News Archive

Thursday 18 December 2014

Christmas Mass Times



Before every Mass — and on Christmas Eve from 10:00 am–6:30 pm
Saturdays also 10:30–11:00 am, 5:00–6:30 pm

Wednesday 24th December, CHRISTMAS EVE

6.30 pm Vigil Mass with carols
The Church reopens at 11:00 pm
11:15 pm — Carols and Readings
Midnight Mass at midnight

Thursday 25th December, CHRISTMAS DAY

8:00 am — Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form)
9:30 am — Parish Mass, with Children’s Liturgy
11:00 am — Solemn Mass
5:30 pm — Solemn Benediction

Friday 26th December, ST STEPHEN’S DAY

Mass at 10.00 am only

Saturday 27th December, ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST

Mass at 10.00 am
Vigil Mass at 6.30 pm

Sunday 28th December, HOLY FAMILY

8:00 am — Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form)
9:30 am — Parish Mass (No children's liturgy)
11:00 am — Solemn Mass
6:00 pm — Benediction (no Vespers)
6:30 pm — Evening Mass

Monday - Wednesday

Mass at 7:30 and 10:00 am, 6:00 pm

Wednesday 31st December, NEW YEAR’S EVE

11:00 pm Mass and Benediction for New Year

Thursday 1st January, MARY MOTHER OF GOD

Mass at 10.00 am only

Sunday 4th January, 2015 SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY

Saturday 6:30 pm — Vigil Mass
8:00 am — Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form)
9:30 am — Parish Mass, with Children’s Liturgy
11:00 am — Solemn Mass
5:30 pm — Solemn Vespers and Benediction
6:30 pm — Evening Mass

Saturday 10th January

3:00 pm — Children’s Epiphany Benediction in the Crib

Download these times as a PDF.

Thursday 18 December 2014



2015 will be the 500th year since the birth of our Holy Father St Philip. We have produced a commemorative mug to celebrate the year, featuring a design by Freddie Quartley.

On one side the mug shows ‘tre digita’. St Philip used to say that the sanctity of a man lay in the breadth of three fingers, and as he did so, he would place three fingers against his forehead to show that by this he meant the mortification of the reason. He is depicted sitting under Tasso's oak, which can still be seen on the Janiculum Hill today. On the other side of the mug is the skyline of Rome as seen from the Janiculum, with the Chiesa Nuova in the centre.


Mugs will be on sale in the lodge for £12 each, in aid of the Fundraising Campaign. They are high quality bone-china, and are entirely microwave and dishwasher safe!


Sunday 14 December 2014

Prepare a Way for the Lord


This year's Advent Musical Oratory will take place this Wednesday 17 December at 8pm. There will be readings, hymns and motets on the theme of St John the Baptist, ending with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

St Philip started the Musical Oratory in Rome in the sixteenth century as a way of keeping youths out of trouble and focused on God. The Musical Oratory is still an excellent way to prepare for Christmas, by helping us with the latter of these, even if the former does not apply!  In the early days, Palestrina himself wrote motets and then conducted the choir. This year the music includes one of his works, and others by Schutz, Gibbons, Cardosol, Clemens and Duruflé.

Thursday 11 December 2014

Sermon for the Immaculate Conception

Fr Richard Biggerstaff, Director of the St Barnabas Society, came to preach at the Solemn Mass for the Immaculate Conception on Monday. Here are his words:

"People like me are fond of saying these days that there is a crisis:
We have swept away the notion of sin and anything goes and how dreadful it all is.
But perhaps the deeper crisis is that we play down play down genuine goodness.
And when we do celebrate goodness it is as if the latest celebrity campaigning to relieve Ebola or HIV or hunger has invented the idea!
‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’
Well yes, they do and they know its Advent and The Solemnity of Immaculate Conception too!

Against this cynical backdrop it is easier to buy a trivial and profane Christmas card than a beautiful image of the Mother of our Redeemer, Mary Immaculate. I could give you any number of examples, but most of them are unrepeatable in the parlour, let alone from the pulpit!

The feast and mystery of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary invites us to engage with the dogma.
There is ‘popular’ confusion.
This is not the virgin birth of Jesus.
This is concerned with the beginnings of the life of Our Blessed Lady - her Conception (and as everyone knows life begins at conception). At Mary’s conception, at that moment, that ‘Immaculate moment’ there is a complete absence of sin and stain.
And this singular privilege of grace, in consideration of the merits of Jesus the saviour of mankind….

But also, in propounding this teaching the Catholic Church invites us to understand that Grace is more original than sin.
Goodness comes before the Fall.

As our first parents come to live in deathly disobedience -they fall because they fail to listen to God and death comes about - so Jesus (the new Adam, the divine Son of God) is brought into this world through the lively obedience of Mary, the new Eve and life is restored.

Is all this simply the stuff of which nice Christmas cards are made?

Certainly Catholic theology cannot understand the Immaculate Conception as simply an honour done to Mary, a nice devotional belief about her.

Whilst the Immaculate Conception inspires great devotion - Bernadette at Lourdes,
St Catherine Laboure in Paris - the devotion is only credible because it is a part of an orthodox theology of the Incarnation and the Redemption. But it goes both ways - Orthodoxy on such matters is not orthodoxy without the Immaculate Conception.

In the mystery of the Incarnation the response of Mary is crucial but so is her preparedness. She is that pure vessel in which God dwells, so she is preserved from sin because God will dwell in her womb.

So God in Christ is immersed in human existence taking His humanity from humanity but never compromised by it, never sullied by humanity’s fallen state. He is the man like us in all things, but sin. And Mary then is the sinless vessel from which he is born. But she is only sinless because of Christ and the redemption he will bring.

Just as the crucified risen ascended and glorified Christ ‘for us men and for our salvation’ was incarnate, enfleshed to return flesh to God; that redemption is Mary’s from her first moment of life.

This principle is established in the letter to the Ephesians: ‘God chose us in Christ…to be holy and without sin in his presence. From all eternity he destined us in love’.

Mary is predestined, she who is not just highly favoured, she is ‘full of grace’ and is prepared in grace for The One who is the source of grace.

Furthermore, ‘full of grace’ she is more genuinely human, showing us the full potential of what the Creator intended when He created and pronounced what He had made ‘Good’.

The mysteries of Mary are never removed from all humanity. And those who search for the right sort of Christmas card are surely on the right track!

With Mary we celebrate the Good God’s choice of us.
With Mary we celebrate her Son’s redeeming love.
With Mary we celebrate His victory over sin and death.
And in Mary we see too that grace is more original than sin.

O Mary conceived without sin,
Pray for us who have recourse to thee"

Fr Biggerstaff mentioned the difficulty of finding decent Christmas cards. Our parishioners should be aware that no such problem exists for them. Cards in aid of the Oratory are on sale in the Porters' Lodge.

Monday 8 December 2014

Immaculate Mary

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is always one of the great feasts of the year at the Oratory, since St Philip described the Immaculate Mother of God as the true foundress of the Congregation.

St Aloysius' School came to the 10 o'clock Mass this morning.



The choir led the singing beautifully - including a lovely rendition of the Missa de Angelis and the Salve Regina.