Sunday, May 04, 2008

London on a summer Sunday...

...was rather pleasant, and the air felt the sweeter for knowing we no longer have a Socialist overlord. Cycling across Westminster Bridge , I had the Sunday Telegraph with its gleeful analysis of the Boris Johnson victory and its aftermath smiling up at me from the bicycle basket...oh, BTW, for the commentators to this blog who berated me for my voting pattern: I suppose you didn't know about the transferable voting system, which enabled us to vote for Johnson, and an independent candidate. So there.

This is a Bank Holiday weekend: how horrid that we no longer have a holiday for Whitsun, but just this artificial one dumped arbitrarily upon us.

Westminster Cathedral was full for high Mass marking the Ascension. The superb choir always does something special for such a feast and today was no exception - but the Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei were all by a modern composer and shriekingly unattractive. Good to be able to join in with full-throated enthusiasm, however, for the familiar Credo and Pater Noster - a cathedral full of Latin chant is a gladsome thing. Wanting a copy of the Cathedral magazine Oremus, ( has feature by JB about Catholic traditions for May) I went back in during a later Mass, which was even more packed, with people kneeling on the floor at the rear. A sign of the times: one of the readings was in Polish.

The Cathedral has a Quarant'Ore from May 22nd-May 24th, marking Corpus Christi. One should certainly go to that - if possible dropping in during one of the night watches. Silent prayer in a great candelit cathedral in a great city in the middle of the night.

While marking dates: here's a note to all Catholic Londoners: June 21st, Martyrs' Walk, starts at Tower Hill 11am. Be there!


Anonymous said...

Sorry, Auntie, but I can't understand why you would call Judith Bingham's Mass "shriekingly unattractive".
I think her setting od the Mass is well structured and very effective, and the Agnus Dei especially, with its chant-like melodies and calm mood, is particularly beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Is there an word aniazomic? I made it up from the Greek for "don't care".
I'm very much afraid that aniazomism is what we'll get with the new Conservative administration. In a way it is a lot more corrosive than the active hostility of Mr Livingstone.

Adrienne said...

Sorry I can't chime in about the politics since I am "across the pond."

And I'll just have to trust Auntie J's assesment of the music. Somehow I'm thinking she has it right.

Anonymous said...

Joanna, didn't you fulfil your independent observance of the obligation of the Solemnity of the Ascension last Thursday on the commemoration of St Joseph the Worker at St Joseph's, New Malden?