Tuesday 21 September 2010

Ushaw's Day up to 1959 (posted 23/03/2010)

6.15 am: Rise (either woken by rattle if in dormitories or by electric bell ringing through all the galleries from Tip Top down to Hell).
6.45 am: Bell for Church, that is into St Cuthbert's chapel for all students except those younger ones who had the duty of serving the first lot of profs at the first Masses; those students had to in the sacristy at 6.45 so that when 'their' priest came in they would ready to lead him to his altar.  Morning Prayer is led by one of the Divines, lasting about five minutes.
Then, in Church, silent meditation for 25 minutes, each day.
7.15 am: the Mass of the day is celebrated in St Cuthbert's for the students; the profs took their turn week by week to say the public Mass. At the same time the second tranche of profs said their Masses in all the adjoining chapels.
8 am: Breakfast in the Ref.
8.30 am: First Hour - private study and preparation for the day's lessons either in your room or in a common studyplace ('stewpot')
9.15 am: Break
9.30 am: start of two lessons one after the other and each lasting 3/4 of an hour.
11 am: Coffee. (or something that was meant to be coffee).
11.30 am : Middle hour, private study.
12.40 pm: Rosary in St Cuthbert's, led by the President.  This was introduced into College life after The Rosary Crusade of Father Peyton who stayed at the College during his time in the north-east. I think I was in Big Lads at the time.
1 pm: Lunch time. Visit to church after lunch, very brief.
1.30 to 3 pm: free time for football, Cat or cricket (in season).  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we were free until tea-time.
3.15 pm: Another two lessons for 3/4 of an hour each.
5 pm: Tea-time
5.30 pm: Last Hour, private study.
7 pm: First Night Prayers: in St Cuthbert's, publicly led by a senior Divine, lasting about 10 to 15 minutes; the rest of the 1/2 hour was spent in private spiritual reading. On Tuesday and Thursday evenings this time was used for Choir Practice, led by Father Hollis, when he took us through the Plain Chant required for the High Mass and Vespers of the coming Sunday, and then after that anything else which he wanted to practice.  As a choir of 350 to 400 male voices we became very good at choral singing under his guidance.
7.30 pm: Supper.
8 pm: Free time until
9.15 pm: Night Prayers or sometimes Benediction.
10 pm: Lights Out.
Sunday or a big feast day was different.  After breakfast, there was a break until 9 am when we all assembled in St Cuthbert's for Prone. Prone was a practice sermon given by a deacon or subdeacon to the whole College, including profs, from the sanctuary; it had to be written, practiced, learnt by heart and delivered without script.  Absolutely nerve-wracking.  On one of my turns I froze and dried; I got a rocket for not being properly prepared.
10 am: the time for Solemn High Mass of the Sunday or feast day.
There was a Middle Hour as usual (I think).
3 pm: Sung Vespers of the day or sometimes Sung Compline.
Again Last Hour as usual.
That is it, as far as I an remember; it was a long time ago!

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