A Happy Christmas to all readers. That is, if the word 'Happy' is still acceptable. So often when I have said "Happy Christmas", I get the reply "Merry Christmas". Have I missed something? Has the word 'Happy' been expunged? It is true that I do not like the Happitudes (Happy are those who mourn, etc) but 'Happy' is still a good word.
So a very HAPPY AND MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all!
Here are photos of our altar and crib here in Barnard Castle this Christmas Day.
Brick by Brick is Father Z's motto for the building up of the traditional approach to the Catholic Church.
And yesterday evening we saw another brick put in place.
In St Augustine's Church, Darlington, I was present at the first traditional Latin Mass in this church for very many years ( I myself celebrated here an OF Mass in the mid-90's, before it was termed an OF Mass, for a Silver Wedding). It is intended that this 'new' Mass will be celebrated once a month on the second Wednesday of the month - and after a while, who knows what will come next?
The idea of having an OF Mass in St Augustine's was the idea of Doctor Carl Watson (whose sons regularly serve my Mass at Barnard Castle), and he had to persuade the parish council to approve the celebration, he made all preparations for the Mass and provided what was necessary for the celebration.
Last night's Mass was celebrated by Father Paul Tully; it was, I believe, his first public celebration, though he has been celebrating privately for quite some time. The two servers were Carl's sons, James and John, who did very well. Almost sixty people were in the congregation and clearly many of them had no difficulty in answering the responses. Father Tully gave a short homily about St John the Baptist ("Are you the one we have been waiting for?") and the Real Presence of Jesus at Mass.
The Mass was very well received by the group I was with and we pray that the venue becomes established with a growing following of Catholics eager for the beautiful tradition Mass.
I have just been insulted this afternoon. At least, I think it was an insult - but was it to me, or to the Church?
I celebrated a Requiem Mass for a deceased parishioner at midday today, and then we drove down to the nearest crematorium for the repose of the body. We were joined there by quite a number of people who refused to come to the church for the Requiem.
After the cremation prayers, as the mourners were filing out, one lady came up to me, and declared that 'if that's the Catholic Faith, then I'm glad I belong to the Church of England.'
Was it something I said? Could it have been that, since I did not spend any time lauding the deceased and her wonderful life but instead encouraged those present to pray for her eternal soul to speed her way into heaven, that I had mistaken the whole purpose of dying, which is to get straight into heaven from one's death-bed? I will never know - well, not just yet anyway. As she walked off, I just grinned. The undertaker had been the target of the neighbours as well. So we both commiserated with each other!
When Twitter first started up some years ago, I joined straight away, but rapidly lost interest. And I tried to delete my account, but I don't think that I ever succeeded.
However, now that the Pope has decided to start tweeting (although perhaps not personally), I think that I will start again. My new hash-tag is @parochusbarnie
I think that I will tweet comments about the saint of the day or something from the ferial Mass of the day.
I may even start blogging again!