrant. After he has censed the Missal, MC returns thurible to thurifer. He turns page of Missal if required during singing of Gospel, answers Laus tibi Christe at end then censes the celebrant (3 double swings), gives thurible back to thurifer and walks back with the other servers to the front of the altar. All genuflect.
Acolytes go back to credence, thurifer to sacristy (unless there is no sermon or Credo) and Mc joins celebrant.
a.- Sermon
MC leads celebrant to place where sermon is to be preached. Mc sits for sermon.
b.- Credo
If there is no sermon, MC stands at foot of altar steps either at the front or at the Epistle side during said Credo. When celebrant has finished reciting Credo, MC leads him to sedilia to sit. He gives him his biretta, and stands at sedilia. He kneels for Et incarnatus est, etc. At Et expecto, etc MC takes celebrant's biretta and leads him back to the altar.
If no Credo, all proceeds as at 8.
8.- Offertory
MC goes to top step on Epistle side to supervise acolytes while they give the celebrant wine and water.
When celebrant goes to centre, MC and thurifer go to stand by him for incense to be put in thurible.
During the censing of the altar an acolyte, or the thurifer takes Missal from altar until celebrant has censed where it stands. MC holds chasuble and accompanies celebrant while he censes first the oblation, then the crucifix, then the altar. After altar censed MC censes celebrant at Epistle side with 3 double swings. He returns thurible to thurifer while one of the acolytes (or boyh of them) wash the celebrant's fingers as at a Low Mass.
Meanwhile MC goes to stand on the footpace by the Missal and faces the thurifer who censes him (1 double swing), then censes the acolytes (1 double swing each). In the same way he censes any other servers takes, then censes the people (3 single swings). He then takes the thurible away, leading the torchbearers to the sacristy to collect their torches.
9.- Secret to Consecration
MC stands at Missal, turns the pages and points the places for the celebrant. He answers Suscipiat Dominus, etc. Whenever the chalice is uncovered he genuflects with the celebrant.
At the Commemoration of the Living he steps back to the edge of the footpace to avoid overhearing the names of those the celebrant mentions and steps back to the Missal when the celebrant continues with the prayer.
At Hanc igitur the MC or an acolyte puts incense into the thurible ready for the Elevation.
10.- Consecration to Communion
At Qui pridie MC kneels on the edge of the footpace a little to the celebrant's left. He raises the chasuble during the elevations as at Low Mass. An acolyte rings the bell as at Low Mass and the thurifer censes the Blessed Sacrament with 3 double swings each time the bell is rung. After the last genuflection, the MC returns to his place by the Missal until Communion. The thurifer takes the thurible to the sacristy and then returns to stand at the credence with the acolytes.
At the Commemoration of the Dead the MC steps back as at the Commemoration of the Living.
11.- Communion
The MC also stands away from the altar when the celebrant receives the Sacred Host and then steps forward to genuflect with him when he uncovers the chalice. He goes away from the altar when the celebrant takes up the chalice to receive the Precious Blood and goes to the credence to get the communion plate.
He then, if he is to receive communion, goes to kneel on the edge of the footpace and is joined by any other servers who are to receive, with the exception of the torchbearers.
When all the servers have received, MC takes plate from last server to receive and leads the celebrant to any torchbearers who wish to receive and holds the communion plate under the chin of each in turn as the celebrant gives them communion. He then leads the celebrant to the altar rails and assists at the communion of the people in the same way.
After the last communicant has received, MC gives plate to celebrant and precedes him back to the altar. He kneels on the bottom step until the Blessed Sacrament has been placed in the tabernacle.
The torchbearers are then lead to the sacristy by the thurifer. They return to their places after having put away their torches.
12.- Ablutions to end of Mass
MG goes to top step on Epistle side to supervise acolytes at the Ablutions which are as at Low Mass, i.e.: first wine, then wine and water.
Acolytes return to credence. MC goes to Gospel side and changes Missal to Epistle side as at Low Mass. He finds place for Communion Verse and stands at the Missal and points the places for the celebrant.
After the Postcommunion he closes the Missal and goes to stand towards the Gospel side while the celebrant says Placeat. He kneels for the Blessing then goes to stand at the Gospel end of the altar to hold the Last Gospel card for the celebrant. He does not genuflect at Et Verbum, although everyone else does. He answers Deo gratias at end of Last Gospel and replaces the card. He goes to the sedilia to collect the celebrant's biretta.
13.- After Mass
If anything follows the Mass, such as the Salve Regina, Prayer for the Queeen (which is said only on a Sunday), or any other prayer, the Mc takes the celebrant's maniple from him before the prayer.
Finally, all genuflect - the celebrant bows only if the Blessed Sacrament is not reserved at the altar where Mass has been said - Mc gives to the celebrant his biretta and all process to the sacristy in the same order as at the start of Mass.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Apostle of Bedford

Father John Priestley Warmoll single-handedly brought Catholicism back to Bedford in the nineteenth century. Jack Robbins calls him the Apostle of Bedford and has self-published a book on his life and times. Because the book is self-published, there was no editor to restrain the author’s exuberance. The text contains many facts and will be of interest to anyone who is fascinated by Catholic history, but not all are relevant to the main point of the book.

There are many photographs, mainly of Protestant churches: Fr Warmoll was an Anglican minister before he became a Catholic; so were a number of his ancestors, another was a Congregationalist minister.

We meet him in chapter five; in chapter eight we become aware of his Catholic life when he is baptised sub conditione by Canon Henry Edward Manning, Provost of Westminster, when he received the name of John. Mr Warmoll had previously known the Canon as Archdeacon Manning; he was later Archbishop of Westminster and Cardinal.

After attending the Pian College (now the Beda) in Rome and ordination in 1863 in St John Lateran, Fr Warmoll was appointed to the pro-Cathedral of Northampton. At the time the diocese covered seven counties, had thirty-four churches, four convents and twenty-one priests. With so few priests, the newly ordained soon found themselves in charge of missions. So it was that in the year of his ordination Fr Warmoll was sent to establish a mission in Bedford. There was only one chapel in Bedfordshire at the time.

From chapter ten, the author charts the course of the Bedford Mission. Father Warmoll arrived in the town on Christmas Eve 1863 with two pounds in his pocket. His first Christmas Masses were celebrated in the small house of one of the few Catholic families in the town. Three rented rooms in a house formed the first mission building: an ill-furnished room for the priest to live in and the other two knocked into one to form a chapel.

To provide income for the mission, he wrote to the Catholic publications, The Tablet, The Universe and The Weekly Register. He pleaded, “Not only have we no chapel, schoolroom nor house in this town, but, at present, no means of obtaining them”. Many begging letters later, he was able to build a presbytery and chapel-schoolroom and celebrated the first Mass there on 31 March 1867. The mission territory was the whole of Bedfordshire; the other chapel in the county, at Shefford, was temporarily closed the same year Fr Warmoll opened his new building. People came from as far as sixteen miles away to hear Mass.

The numbers of Catholics increased, thanks to Fr Warmoll’s efforts, and the number of Catholic children over-flowed the schoolroom. Afraid the school inspectors might close the school, he began to build the Church of the Holy Child and St Joseph beginning with the sacristy so that it could be used as an extra schoolroom.

The foundation stone was laid by Bishop Amherst on 10 October 1872. Donations for the building of the high altar and sanctuary were collected from children around the country, even from those of East London and of the London Oratory. The book containing their names was buried below the altar. It was discovered in 1986 during the process of re-ordering the sanctuary.

Father Warmoll applied for the high altar to be made a privileged altar. In signing the application, he described himself as formerly a student in Collegio Piano Anglorum. Jack Robbins records that the present rector of the Beda suggests ‘Piano’ was possibly a familiar term for ‘Pio Nono’, which shows how little Latin the clergy now have. It is, of course, ‘Pian’, of Pius, as in ‘abito piano’, the crimson-trimmed, purple-sashed habit, which was introduced by that pope, and is worn as undress by bishops.

In July 1873, Fr Warmoll was appointed a canon. His church was opened, partly built, the following year and completed in 1912. “The opening ceremonies began with Pontifical High Mass at 11.00 am, Bishop Amherst being the celebrant... After the Gospel, the Most Reverend Dr Manning, Archbishop of Westminster entered, ‘at once recognised from his ascetic looks’, preceded by a cross-bearer.” He preached for about forty minutes and then retired to the sacristy.

There was quite a lot of preaching: “On Sunday, sermons were preached by Rev. Prior Wilberforce, OP in the morning and by Fr Anderton, SJ in the evening to crowded congregations. Father Anderton also delivered lectures on Monday and Tuesday ‘on points of dogma and devotion on which non-Catholics had erroneous impressions.' "

Once the church was open, Canon Wamroll turned his attention to a new school.

The author deals well with the matter of Catholic education. The canon opened his schools to government inspection, so a grant could be received. Although the 1870 Education Act was to provide a place for every child, voluntary schools received nothing from local taxation and were affected by the rule which allowed schools to give religious instruction, provided “no religious catechism or religious formulary which is distinctive of any particular denomination shall be taught.”

By the time of his death, Canon Warmoll was the Provost of the Chapter. He died on the Feast of St Valentine, 14 February 1885. His funeral, celebrated by the Bishop of Northampton, Dr Riddel, was attended by five Anglican ministers.

John Priestley Warmoll: His Life, Times and Family
by Jack Robbins, pb, £8,95
(Available from: 21 Ryston End, Downham Market, Norfolk PE38 9AX)

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Corpus Christi - Triumph Over Heresy

An Augustinian prioress, a hermitess and an archdeacon, all living at Liege in the thirteenth century, are the people mainly responsible for the institution of the feast of Cor-pus Christi.Although the institution of the Holy Eucharist has been commemorated on Maundy Thursday since Apostolic times, the Church is concerned at this period with the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ which overshadows remembrance of the events of the Last Supper.

The first petition

Some of the faithful felt that a further day to honour the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar should be established. Notable among these was the prioress of a nunnery in Liege, Blessed Julienne de Retrinnes. She believed she had seen a vision encouraging her to petition the ecclesiastical authorities for such a feast. In 1230 she consulted a number of persons of influence concerning this, among them Jacques Pantalon of Troyes, who was the Archdeacon of Liege, and the Dominican cardinal and Papal Legate, Hugues de Saint Cher.

An office for the feast was composed and Robert, Bishop of Liege, ordered that the feast of Corpus Christi be celebrated throughout his diocese. Fourteen years later on 29 August 1261, Archdeacon Jacques Pantalon was elected Pope, taking the name Urban IV.

Because of the political situation at the time, Urban was never able to establish himself at Rome and lived first at Viterbo and then at Orvieto. It was not a period when the papacy excelled itself.

The feast extended

Following the death of Blessed Julienne, a holy recluse named Eve persuaded the then Bishop of Liege, Henri, to petition the Holy See for the feast to be extended to the Universal Church.

Urban IV is said at first to have been uncertain whether to institute the feast, but eventually he agreed. He may have been influenced by the reputed miracle of Bolsena. While his court was at Orvieto in 1264, it was reported that a priest in the nearby city of Bolsena had spilt a drop of the Precious Blood while he was saying Mass. He tried to hide the accident by covering the spot where the Precious Blood had fallen with the corporal.

Suddenly, it is said, the corporal, which is still preserved at Bolsena, was covered with red spots in the shape of a host. Some people suggest the priest had had doubts about the Real Presence.

Although there is no certainty that this was the reason for the institution of the feast, some say that hearing of this incident, the Pope delayed no longer. The Bull of erection, however, makes no mention of it.

Something else which may have influenced Urban was a desire to counteract the teachings of Berengarius, a writer from about a century earlier who, as Archdeacon of Angers, had attacked the teaching on the Eucharist; he denied transubstantiation and held that Christ’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament was only spiritually conceived.

On 8 September 1264 Urban published a Bull commanding the celebration of the feast on the Thursday after the First Sunday of Pentecost. Thursday has always been consecrated to remembrance of the Holy Eucharist because that was the day of the week on which it was instituted.

St Thomas Aquinas

Urban asked both the Dominican, St Tho-mas Aquinas and the Franciscan, St Bonaventure to write an office for the new feast. Both did so, but when Bonaventure read Aquinas’s composition, he withdrew his own as being not comparable with that of the Dominican.

Although the Papal court celebrated the feast, there is some doubt as to whether the Bull was actually executed elsewhere. Soon after the institution of the feast, the Pope died on 2 October in the same year.

At the Council of Vienne which opened on 16 October 1311, Clement V, the Pope who established the Papal court at Avignon, continued Urban’s Bull and made the feast of obligation throughout the Church. His successor, John XXII, promoted the feast as did two later Popes,Martin V and Eugenius IV who both granted indulgences for it.

Although the feast had an octave from the beginning, it was not celebrated with a vigil; vigils in their original sense having already passed into desuetude. The Papal decree which produced the 1962Missal abolished the octave of Corpus Christi along with most other octaves.

The feast in England

It seems to have taken some time for the feast to be adopted generally, but Corpus Christi was finally observed in England from 1318. The feast quickly became popular here and numerous guilds were established to honour the Blessed Sacrament as it was carried in procession. The custom of carrying the Most Holy Sacrament in procession had been recognised as a part of the ceremonies of the feast from the beginning.

It was the Corpus Christi guilds rather than the clergy which arranged the processions and the miracle play cycles which, in many places, also became apart of the celebration of the feast. The Corpus Christi procession became a major civic event in many medieval towns. Houses along the processional route we redecorated with hangings, flowers and lights. Such decoration is still prescribed by the Caeremoniale Episcoporum.

The Council of Trent praised the feast as a triumph over heresy.

Father Adrian Fortescue in his directory of ceremonial, The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described, explains that the outdoor procession on this feast should be a general one for the whole town, that is to say that every church, whether of seculars or regulars, in each town should join together for the procession.

He has a footnote to the effect that the Caeremoniale Episcoporum has most elaborate directions to prevent quarrelling among the clergy as to precedence in the procession. ‘The Bishop is to settle it, and if anyone is not satisfied he shall be excommunicated.’ Not much doubt about that! Merati (an Italian writer on the liturgy), Fortescue says, ‘writes columns on the same subject. Martinucci (another liturgist) also is very much concerned about this matter.’ The note ends by saying, ‘Fortunately, such foolishness is unlikely to occur in England’!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

The Gordon Riots

When I was a young man working in the City of London in the early 1950s, I would walk to Bank Underground Station at the end of the day's work. Often I would follow a detachment of Foot Guards marching to the Bank of England; the Bank Picket. They had been going to stand guard over the Nation's gold every night since June 1780 - and it was all because of anti-Catholicism!

In June 1780, the City was burning, a mob was rampaging through the streets, buildings were sacked, prisons burning, distilleries and breweries broken into by drunken rioters who stormed through the streets unchecked by those whose place it was to bring them to order. The Bank of England was stormed, Catholics were being attacked and raped and their home sand chapels burned; this was London for over a week that June.

It was then a City without a police force. There were the Bow Street Runners, thief-takers employed on a sort of semi-official, commission basis by the Bow Street Magistrate (at first the novelist Henry Fielding, but by this time his brother, Sir John, "the blind beak"). The only official guardians of the peace were parish constables often appointed against their will and serving with reluctance, and watchmen most of whom were old and feeble; nicknamed "Charlies" they were generally figures of fun. They were of little use and certainly not against rioters. When things got out of hand, order had to be maintained by the armed forces of the Crown. It was not until 1829 that the Metropolitan Police Force was formed.The Solicitor General introduced a Bill to establish a London police force in 1780,but there had been considerable opposition at all levels of society to the formation of such a force which was regarded as a form of foreign, especially French, tyranny and the Bill was lost.

Riots were not unusual in England, and especially in London, in the eighteenth century, or, indeed, earlier - medieval apprentices were forever at it. For the voteless underclass, it was the only Way to protest about their lot and make their voices heard. They had rioted against the Gin Act, an act to control the sale of spirits, to the extent that the act was made unworkable, and it was only some thirty years before there had been riots against the Calendar (New Style) Act of 1752which ordained that eleven days be deleted from the year 1752 to replace the Julian Calendar with the Gregorian one, they then being eleven days out of step; the mob thought eleven days had been stolen from their lives "give us back our eleven days" they demanded. There had also been a number of outbreaks against the presence of large numbers of Irish peasantry who were thought to be ready to work for lower wages than the pitiable amounts the English received. It may be that anti-Irish prejudice was a contributory cause of the "no-Popery" riots; a public house - not an obvious choice for destruction - was smashed up in Golden Lane; its keeper was named Murphy.

At the end of the eighteenth century the hatred of Catholics by ordinary Englishmen was mostly unreasoning and largely due to anti-Jacobite propaganda by the Whigs. Daniel Defoe, the author of Robinson Crusoe, said there were in London forty thousand stout fellows that would spend the last drop of their blood against Popery that do not know whether it be a man or a horse.

However, a more tolerant attitude was beginning to creep in. Among educated people fear of Papists was starting to disappear; the Jacobite threat was reduced after 1745 and the Grand Tour had made Continental Catholicism familiar to the wealthier classes, and the Pope less of bogeyman. The eighteenth century had become more tolerant towards Catholics; Lord North's Government had already recognised the status of the Catholic Church in Canada.

It could be said that the reason for the relaxation of penal laws against Catholics was the need of the Army to recruit more men. The need for soldiers was urgent and it was desirable to remove the restrictions which prevented Catholics from serving in the Army. In 1770, General Sir John Burgoyne, soon to be Commander in Chief of British Forces in America during the Rebellion there, proposed that Catholics be permitted to join the Army after taking a modified oath of allegiance. The Bill was rejected. However, by 1775 the American Rebellion had begin and there was the further possibility of war on the European continent; the combined French and Spanish fleets were in the Channel. Much needed recruits could be obtained from the largely Catholic Scottish Highlands and from Ireland if it were not for the problem of the anti-Papal content of the oath of allegiance.

The Government sent an emissary to Bishop Hay, Vicar Apostolic of the Lowland District in Scotland, concerning a proposed Act. The Bishop advised that Bishop Challoner, Vicar Apostolic of the London District, should be approached, but the Government was unwilling to consult with "Romish Bishops" who by the laws of the time should be in prison. The negotiations were, therefore, mostly handled by laymen, chief among them Lord Petre. As a result of these negotiations the first Catholic Relief Act for England received the Royal Assent on June 3rd 1778 making it no longer a felony to be a priest and allowing soldiers to enlist without taking an oath against the Pope, just one of loyalty to the Crown.

In 1779 when it was proposed to pass similar laws for Scotland there was rioting in Edinburgh and Glasgow. A Protestant Association was established to resist any attempt to relax the laws against Catholics.

In February of the same year, a meeting was held in Coach makers' Hall, Foster Lane in London at which a Protestant Association for England was formed. In November of that year, Lord George Gordon, a younger son of the Duke of Gordon and an anti-Papist fanatic who had been active in the campaign in Scotland was invited to become its President.

Some idea of the thinking of the more hostile anti-Catholic Londoner can be gained from what John Wesley, the father of Methodism, wrote on January 12th 1780, "I consider not whether the Romish religion be true or false: I build nothing on the one or the other supposition: therefore away with all your commonplace declamations against intolerance and persecution for religion: suppose every word of Pope Pius' creed were true, suppose the Council of Trent to have been infallible yet, I insist upon it, that no government, not Roman Catholic, ought to tolerate men of the Roman Catholic persuasion".

On Friday June 2nd 1780, a hot sunny day,a large number of Protestants assembled at St George‘s Fields in Southwark. About noon they moved off and marched to the House of Commons wearing blue cockades in their hats, carrying Lord George Gordon on their shoulders and crying "No Popery". They were to present a monster petition against the Relief Act to the House of Commons. When they arrived, Gordon, who was a Member of Parliament, entered the House while the mob remained outside.

At first they did little more than jostle MPs as they came from or went to the House,but gradually under the influence of agitators they became more violent. They beset Parliament and assaulted some of its members. They turned over' the coaches of peers whom they considered most favourably inclined towards the Relief Act. The Archbishop of York was made to shout "No Popery!" and to wear a blue cockade. Lord Mansfield, the Lord Chief Justice, had his coach smashed up about him as he rode in it.

For more than a week the mob roamed the streets of London clamouring for Protestant orthodoxy, had they known what that was. The Commons could not sit because of the mob. During all this, the authorities made no move to act against the rioters. The anger and violence of the mob was directed mainly against Catholics, but they also raided distilleries and breweries and robbed and looted as and where they pleased. One of the largest distilleries in London was owned by a Catholic, a Mr Langdale. The mob attacked it, got roaring drunk and set it on fire, with the result that many of them were burned to death. They' broke open the gaols, set fire to Newgate Prison and released about 300 of its prisoners. The King's Bench and Fleet Prisons and the new Bridewell were also burned.

The Bank of England was attacked, but was one of the few buildings to be defended by the authorities. John Wilkes,the Member of Parliament for Middlesex,who became Chamberlain of the City in 1774, acted with resolution against the mob, directing the Guards outside the Bank. When they ran short of ammunition, its defenders melted down ink pots to make bullets to resist the drunken crowd. The rioters were repulsed, but with heavy losses to the soldiers. As a result of this attack the picket of the Guards was nightly posted at the Bank until abolished by Harold Wilson's Government.

The "No Popery" rioters burned the Bavarian Embassy Chapel in Golden Square. They moved on to the Sardinian Embassy in Duke Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields and burned the chapel there. The Blessed Sacrament was removed from the chapel just in time and taken to the Ship Tavern in Little Turnstile. Bishop Challoner lived only about ten minutes walk away from the Embassy in which he often celebrated Mass. He was persuaded to take refuge in a neighbouring house which happily the mob failed to find. On Saturday morning, he was driven to Finchley, then a small village outside London, where he celebrated Mass the next day.

On Sunday afternoon a Catholic chapel in Ropemakers's Alley was destroyed along with a number of houses of Catholics, the chapel in Moorfields and the house of the resident priest in the same street were attacked along with the houses of other Catholics in Moorfields. The rioters stripped the priest's house of furniture and piled it up in the street together with the ornaments and vestments of the chapel, they tore out the altars, pulpit and pews and made a bonfire of them and burned most of the chapel archives, leaving nothing but bare walls. Owing to the ill treatment he suffered in the riots Mr Richard Dillon , the Missionary Rector of the Chapel, died the same year. Two more chapels were destroyed on Monday, in Wapping and East Smithfield

The Irish in Wapping formed themselves into a defence organisation for Catholic property and offered their services to the Home Secretary, but he declined the offer on the grounds it might lead to disturbance!

Because he was known to favour the Catholic Relief Act, a Protestant mob wrecked Lord Mansfield's house in Bloomsbury and destroyed his valuable library. Later, he was to preside over the trial of Lord George Gordon with conspicuous fairness. His house, Ken Wood, at Hampstead was saved from destruction by the presence of a squadron of Light Horse. Lord Petre's London house, however, was destroyed.

As the rioting continued unabated, King George III called a special meeting of the Privy Council at Buckingham House at which he observed that the soldiers could not act as no magistrate was prepared to read the Riot Act. The Riot Act had been passed in 1715 and was intended to prevent civil disorder. It made it a felony for an assembly of more than twelve people to refuse to disperse after being ordered to do so and having been read a specified portion of the Act by a magistrate. The Attorney General advised His Majesty that as the mob was engaged in a felony, the reading of the Riot Act was unnecessary. The King accepted that advice and issued a Proclamation calling out the military, ordering them to open fire and bring the rioters under control.

Although there were eventually as many as ten thousand soldiers on the streets, it is probable that it was less due to their efforts that the rioting ended, it is as likely that the mob had run out of steam and things just ran down. By Friday, order had almost been restored and what Lord Petre called "the most serious public disorder ever seen in this country" came to an end.

Twenty one people of the lower classes were hanged, bizarrely one of them was a fourteen year old boy who was executed for pulling down the house of the Bow Street Magistrate. Presumably he had some assistance.

About 450 people were killed or wounded in the riots.

By June 9th, everything was about over and Lord George Gordon was lodged in the Tower of London. He was acquitted at his trial. Later, he gave up the Protestant cause and became a convert to Judaism after being refused admittance to the Quakers. In 1788 he was imprisoned for a libel on the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette. No-one would stand surety for his good behaviour and he remained in prison until he died of gaol-fever five years later, in the same year the Queen he had libelled was guillotined, with her husband Louis XVI, by the French revolutionaries. Gordon was refused burial in the Jewish burial ground. The site of the Anglican church, St James', where he was interred instead now lies under Euston station.

After the riots, Catholics were compensated for the damage done to their property. They rebuilt their chapels, and the priest at Moorfields started a new register to replace what had been burned by the rioters and entered onto its flyleaf a note of all the baptisms and weddings he could remember having conducted before the destruction of the records.

When the Catholic Emancipation Act was passed in 1829 there was no Lord George Gordon to lead violent reaction to it and it passed peaceably into law.

Saturday, 31 July 2010


SERVING AT MISSA CANTATA (The Torchbearers at Missa Cantata)

The Torchbearers at Missa Cantata

Procession to altar

When you are to be a Torchbearer walk with the other Torchbearers, not carrying your candle, immediately behind the Acolytes in the procession to the altar, keeping in pairs.

Preparatory Prayers

When you come before the altar, genuflect with your partner, turn inwards to face him and bow to him. He will also bow to you. Then turn away from him and go to your place at the seat which has been prepared for you. When the Mc kneels down, kneel also.

Incensing of altar

When the Celebrant goes up to the altar after the Preparatory Prayers, stand up.

Introit to Gloria

Remain standing until the Celebrant sits down during the Gloria in excelsis Deo if this is sung, and stand again when the Celebrant does so.

Collect to Alleluia/Tract

Stand for the Collect (1). If there is a Sequence, sit down when the Celebrant does. Sit down during the Epistle.


When the Mc, Thurifer and Acolytes genuflect to go to the place of the Gospel, stand for the Gospel.


If there is a Sermon, sit and listen to it.


Stand while the Celebrant recites the Creed. Genuflect at Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine: et homo factus est when the Celebrant does so. When he has finished the Creed, he goes to sit. Sit also. Bow when Et incarnatus est, etc. is sung if you are sitting, but kneel during them if you are still standing when they are sung. (2). Bow when the words simul adoratur are sung. When the Celebrant stands, stand up at the Offertory.

After the celebrant has sung Dominus vobiscum and Oremus, sit. When the Thurifer comes to cense the Torchbearers, stand. When he bows to you bow back to him, and when he has censed you, bow to him again. Leave your place to stand at the centre of the sanctuary, lined up with the other Torchbearers in pairs ready to go to the sacristy to collect your torch candle. When the Thurifer comes to join you, genuflect to the altar with him and follow him to the sacristy to collect your torch.

Secret to Consecration

At the start of the singing of Sanctus, follow theThurifer, carrying your torch candle, (3) back to thesanctuary, genuflect with him, go to the place where youhave been told to kneel, and kneel there with the otherTorchbearers, making a line across the sanctuary, facing towards the altar and holding your torch candle up straight.

Consecration to Communion

Look up at the Blessed Sacrament when the Celebrant elevates It. Say "My Lord and my God" when you look on the Sacred Host.

When the schola begins to sing Agnus Dei with the other Torchbearers, stand up and form two lines facing each other across the sanctuary, so that, when the Celebrant goes to give communion to the people, you will not have your back to the Blessed Sacrament. When you have done this kneel down again.


If you are to receive communion, remain where you are when the other servers go up to the altar to receive the Blessed Sacrament. When the Celebrant has given communion to them, ne will come and give connunion to you where yui are krieeling with your torch candle (4). Once the Vt ssed Sacrament has been placed in the tabelnacl, uhe ihurifer will give you a sign for you to gt:),t up, turn and face the altar and genuflects with the :ither Torchbearers and follow the Tnurifer, walking in pairs ar.rain, back to the sacristy. Put away your torch and follow the Thurifer, walking in pairs c::ain, back to the sanctuary, genuflect in pairs and turn and bow to your partner as you did at the beginning of Mass, and return to your place.

Ablutions to end of Mass

You may sit down if the Ablutions are still taking place or if the Celebrant is reading the Communion Verse. Stand when he sings Dominus Vobiscum before the Postcommunion (5). Kneel for the Blessing, and stand for the Last Gospel, genuflect at Et Verbum caro factum est.

After Mass

When the Last Gospel is finished, go to stand at the centre, ready to follow the Thurifer and Acolytes back to the sacristy. Genuflect when the Mc does and follow behind the Thurifer and Acolytes back to the sacristy in the same order as at the start of Mass.


Notes for the Torchbearers

(1) At Masses for the Dead and at Ferial Masses in Advent, Lent, Passiontide, the September Ember Days, and Vigils of the II or III class (i.e. when the vestments are black or, on a weekday, but not on a Sunday, violet), kneel for the Collect.

(2) Properly, only those standing at the time when the words Et incarnatus est, etc. are begun kneel for the chanting of them; however, it has long been the custom in England and Wales for all except the Celebrant (and the Sacred Ministers at High Mass) to kneel even after they have sat. Do what the Mc tells you to do.

(3) When you are walking to or from the altar carrying your torch candle hold it in your outside hand, i.e.: the hand on the opposite side to the server who is walking beside you.

(4) This is the present custom. Previously, other servers took the torch candles from the Torchbearers, after they had themselves received communion, so the Torchbearers could go up to the footpace to receive there. It seems to me that the method described in the text is far better than the older form, but do whatever the Mc tells you to do.

(5) At the Masses listed in Note (1) above, kneel for the Postcommunion Prayer.

SERVING AT MISSA CANTATA (The Acolytes at Missa Cantata)

The Acolytes at Missa Cantata

I have designated the two acolytes as First Acolyte and Second Acolyte although the rubrics make no distinction between the two. They are both responsible for ensuring that the duties of the Acolytes are carried out. It will, no doubt, be best if they decide between themselves in advance which of them is to do such things as to ring the bell or move the book (if this is to be done by the Acolytes a see Notes (1) and (5))

Procession to altar

During the Procession to the Altar, walk, side by side, carrying your candles, behind the Thurifer and in front of the other servers. Genuflect to the altar when you arrive there and put your candles on the credence table.

Preparatory Prayers

When the Mc kneels, kneel down on the foor. Say the responses silently so as not to disturb the singing of the Introit.

Incensing of altar

When the Celebrant goes up to the Altar, stand and remain standing at the credence table. When he censes the Altar, the Second Acolyte, should take the Missal and its stand or cushion from altar and stand at the foot of the steps holding it until the Celebrant has censed where it stood, then put it back where it was. (1)

Introit to Gloria

Stand at the credence table. If the Celebrant goes tosit during the singing of Kyrie eleison, sit also when he has and stand again when he stands. Do the same at Gloria in excelsis Deo, when the Celebrant sits down. Bow when the words Iesu Christe (twice) and suscipe deprecationem are sung.

Collect to Alleluia/Tract

Stand at the credence table during the Collect (2), Epistle, Gradual, Alleluia Verse or Tract (and Sequence); if the Celebrant goes to sit down during the singing, sit also.


When the Celebrant goes to the centre of the Altar to put incense into the thurible, take your candles and go with them to stand before the altar, leave space for the Thurifer to stand between you and room for the Mc to genuflect between you and the altar steps.

Genuflect with the Mc and the Thurifer and go round to the Gospel side of the Altar to stand at the Foot of the steps on either side of the Thurifer while the Celebrant sings the Gospel. When the Mc has censed the Celebrant, go back to the centre with the Mc and Thurifer, genuflect together, go to the credence table and put down your candles.


If there is a sermon, sit and listen while it is preached. At its end, go to stand at the credence table.


If there is no sermon, stay at the credence table while the Celebrant recites the Creed. Genuflect at Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine: et homo factus est when the Celebrant does so. When he has finished the Creed, he goes to sit. Sit also. Bow when Et incarnatus est, etc. is sung if you are sitting, but kneel during them if you are still standing when they are sung. (3). Bow when the words simul adoratur are sung. When the Celebrant stands, stand up and go back to the credence table.
If there is no Credo, all proceed below.
When the Celebrant unveils the chalice, take the cruets, the First Acolyte take the wine, the Second the water. When the Celebrant comes to the Epistle side, First Acolyte hand him the wine cruet with your right hand and receive it back with your left when he has finished pouring the wine into the chalice; the Second Acolyte must then hold up the water cruet for the Celebrant to bless the water, hand it to him your right hand and receive it from him with your left (4). Bow to the Altar, go back to the credence table and put the cruets back in their place.
While incense is being put into the thurible, the Second Acolyte should go round to the Gospel side of the altar; genuflect at the centre as you pass across before the Altar steps; as the Celebrant, censing the Altar, goes towards the Epistle side, take the Missal on its stand or cushion from the Altar until the Celebrant has censed where it stood. Put it back in the same place from which you took it and return to the credence table, genuflecting at the centre as you pass across before the Altar steps (5).
Meanwhile First Acolyte, at the credence table prepare to wash the Celebrant's fingers; place the lavabo towel over your left arm, take the lavabo bowl in your left hand and the water cruet in the right hand. Stand at the credence table until the Mc has censed the Celebrant, then go up the steps on the Epistle side to stand in front of the Celebrant. Pour a little water over the Celebrant's fingers when he holds them over the lavabo bowl, then offer him the lavabo towel on your arm. When the Celebrant has washed his fingers, he will return the towel to your arm. Bow to the Celebrant, go to the credence table and put the cruets and the towel in their place.
When you are both back at the credence table, face the Thurifer who will cense you with one double swing each. When he bows to you, before and after censing you, bow in return.
Secret to Consecration
When the Celebrant says Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, the First Acolytes rings the bell three times, once at each Sanctus. Remain standing at the credence table (6).
At Hanc igitur, the Second Acolyte will put incense into the thurible ready for the Elevation, unless the Mc does this.
Consecration to Communion
When the Mc kneels down, kneel on either side of the Thurifer on the bottom step at the Epistle side for the Consecration. The First Acolyte must ring the bell once each time the Celebrant genuflects and once each time he elevates the Blessed Sacrament (nine times in all). After the last genuflection, stand at the credence table (6).
Each time the Celebrant says Domine non sum dignus, the First Acolyte must ring the bell (three times, once at each Domine non sum dignus).
If you are going to receive communion, go to kneel on the edge of the footpace of the Altar with the other servers. Genuflect before going up to the footpace, but once you have received the Blessed Sacrament, go straight back to your place at the credence table without genuflecting. Kneel there to make your thanksgiving while the Celebrant is giving communion to the people.
Ablutions to end of Mass
When the Blessed Sacrament has been put into the tabernacle, stand up and take a cruet each, the First Acolyte having the wine as before, and go to the top step on the Epistle side. When the Celebrant holds out the chalice, the First Acolyte must go to where the Celebrant is standing, and pour wine into the chalice; the Celebrant will usually indicate how much wine he wants; when he indicates, usually by raising the chalice a little, stop pouring and go back to the top step.
When the Celebrant comes to the side and holds out the chalice, the First Acolyte must pour wine over his fingers, again the Celebrant will probably indicate when you should stop pouring, The Second Acolyte then pour water over the Celebrant's fingers. He will probably indicate when you should stop pouring (4). Bow to the Altar, and go back to the credence table and put the cruets back in their place. Remain at the credence until the end of Mass. You should not move the chalice veil.
Remain standing for the Communion Verse and the Postcommunion Prayer (7).
Kneel for the Blessing and stand for the Last Gospel. Genuflect with the Celebrant at Et Verbum caro factum est. At the end of the Last Gospel, take your candles and go with them to stand with the Thurifer at the centre before the Altar, facing towards it, standing near the entrance to the sanctuary ready to lead the way back to the sacristy. Leave space for the other servers to line up between you and the Altar.
After Mass
If any hymn or prayer follows the Mass, stand facing the Altar during it.
Finally, when the Mc gives a sign, genuflect with the other servers and follow the Thurifer back to the sacristy.
In the sacristy, bow with the other servers to the crucifix and then to the Celebrant. If it is the custom for the Celebrant to give the servers his blessing in the sacristy, kneel for this. If there is no sacristan, help the other servers clear the Altar, then remove your cassocks and cottas and go quietly away. It is fitting that you first say a prayer of thanksgiving.
Notes for the Acolytes
(1) The Missal can be moved by the Thurifer instead. If he is to do so, both Acolytes remain at the credence table for the censing of the Altar. The Mc will tell you before Mass who is to move the Missal.
(2) At Masses for the Dead and at Ferial Masses in Advent, Lent, Passiontide, the September Ember Days, and Vigils of the II or III class (i.e. when the vestments are black or, on a weekday, but not on a Sunday, violet), kneel for the Collect.
(3) Properly, only those standing at the time when the words Et incarnatus est, etc. are begun kneel for the chanting of them; however, it has long been the custom in England and Wales for all except the Celebrant (and the Sacred Ministers at High Mass) to kneel even after they have sat. Do what the Mc tells you to do.
(4) The Mc may want you to hand the cruets to him and he will then hand them to the Celebrant. The Mc will tell you if he wishes it to done this way.
(5) The Missal can be moved by the Thurifer instead. In this case, you both remain at the credence table for the censing of the Altar and when the Celebrant has been censed by the Mc, both assist at the Lavabo; the First Acolyte takes the water cruet and lavabo bowl, the Second Acolyte the lavabo towel. The Mc will tell you who is to move the Missal.
(6) At the Masses listed in Note (2) above, kneel from the Sanctus until the Celebrant has sung Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum when you should stand up again.
(7) At the Masses listed in Note (2) above, kneel for the Postcommunion Prayer and the Prayer over the People when there is one.