The Metropolitan of Europe’s Christmas message for 2016 is published ahead of the celebration of the commemoration of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ this coming Sunday. In his message, Metropolitan Jerome OSJV, Archbishop of Selsey, reflected on the meaning of the Incarnation as a practical reality in the lives of those seeking to realise the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. His Grace referred to the many hundreds of volunteers who will be hosting and serving Christmas Day lunches “to the poor, the disadvantaged and the unwanted of society” expressing the significance of the Incarnation i.e. “the manifestation of God’s love in Christ Jesus” by their service “giving of their time and energy”.
Referring to a “host of cherubic volunteers” – a nod to the Cherubs Kitchen apostolate he founded in 2013 – Metropolitan Jerome made mention of his own efforts to provide hospitality to one hundred of the homeless of the city of Brighton & Hove on Christmas Day in conjunction with the Brighton Corps of the Salvation Army; His Grace will be the chef! Inspired by “The Hub” homeless drop-in with which he partnered The Brighton Oratory with the Salvation Army for over six years, the Cherubs Kitchen apostolate operates commercial franchise kitchens“not for profit” fundraising to support local homeless projects and provide NVQ catering apprenticeships and work experience/rehabilitation placements.
The central message of the broadcast however, emphasised the possible universal application of the meaning of Christmas, i.e. the Incarnation of God’s love in Christ, through following the command of Our Lord “to love one another” cf John 13:34-35. His Grace suggested that was the simplest way to interpret the meaning of Christmas and to “receive faith, be inspired by hope and by experience in the sharing of both, God’s love toward us and toward each other”. His Grace concluded the broadcast by imparting his apostolic blessing to all viewers.
The film was recorded in the main kitchen of the Cherub’s apostolate and the music composed by Kevin Macleod is titled “Everlasting Hope”.
On the Octave Day of S. Wilfrid, the Old Roman Catholic Church Latin Rite in Europe launches a new website to facilitate the Daily Mass Online apostolate, www.dailymass.co.uk as referred to in the Metropolitan of Europe’s Pastoral Letter last week.
The apostolate was originally begun by the Metropolitan, Msgr Jerome Lloyd OSJV in August of 2008 to facilitate the ill and housebound to hear Mass and members of the Sussex Mission unable through distance to attend Mass, but it gradually came to include viewers at work or people who’s schedules prevent them from attending Mass, particularly on holydays of obligation. Episodes of the broadcast Masses now attract an average of 1’400 viewers per month. Visitors to the website are now able to watch the Mass live and see previous archived episodes categorised by month and Solemnity.
The new interactive website, it is hoped, will enable viewers not just to watch the daily broadcasts of Mass but also register membership of the site to engage with each other and form an online worshiping community. A discussion Forum has been included to enable viewers, some of whom being housebound have little interaction with other members of the wider Church, to introduce themselves and discuss their faith. Those who use the popular social website Facebook will also be able to join using their site membership.
The Mass is offered according to the Gregorian or Tridentine Rite and Kalendar codified and promulgated by Pope S. Pius V in 1570. Due to the proliferation and variance of liturgical Kalendars since then, the broadcast follows the 1570 General Kalendar more or less “as is” saving national and local custom. The Mass continues to be broadcast from the Brighton Oratory of the Sussex Mission, during the week from the Metropolitan’s domestic chapel and at weekends from the Mass centre hired by the Mission in central Brighton. Msgr Lloyd employs recorded music during those moments, aside from the Canon, where there would otherwise be silence, in part to enhance the experience for the viewer and he preaches a homily daily too. He said,
“The apostolate is very much more than just a gimmic! Its meant to be a very real opportunity for people who would otherwise be without opportunity, to experience worship, feel part of the wider Church and receive spiritual nourishment and encouragement. It is a pity that so many are unable to make a daily Communion, but many Saints have extolled the virtue of a Spiritual Communion, unifying intentions with those of the Church in her ultimate offering of prayer and praise to God in, through and with Christ.”
Prayer requests and Mass intentions may also be posted online for celebrants to collect both for broadcast and private Masses (a donation towards the running costs of the website rather than the customary Mass stipend is suggested). Celebrants are drawn from the Oratory of St John Vianney, a mixed congregation of religious and secular priests desiring to emulate the example of the saintly Curé d’Ars.
On Saturdays a new service called “The Vigil” will be broadcast replacing the more conventional First Mass of Sunday with something akin to the “little Oratory” of St Philip Neri i.e. a slightly more informal service of hymns and prayers and an informal “Q&A” teaching session. Viewers will be able to send prayer requests and questions via SMS text messaging for answering live during the broadcast. The service will end with Holy Communion for those attending and an Act of Spiritual Communion as usual for viewers.
“The Vigil” is conceived as an introductory medium for enquirers of Catholic Tradition for whom a full Latin Mass may be intimidating or confusing. The hymns, readings and prayers will be in English, reassuringly employing the vernacular for those unused to Tradition. The Holy Communion Rite will be in Latin according to the Rituale Romanum and will itself be a gentle introduction to the traditional Latin of the Mass.
Msgr Lloyd said, “The Traditional Mass is not directly of itself, purposefully an evangelistic tool, people may well be moved by it to desire to know Our Lord Jesus and through previous generations many have! But the Mass is primarily an act and participation of worship by the faithful, that is, those already confirmed in the Faith and the historical formulation and development of the Mass indicates this, for example the “Mass of the Catechumen”. “The Vigil” we hope will be a gentle introduction to the Traditional Mass, that experiencing something of it but not quite “it” will draw and encourage people to want to know more about the Mass and discover it gradually, more appropriately as a means of desiring it, developing a deepening faith and understanding about the Sacred Mysteries.”
Suggested, in part, by Pope Benedict XVI’s “Year of Faith”, “The Vigil” is part of a wider vision for evangelisation conceived by Msgr Lloyd supported by other activities designed to invite people to experience the beauty of Traditional worship. Inspired by the formula of the Ordinary of the Traditional Latin Mass, i.e. the first half of the liturgy traditionally called the “Mass of the Catechumens” and the Early Church practice of Dominical Vigils (the popular Easter Vigil being the best known remnant) Msgr Lloyd hopes to engender and reawaken a heightened sense of expectation concerning the Sacred Mysteries, most especially for those enquiring about the Faith.
The Brighton Oratory has been assisting with the provision of food and clothing in partnership with the Salvation Army at Brighton Congress Hall for the past year. Having already played an active role in recruiting and coordinating volunteers and donations of clothing and personal hygiene items from local churches, for the past three weeks His Grace, Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJV has also been cooking!
His Grace has been preparing and cooking a variety of meals for nearly a hundred drop-in visitors every Wednesday with a small but dedicated team of volunteers. Msgr Lloyd put his past skills in the leisure and hospitality industry to good use when the regular Chef had to leave the post at short notice. Visitors to the dropin receive a three free course meal consisting of soup and/or salad, a hearty main course and a dessert. The food is provided by FoodShare Brighton and topped up as and when by donations made to the Salvation Army.
The visitors to the dropin range from the truly homeless sleeping rough, squatters and recovering addicts from bedsits through more recently to people who have lost job and home due to the recession and financial crisis. An interesting ecclectic mix of social and professional demographics are represented amongst the visitors, from a few Eastern European immigrants who became stranded after the economic downturn through a wide range of former professional artists, musicians, carpenters and teachers.
Originally begun by two previous Salvation Army commanding officers (posted to Dubai last January), the dropin has been running for two years and Msgr Lloyd hopes when the new commanding officers arrive, to develop the project further in conjunction with other local churches and statutory services. Already he has introduced barbers for free haircuts and hand masseurs to the visitors who appreciate the welcoming hospitality and “safe” space the volunteers strive hard to provide. Some of the dropin visitors even attended the Archbishop’s Inauguration as Metropolitan and as one of them said, “I bet there’s not many homeless people can say they had lunch cooked by a bishop!”
The Brighton Oratory hires one of the halls from the Salvation Army as a Mass centre for its Sussex based mission which provided the opportunity for the two churches to work together. Last Christmas Day, following their respective morning services, the two churches provided Christmas Lunch for elderly people living alone and homeless dropin regulars, some of whom attended the preceding services. “It was the first time I’d been to a Latin Mass since I left Ireland as a boy” said one of the regular dropin visitors, “it was beautiful, I cried.” Through their contacts the two churches identified elderly people living alone and coordinated transport via minibuses to get to and from the centre on Christmas Day. Msgr Lloyd was invited to bless parcels of food and presents for poor families before being distributed by the Salvation Army.
Many are amazed at the way in which two churches of such different traditions doctrinally are able to work together, but both the Salvation Army officers and Msgr Lloyd emphasise the joint charge to live out charity which is at the heart of the Gospel. When asked if it was appropriate for an Archbishop to be cooking and washing up, His Grace replied
“I want to be able to answer ‘I was there’ when Christ asks me, “Where were you when I was hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and in prison” when I face the Judgement. Sacred Ministers are called to be “servants of the servants of God” after that favoured title of St Gregory the Great, what better than way this is there to serve Christ than in the poor and outcasts of our society?”
On a glorious day weather-wise and in the humble but bright surroundings of the Brighton Oratory of SS Cuthman & Wilfrid, His Excellency the Archbishop Metropolitan raised to the Subdiaconate, Acolyte Frater Andrew Scurr to serve his title for the Oratory of Our Lady of Walsingham & St Lewina, Buxted, East Sussex and the Congregation of the Divine Caritas’ Sussex Mission.
Canon Emilio Tundidor-Suarez OSJV co-founder of the Oratory of St John Vianney [with HE Archbishop Lloyd OSJV], was formally confirmed as a member of the Metropolitan Chapter and nominated to act as Dean for the forthcoming inauguration of the Metropolitan Archbishop in Brighton on May 25th. Canon Tundidor will oversee the proceedings and preach as well as play host to the ecumenical and VIP guests.
Monday, May 21st Canon Emilio Tundidor-Suarez OSJV formally instituted as ‘acting Dean’ of the Metropolitan Chapter.
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