"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Tuesday, May 21, 2002
Brompton Oratory Has Lessons for Parishes: "The Brompton Oratory, where the Novus Ordo is done as it should be done, attracts vast crowds. The cause of restoration calls for greatness of vision," Joanna Bogle writes in this 1998 article in Adoremus Bulletin.
"Its history is, or should be, known to all English-speaking Catholics. It is rich in links with John Henry Newman, whose statue, with a gentle smile, now faces the roaring traffic of the Brompton Road and reassures you that you have found the church you are looking for, and Father William Faber, author of "Faith of our Fathers", who is buried in St. Wilfrid's chapel inside.
"But what is currently important about the Oratory is that it offers today's Catholics a lesson in how the liturgy can and should be celebrated. The Novus Ordo Latin sung Mass every Sunday is packed with regular worshippers of all ages, visitors, enquiring Anglicans, and wistful we-come-when-we-can-and-wish-it-could-be-more-often refugees from parishes across London and the South of England.
"The Mass is celebrated facing God. The clergy wear beautiful Roman vestments and birettas. The liturgy follows fully and exactly the rubrics of the Church, complete with incense, genuflections, bowing, and the correct and exact wording of every prayer and Scripture reading. Nothing is altered into feminist language.
"No substitutes are made for the ritual and gestures prescribed by the Church. There is no 'Good morning, everyone and wasn't that a wonderful result at the football last night?' There is no sudden decision to omit an important prayer or substitute something more chatty and informal. At the Consecration the reverence that sweeps the church is tangible. At the Elevation the bell of the church is tolled to tell London of the mystery enacted in its presence, while the bell at the altar sings out the simultaneous message to the congregation. At Communion, when priests bring the Hosts down to the second Communion rail (there are huge crowds) halfway down the Church, a cascade of genuflections precede them as everyone sinks to their knees in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Mass has an unhurried pace. There is a sense that it is worth spending time with God..."