Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The Queen's Protestant Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's - and the New Mass

At the moment I am watching the Queen's Jubilee service at St Paul's. A few things strike me.

Primarily:The songs, readings and manner of the service is just like the New Mass, in English. People centred, in the vernacular, outward glorification of God, yet no Real Presence, so people can be sincere, devout and full of praise if they wish, or just go through the motions, sing a nice song and go back to their night clubs, drugs and making vast sums of money by spreading poverty or entrenching the poverty that exists.

Table, tapestry: protestant? or Catholic?
In fact with the sumptuous vestments and surroundings, one might even (without wishing to stray into the realms of the schismatic) suggest that this looks more Catholic than all too many of the new Masses, held in roller-disco settings, with "We Love Jesus" 70s child-like 'tapestries' and Rainbow Dove posters and priests in 'vestments' devoid of any colour or meaning pottering about, back to the tabernacle (if it isn't in a side-room or shoved off in a hidey-hole somewhere) pottering about and ad-libbing to please the few. Not to mention some of the ridiculous "bidding prayers" that see the light of day (climate change being just one example out of many).

Perhaps this was the plan of the architect of the New Mass, the subsequently disgraced Archbishop Bugnini, to take the (sometimes ambiguous) words of Vatican 2 and mould them to fit his own agenda. For as the great Welsh Catholic writer and defender of the Faith Michael Davies made perfectly clear: V2 gave no green light to the destruction of the sanctuaries that took place through the 70s and 80s: the ripping out of altar rails, the replacement of altars with tables, the pulling down of statues, the removal/replacement of tabernacles etc.

So, in seeing that the protestant Anglican service in St Paul's is like the New Mass, am I not really seeing that the New Mass (unlike its predecessor which was codified [not created] by saints and vouchsafed for eternity by Mother Church in her wisdom) has been sculpted, changed and metamorphosed into being close to the protestant service?

Is it not so much that I am seeing the small remnant of Catholicism (mostly in the vestments and surroundings) in the protestant Anglican service, but that the Catholic Church has allowed the New Mass to be an imitation of the man-centred 'common meal' of the protestants?

If that is so it leads me to ask why the Church so easily forgets the glories and sacrifices of St John Lloyd, St Phillip Evans, St Richard Gwyn, St Thomas More, St John Fisher, St Margaret Clitheroe and the many others who gave of their lives to defend the Sacraments, the Mass and the authority of the Pope over the Princes of Europe (including the Kings and Queens of England) who would otherwise descend into relativist chaos: as they so clearly have today ("Defender of Faiths," women priests, homosexuality, abortion etc.)

Heavenly Food for thought.


  1. I, too, have been saddened by the tinkering with the Mass, done in the name of the ubiquitous 'spirit of Vatican 2'. However let us also thank God that our Holy Father has done so much to repair the damage done by the 'progressives' and, at the same time let us deplore and repent for those Catholics who should have known better and have readily used contraception, thereby contributing to the decimation of our population or who have encouraged the present stance on irregular and unchaste forms of 'marriage' rather than choose to 'hold fast to what is true'. Let us pray that those for whom to be 'PC' concerns them more than to 'stand up and be counted' even if this meant courting unpopularity among the more 'enlightened' Catholics.

  2. The situation in the Church of England is somewhat more complicated than you suggest! The vestments you saw are less a survival from Pre-Reformation times than a legacy of the Oxford Movement of the 19th Century while the congregation-facing altar is a twentieth century effort to "get with" what the Catholic Church was doing at the time. One would have to have a heart of stone not to feel sorry for the poor Anglicans: every time they try to do the right thing by copying us we go and change the "rules"!
    As for Michael Davies's book, it is some time since I read it. As I recall, he made the very clear and reasonable case that much of the iconoclasm which occurred in our churches following Vatican 2 was not mandated by the Council. A very interesting question, therefore, is upon what, or whose, authority was it done?

  3. Many many thanks to the blogger for this kind of blog. Every people love the songs. Some people think songs are their life. There are many songs which are directly related to our every parts of life. When we pray to the God we also sing song so that God will be pleased us. Those who like the new songs can visit www.newenglishsong.com

  4. Most of the people all over the world speak in English. Since they speak in English every things which are related to English they like most. That is why they like the English songs than any other songs. If the English songs are new they like it more than the classical one. Because people wants the new things which they like most generally.

  5. Michael: perhaps some cradle Catholics behave this way viz marriage because there SEEMED to be no hard and fast line put out publicly.

    Patricius: That's the $64,000 question isn't it. A Council that bore less authority than previous councils, that gave no green light to iconoclasts etc... So why was it allowed to happen? A sickness was present in the Church allowing soulless churches with awful altars etc. to be erected.

    Rocky: No. SIng some of the beautiful old Latin hymns at Easter or Benediction in a normal Church and the whole congregation dive in, because they have been parched of the life-giving waters of our Catholic heritage. Yet too many churches still have sickly protestant Kum By Ya style claptrap or touchy-feely nonsense which to my mind simply mocks the Sanctified, Sacrificial nature of the Mass and tries to make it a hug-fest, a clap-along, a gathering of wannabe social workers.

    Thanks for all your comments

  6. The problem with services like the one at St Paul's is that they lack any liturgical content. They are an ad hoc compilation of hymns, anthems, prayers and readings, and the focus of the TV cameras is not surprisingly on the congregation. The pomp and ceremony are more secular than ecclesiastical, the Queen has to endure yet another unctious eulogy (how she must be tired of them!) and the overall effect is of a dry, formalized semi-religious pageant with little or no spiritual content.

  7. John: I would concur with that. No doubt - to be Devil's advocate - the Anglicans would say this was a service (i.e. there was no Anglican 'communion'); but the overall feeling within protestant churches is of a people-centred 'worship' as opposed to a God-centred Sacrifice. Rip the Eucharist and Mass out of Catholicism and it is an empty husk.