26 February 2009

Rood Restoration

This morning, Mass at an altar in Thomas's which I do not think has been used for decades. It is at the west end and has over it a very large crucifix - two thirds of life size, I think - which comes from the long demolished chapel of our convent (now amalgamated with Wantage). It is very striking, when the rubrics order the celebrant to raise his eyes, to lift them up and meet the Lord's gaze. Among clergy who have done this are Mgr Ronnie Knox, who used to come to the convent chapel, on days when he was not on the rota to say Dr Cranmer's service in Trinity chapel, so that he could say a Latin Tridentine. Nearby, is a stone carving of the badge our S Thomas's Sisters wore: the Sacred Heart and the words Crux in corde et cor in Cruce. I will use this altar during Lent for the early Masses, and not least this Saturday, when I will say a votive of the Holy Cross on Foundation Day of the Societas Sanctae Crucis.

Those words "our sisters"! How I wish we could still use them. How I envy Fr Gilles Wach every time I read those proud words in the publications of his Institute!

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