News Archive

Friday 15 January 2021

January Music (updated)

Sunday 17 January Solemn Mass 11:00
2nd Sunday of the Year
Missa in G Casciolini
Ego flos campi Clemens non papa

Sunday 24 January Solemn Mass 11:00
3th Sunday of the Year
Mass XI (Orbis Factor) Plainsong
Tantum ergo Widor

Sunday 31 January Solemn Mass 11:00
4th Sunday of the Year
Missa in simplicitate Langlais
Verbum caro Hassler

Friday 15 January 2021

Safety Measures in Church

Our church remains open and Masses, Vespers and confessions continue as normal. The church remains open between Masses for private prayer each day.

The new government guidance for places of worship was published this week. Most of the guidance remains the same, except for guidance about choirs, which are now limited to three singers. From this Sunday, there will be no music at the 9:30 Mass. A smaller choir will continue to sing at the 11:00 Mass.

When visiting the church, please continue to observe the following guidance:

  • Do not attend if you have any flu or cold-like symptoms or have been advised to shield.
  • Seating at the busier Masses on Sunday will be allocated by stewards. Please allow the stewards to show you to your place in church.
  • Parents must keep their children with them at all times, and not allow them to run around the church. The Porter’s Lodge will be open for parents and small children if needed.
  • Face-coverings are mandatory, except for those with a medical exemption. The regulations state that if exempt from a face-covering, a person must maintain a 2 metre distance from others. Our seating capacity is calculated based on 1 metre plus, so if you cannot wear a mask, please do not come to the busier Sunday Masses but attend either the Saturday Vigil Mass or the Sunday 12:30pm Mass.
  • Keep at least 1 metre from members of other households.
  • Use the hand sanitiser provided on the way in and out of the church, and before and after confession.
  • Follow the instructions of the priest and stewards at Communion time, and follow the one-way system (up the centre aisle and return via the side aisles). Please stay in your place until asked to move by a steward.
  • Congregational singing is still not allowed at the 11am Mass or at Vespers.
  • Please do not congregate in the forecourt at all after Mass.
Friday 15 January 2021

After a few glitches earlier this week, our contactless donation system is back up and running. Did you know you can gift aid contactless donations? See to find out how. #oxfordoratory
View on Instagram

Wednesday 13 January 2021

‘I’m only human’

Today is the Octave of the Epiphany. Though of course in the new Calendar, it is no longer observed as such. Which is rather a pity, since to do so would help us to keep in mind the significance of this wonderful feast of the manifestation of Christ to the world, a manifestation in which we are privileged to share, because we have been called to be the Light of the World in which we live.

Of course, we fall far short of being like the Epiphany star — emitting an uncertain light at times, or allowing that light to be obscured by the clouds of our moods or the fog of our vacillating faith, thrown off kilter by circumstance, the pressures of life and, yes, our sins. There are moments, long periods even, when we are not what we should be, and there are even times when we are not much bothered by this. We might freely admit that we are not always radiating the light of Christ, that we fail to heed Our Lord’s words: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.’ (Matt. 5:16)

Each of us is different. One may be able to light a candle while another switches on a powerful floodlight, yet neither of these would make much impact in a sun-drenched landscape. That doesn’t really matter. We are all of us, despite our differing degrees of dimness and darkness, called to be light. Sometimes, when we fail to shine, or fail in any virtue of Christian living, we attempt to justify ourselves, saying, Well, I’m only human, which while it is true, seems an odd appeal to make. We are not angels, but men and women, called by grace to know, love and serve God.

From time to time we do fail to live up to our Christian calling, and our consciousness of this unpalatable truth about ourselves — that we are imperfect beings — can make us give up trying, because the effort required seems too great or because we imagine that we have been set up to fail. Or else, it can encourage us to try again and try harder, because to fail once does not make us a failure.

Many seem to see God as the eternal headmaster, or foreman, surveying the field of our endeavours from a lofty platform, cracking the whip, watching us flail around as we sink in failure, judging and condemning us. This way of thinking does the Lord a great disservice, because, on the contrary, He is there, working alongside us, energising us and acting with us. This makes me think of something Dame Julian of Norwich wrote: ‘When you shall meet your fair sweet Lord, you will laugh to see how you mistook Him.’

Our contribution, while it may seem quite puny to us (and our co-workers), is of infinite value to the Lord who has invited us and given a share in His great work.

The excuse I’m only human doesn’t really wash. It is precisely because we are human that we have been called by our Lord. And by his grace, we are enabled to become more fully human — the men and women we are meant to be. This requires total trust and the courage to press on and to trade with the talents God has given us and not to give in to fear and, paralysed, do nothing.

I’ve always had a fondness for the Arthur Hugh Clough’s poem, in which the poet exhorts his readers to soldier on, bearing in mind that our little human contribution may yet prove to be decisive and of tremendous significance.

Say not the struggle nought availeth,
 The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
 And as things have been they remain.

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
 It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,
 And, but for you, possess the field.

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking
 Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back through creeks and inlets making,
 Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only,
 When daylight comes, comes in the light,
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
 But westward, look, the land is bright.

These reflections are sent out each Wednesday to all those on our mailing list. Enter your e-mail address below to receive our Sunday E-newsletter and these reflections straight to your inbox.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of one of the e-mails.

Tuesday 12 January 2021

January Music

Sunday 3 January Solemn Mass 11:00
2nd Sunday after Christmas
Mass for Three voices Byrd
Benedic, anima mea Sermisy
Regem natum Handl

Wednesday 6 January Solemn Mass 18:00
The Epiphany of the Lord
Missa O Magnum mysterium Palestrina
Reges Tharsis Palestrina
Omnes de Saba Handl

Sunday 10 January Solemn Mass 11:00
The Baptism of the Lord
Missa Puer qui natus Guerrero
Tribus miraculis Palestrina
Sicut cervus Palestrina

Sunday 17 January Solemn Mass 11:00
2nd Sunday of the Year
Missa Brevis Palestrina
Jubilate deo Dering
O nomen Jesu Philips

Sunday 24 January Solemn Mass 11:00
3th Sunday of the Year
Missa Euge Bone Tye
Verbum caro Hassler

Sunday 31 January Solemn Mass 11:00
4th Sunday of the Year
Missa Simile est Regnum Victoria
Alma redemptoris Mater Guerrero
Beati mundo corde Byrd

Sunday 10 January 2021

Epiphany blessing 2021. 20+C+M+B+21 #oxfordoratory

View on Instagram

Thursday 7 January 2021

A new treasure for the Library. It is a note from 26 May 1840 in which Mr Newman acknowledges receipt of a copy of Dr Bennett’s book on Justification. Newman had given a series of lectures on this subject in 1837 and published them as ‘Lectures on Justification’ at the end of March 1838.

In his diary for Tuesday 26 May 1840, Newman wrote: Rogation. Letters from Oakley, Henry Wilberforce. c.m. [Cold meal?] in rooms. Wrote to Rivington, Hare, Dr Bennett, Henry Wilberforce.....and Archdeacon Froude.

The author of the volume was Dr Samuel Bennett, a graduate of Queen’s College, Cambridge (1797). He was ordained an Anglican clergyman in 1800 and served as Vicar of Great Wakering in Essex for about 16 years before moving to take up the living of Walton on the Hill, Surrey, in 1822, serving for some time as chaplain to the Duke of Kent. He died in 1847 at Constantinople, where he had held the post of chaplain to the British Embassy for many years.


View on Instagram

Wednesday 6 January 2021

Bless, O Lord, this chalk and grant salvation to the human race. May all who cause the names of your holy magi Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar to be inscribed above their doors be blessed by the invocation of your most holy name, enjoy health of mind and body, and experience your strong protection for their souls. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. #oxfordoratory

View on Instagram