Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Fraternity of Our Lady de Salve Regina in Walsingham

Good Walsingham Procession...

Bad Walsingham Procession - I don't see why pilgrims should have to carry Our Lady of Ronseal around, rather than an image that looks more like the real McCoy. Unrobed image-bearers and those funny little pen-lights around the statue. Oh dear.....

Just wanted to share a few photos from this year's pilgrimage to Walsingham with the Fraternity of Our Lady de Salve Regina, which happened this weekend.

The Fraternity has a very interesting history, which you can read below. In common with the Shrine at Walsingham, the Fraternity was a 20th century revival of a medieval institution, and in many ways the modern history of the Fraternity is intimately linked with the Walsingham shrine, reflecting the close partnership between Fr Hope Patten and Fr Fynes-Clinton in the 20th century Catholic movement. The Walsingham shrine at S. Magnus is maintained by the Fraternity, and is an official starting point for pilgrimages to Walsingham. The Fraternity is also represented in the church's fabric by a stained glass window above the Lady Chapel of S. Magnus, which features the Fraternity's badge.

Tat-spotters will notice that in the photos I am wearing a blue sash or ribbon around my neck when robed for serving liturgical or devotional functions. This blue and gold band is the privilege of members of the Court that governs the Fraternity, and it is worn at all Fraternity events and by Court Members whenever they serve or celebrate the Sacraments. If you'd like more information about the Fraternity, or you'd like to join, then please contact me.

From the S. Magnus website :

Fraternity of Our Lady De Salve Regina

A Fraternity was founded in 1343 for the purpose of singing the hymn Salve Regina - a practice that was repeated in a number of other churches of medieval London. Records of neighbouring churches show that they too observe this practice with entries in several wills leaving property and money for the purpose.

Here at St. Magnus the image took the form of the Salutation of the Virgin by the Archangel Gabriel. Subscriptions of the members were devoted towards the five candles that were burnt before the statue during the singing of the hymn. Further allotments of money were used to provide altar cloths, plate and other accessories for the maintenance of the chapel. The architect of Westminster Hall, Henry Yevele, left in his will money to maintain a lamp that was to burn perpetually in front of the statue. Yevele, who died in 1400, was buried in the nearby chapel.

At the time of the Reformation in the 16th century the Fraternity was dissolved, and not reformed again until 1922. Currently [1994] there are some fifty to sixty members. The hymn with petitioning prayers is said or sung after the Eucharist throughout the year. The Fraternity's badge is shown in the stained glass window at the East end of the North wall of the church above the reredos of the Lady Chapel altar.

Five wax candles were burnt in honour of the Five Joys of Mary: 1 The Annunciation St. Luke i, 26-38 2 The Visitation St. Luke i, 39-56 3 The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ St. Luke ii, 1-19 4 The Presentation in the Temple St. Luke ii, 22- 39 5 The Finding in the Temple St. Luke ii, 41-51 As recited in the Rosary.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Procession of the Relic of S. Thomas of Canterbury

This Sunday at S. Magnus we kept the Feast of the Translation of the Relics of S. Thomas of Canterbury. After a Sung Mass, a relic of the Saint which was kindly lent to us for the occassion was transferred from the High Altar to a Feretory and Bier, and taken in Procession, carried by two Subdeacons, to London Bridge. The Old London Bridge, whose thoroughfare formerly went under the bell tower of S. Magnus, once had a chapel dedicated to Saint Thomas of Canterbury where pilgrims on the medieval pilgrimage route would gather before heading over to Southwark and on to Canterbury. This chapel, which is depicted in a window and model in S. Magnus church belonged to the Parish of Saint Magnus the Martyr, and so we have inherited that saint's special patronage.

The Mass was Sung by the Vicar, Fr Philip, who wore a red chasuble featuring the Arms of Saint Thomas.

As the Procession left the church, the choir began singing the petitions of the Litany of the Saints.

Here you can see the beginning of the Procession. You'll notice that S. Magnus maintains the venerable tradition of the Verger, who carries a mace and wears a distinctive verger's hat.

The Procession goes up the steps from Lower Thames Street onto the Bridge.

At the approximate place of the former Chapel, the relics made a station, and the Office of Sext was sung. This was followed by the Anthem of the Benedictus of the Office of S. Thomas of Canterbury, using the Sarum chant. On the return to the Church, the "praise psalms" 148, 149 and 150 were sung. On arriving at the church, the choir sang the Antiphon of the Magnificat of the aforementioned Office, followed by the versicle and collect. The reliquery was then removed from the Feretory, and place on the High Atlar, then censed, and the faithful had an opportunity to venerate. The reliquery also contained a fragment of the True Cross, among other relics, which explains the genuflections made by some. After Benediction of the Relic, the dismissal was given and all retired to a delicious curry lunch in the sun.