Friday, 24 June 2011

Extraordinary! Beautiful! Mass on the feast of Corpus Christi

Thursday 23rd June and Swansea Cathedral, probably for the first time in 40 plus years, witnessed a Sung Mass on the Feast of Corpus Christi with a congregation estimated to be in the region of 75 plus.

"The most beautiful thing this side of Heaven..."

Celebrant was Father Jason Jones, Parish Priest of nearby Sacred Heart, Morriston and three other priests attended. All who were able to kneel, knelt to receive Holy Communion and ALL received by mouth.

The choir, from the Newcastle Emlyn Schola, sang in a manner that must have sent a few of the heavenly host into a green mood and afterwards, a full procession with young girls strewing rose petals in the path of The Blessed Sacrament. Traditional Corpus Christi hymns were sung throughout the procession and the finale was a rousing 'Faith of Our Fathers'.

Swansea Cathedral, not big but well attended
for the Feast of Corpus Christi

For many in the congregation it was the first time that they had attended an Extraordinary Form of Mass and the response afterwards paid tribute to the immense reverence that is invoked at such Masses.

For my sins I was MC which, in my case stands for 'Muddler of Ceremonies'. I blame (of course) the fact that such wonderful Masses are still pretty infrequent down here in West Wales and that a bit more practice would bring me a shade nearer perfection. All on the sanctuary was saved by my fellow servers Corey, Patrick and Seamus who were impeccable in their performance.
The Cathedral aisles could not accommodate
a canopy

At present there is talk about the Charismatic Movement on several blogs. I defy anyone who, after witnessing last night's Mass, would think that holding hands, swaying to the rhythm or clapping at the Consecration was anything but crass irreverence and that true adoration can only be achieved in full at an EF Mass.

We left immediately after Mass and could not stay for the 'bunfight' which is such a feature of Catholic post Mass celebrations. I know that Bridgend parish had one also.

On the way home we were treated to the spectacle, for a few seconds, of a setting sun; just an orb of fiery red in the night sky, like a host on fire. It seemed a very fitting and appropriate end to a memorable evening.


  1. How wonderful and lucky you and whoever were able to go. We had a quiet time in St Saviours last night but so reverent; we look forward to having Fr. Jason join us on Saturday for our procession in the afternoon.

  2. "muddler of ceremonies" I'll bet not!

  3. Bridgend pictures on my blogg in a couple of days, they are on my husbands new phone!