Off in the sunshine to the Chrism Mass, celebrated by the Apostolic Nuncio, a cheerful American lad called Edward Adams. We had the Spatzenmesse by one Mozart ... I did try to spot the Masonic bits, but not being a music buff I failed. It is always a pleasure to be at Warwick Street, however, because of the historical connection with my Lord the Marquis of Pombal. Our Principal Church was not founded by the diocese or even by the Vicars Apostolic: it was the Portuguese embassy Chapel when his lordship was the Portuguese ambassador. All this seems to give the place a whiff of independence ... and there is the fact that my Father was a Freemason. However, there wasn't much of the Enlightenment about today's liturgical event, thank goodness. Very much the Patrimony rather than Pistoia. His Excellency was not, I think, 'formed' at Staggers, but Fr Lloyd, the MC, was, so that was OK.
The facade and galleried interior have an engaging suggestion of a West Country Methodist Chapel before the Methodists abandoned their -ism; the only jarring note is provided by the Sanctuary walls, which look as if they are playing truant from Westminster Cathedral. One is taken back to a jollier age by the bas-relief of Maria Assumpta now over the Sacristy door, carved by that engaging Irish scoundrel John Edward Carew. Pre-Bentley, it was the High Altar reredos.
My goodness, what an up-beat spirit there was; I can't think why all those other chaps out there still sojourn in what Blessed John Henry called the House of Bondage. Come on in, rejoin your true friends!! Have fun!!!
Bishop Keith was in good form!