AUGUST IS THE MONTH OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
THE NINETEENTH WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME
A SUNG MASS?
Musicam Sacram, the 1967 Instruction on music from the Holy See, explained that there was one classification of Mass, not “high” or “low”, and that music (and likewise ceremonial) should be added incrementally, in three stages or degrees. It instructed, “These degrees are so arranged that the first may be used even by itself, but the second and third, wholly or partially, may never be used without the first.” (MS, 1967, 28.2)
That is, first in order of importance were the chants of the priest and people, the acclamation at the Gospel (including Alleluia), the prayer over the offerings, preface and Holy Holy, final doxology of the Eucharistic Prayer, Our Father, prayer after Communion and formulas of dismissal. Do you know how much of this is sung at our parish as the minimum necessary for a sung Sunday Mass? If these are not, nothing else should really be sung.
If this “first degree” is sung, then these chants may be added: Kyrie, Gloria, Lamb of God and Creed. That’s the second degree.
Now, if all the first and second degree is sung, then the final third degree group can be added: songs at entrance and Communion processions, songs after the First Reading (i.e., the Responsorial Psalm), song at the Offertory, readings of sacred Scripture (for example, the gospel may be intoned on great feast days). Songs or hymns can be substituted for the entrance, Offertory and Communion prayers of the day “… as long as songs of this sort are in keeping with the parts of the Mass, with the feast, or with the liturgical season.” (MS 32).
Furthermore, the text of any such pieces should come only from scriptural or traditional sources. This is why a good sung mass will always elevate the Entrance Antiphon and Communion Antiphon by singing them. Lovely as they may be, by having hymns at these points, many of which, unlike the antiphons, are not words of scripture and many of which are not from the Catholic tradition, we miss out on some of the proper texts of the day and the benefits they may bring our souls.
To put it simply, a Catholic Sung mass is the mass which is sung, not a mass said between hymns. In catholic tradition, hymns are additional to the mass itself, and are sung perhaps during communion and in the recessional, which happens after mass has ended. A strange thing often happens which is not in accord with Catholic tradition: Hymns, which are external to the mass, not even catholic, and additional to the proper prayers of the day become the most important thing. We’ve got to the point that some people even want secular pop songs at funeral masses. This would never have been asked when the proper antiphons of a Requiem were sung before 1970. Sometimes I notice that the hymns and songs are the only thing people seem to care about. We need to get back to the proper antiphons, psalm and ordinary prayers of the mass being the focus of our attention: true prayers given to us by Holy Church for that particular mass which are elevated by singing them.
From this Instruction and Guidance of the Pope during the Second Vatican Council, we can be sure that a mass which is all said, but in which a few familiar hymns are inserted is not in the mind of the church for a 'sung mass'. It is pleasing that this is one thing we never do in this parish. I hope we can develop our music further so that the worship of our sung masses is fully in accord with Catholic Tradition and the decree of the pope in the Second Vatican Council and that in so doing, our little parish offers God our very best in praise and thanksgiving. We are blessed, I know you’ll agree, to have such good cantors and musicians in the parish who are leading us in this. We can thank God for the invaluable gift they share with us to help us elevate our praise and thanksgiving to God.
There is currently some works being done in the church:
1. Repairing and repainting the black marks above the arches to the Lady Chapel caused by water from the Lady Chapel roof.
2. Repairing damage done to the decorative plaster work.
3. Removing paint which has peeled, been damaged and bubbled and then repainting.
We are using the surplus money collected from The Hall Renovation appeal to pay for this. It is difficult to draw a line on what should be repaired and decorated as it could be seemingly without end, but the line is the maximum we have available to spend left over from the Hall appeal. Hopefully this small patch and repair job will lift things a bit for a year or two, after which we will need to begin some major fundraising for a full redecoration (that is of course if a major urgent and necessary job doesn’t strike us down before then)
Good news! After over a year of absence, Thursday Lunch Club is making a welcome return with AFTERNOON TEA (with Sandwiches and Cakes) on Thursday 12th August from 2.00 to 4.00 p.m. in the Hall. As ever, this will take place in the hall with various compliances to keep everyone feeling safe. We begin this month with Afternoon Tea, but when the way ahead is clearer, it is hoped hot lunches will resume. 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:
James Nesbitt, aged 90, who died on Tuesday 13th July 2021. Funeral mass on Tuesday 9th August at 11.00 a.m. with burial at Sidcup Cemetery.
Thomas Furlong, aged 88, who died on Friday 16th July in the evening. Funeral details to follow.
(St Thomas More church will be continuing for the time being with some social distancing, open doors and windows and a limit on numbers. This is estimated on the size of the church building and so for all our masses, including funerals, the maximum number is between about 80 and 100).
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 NINETEENTH 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.
Saturday 7th August THE NINETEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (B)
+ 6.30 p.m. SAID Braz Martin Walter Goes R.I.P. (1st anniversary)
Sunday 8th August
8. 30 a.m. Daily Rosary
+ 9.00 a.m. SUNG. Natalie Alvares T.G. on her birthday.
+ 10.30 a.m. SOLEMN (Latin with English) Michael Griffin R.I.P.
Monday 9th August St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, virgin & martyr, patron of Europe, feast.
9.30 a.m. Daily Rosary
+ 10.00 a.m. Cecil Da Cunha R.I.P.
Tuesday 10th August St. Lawrence, deacon & martyr, feast.
9.30 a.m. Daily Rosary
+ 10.00 a.m. Ferdie Rodrigues R.I.P.
Wednesday 11th August St. Clare, virgin, memorial.
Daily Rosary at home, in private.
NO PUBLIC MASS TODAY
Thursday 12th August The Jane Frances de Chantal, religious
9.30 a.m. Daily Rosary
+ 10.00 a.m. Chris Clark R.I.P.
2.00 p.m. ‘Thursday Lunch Club’ Afternoon Tea in the hall.
Friday 13th August Ss. Pontian, pope and Hipploytus, priest, martyrs.
9.30 a.m. Daily Rosary
+ 10.00 a.m. Helen D’Souza T.G.
6.00 p.m. choir practice
Saturday 14th August St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, priest & martyr, memorial.
9.30 a.m. Daily Rosary
+ 10.00 a.m. Therez D’Souza R.I.P.
11.30 a.m. Baptism
[ + 6.30 p.m. THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY. The people of the parish)
AUGUST PRAYER TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY: ‘BLESSED BE YOUR PURITY’
(Purity is an eminently positive virtue, which gains the grace of God for the person who lives it. It is the virtue of the beautiful and spotless soul. It elevates us to things divine. These ten verses praise Mary. Conceived without sin, she was always pure and brighter than snow, she is ‘The Immaculate Heart’. From the ‘Handbook of Prayers’, Midwest Theological Forum)
Blessed be your purity, may it be blessed for ever, for no less than God takes delight in such exalted beauty. To you, heavenly Princess,
Holy Virgin Mary, I offer on this day my whole heart, life and soul. Look upon me with compassion; Do not leave me, my mother.