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Saturday 27 February 2021

Great Oratory session for women this afternoon looking at Psalm 90 with the help of St Augustine. Oratory for men next Saturday at 4pm. #oxfordoratory

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Saturday 27 February 2021

Lent Project: The Vision of Mary’s Meals

Support our Lent project this year, Mary’s Meals.

The best way to give is directly via the Mary’s Meals website, but you can also use the ‘Lent Project’ slot of the safe at the back of church to make cash donations.

Friday 26 February 2021

“O God, we love thee with our whole hearts and above all things, and are heartily sorry that we have offended thee. May we never offend thee any more. Oh, may we love thee without ceasing, and make it our delight to do in all things thy most holy will.”

Stations of the Cross every Friday at 5:30pm during Lent.


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Thursday 25 February 2021

Last night’s Lent Musical Oratory is available to watch online in case you missed it live. #oxfordoratory

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Wednesday 24 February 2021


If you were to open a missal for the older form of the Roman Rite for any day in Lent, you will find an intriguing note. Today, for example, “Station at St Mary Major” indicates that the ancient Roman “Station” liturgy takes place in that church on this day. There will be another church tomorrow, and another the day after and so on, in a long series stretching to Easter. In the earliest days of the Roman Church, the faithful would gather at one church, imaginatively called the collectum, where they would all walk in procession, singing the litany of the saints to the Station church of the day where the pope himself would celebrate Mass. There they commemorated the saints, kept the ember days, and prayed and sang. The whole business takes its name from their destination — the statio, a name it shares with the guard duty of a Roman soldier, which came to mean a fast, from sunset until the ninth hour the following day. The ancient Christians took their fasting and prayer seriously — so seriously that they saw it to be of equal importance to those soldiers, walking the walls of the ancient City, keeping the enemy at bay. But it was no bleak penance. This most ancient of Lenten customs had forward motion, it had a trajectory, it was going somewhere — and we can learn a lot from it.

We may not (sadly) be able to be in Rome this Lent, but there should be something stational about our Lenten penance too. We should be watchful in prayer, vigilant, ready for spiritual action. We should approach our Lenten fast not only with commitment but also a kind of enthusiasm. If we cannot be on a physical daily pilgrimage around the churches of Rome, we can ensure our Lent is a pilgrimage of the heart, wherever we are, heading towards Easter day when our new habits will be formed and virtues grown-into, ready to meet the Lord’s resurrection.

But, of course, if we are to reach its end, every journey requires some food for the way. It is no coincidence that what happened as the high point of the statio was the Mass, the bread from heaven, given as food to wayfaring man below, and just as the Eucharist was the food for the station pilgrims, so it should be the nourishment that fuels our Lenten discipline too. Our Lenten eyes are, understandably cast towards Calvary, to that moment of sorrow and sacrifice which, whilst it wrought our salvation, meant the suffering of the Lord for our sake. But it is the love which runs to the core of that sacrifice which is our sustenance on this journey, it is that love that transforms us, and it is that love Himself which we receive, truly present in the Blessed Eucharist.

So while we fast from earthly food, and Netflix, from Deliveroo and alcohol, may the absence of these earthly delights teach us to cling more firmly to that true food for our journey, that more lasting nourishment, the very One who gave himself for us.

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Saturday 20 February 2021

Lent Project: Mary’s Meals

Our Lent project this year is Mary’s Meals, a charity that provides one good meal to some of the world’s poorest children every school day. The charity is also currently running a particular appeal in order to send life-saving food parcels to children and vulnerable adults in Tigray, Ethiopia, where, due to fighting in the region, many families are at risk of imminent starvation.

The best way to give is directly to Mary’s Meals via their website, but you can also use the ‘Lent Project’ slot of the safe at the back of church to make cash donations.


Saturday 20 February 2021

The Blessed Sacrament is exposed all day each Saturday of Lent until Benediction at 6pm.

“Everyone tries to obtain an audience of the Prince when he is disengaged, and so when there is no concourse of people, it is a good time to obtain an audience of Almighty God. He who really wishes to be heard and to demand graces for his soul will not mind a little inconvenience.” — Fr Gioan-Matteo Ancina of the Roman Oratory


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Thursday 18 February 2021

In case anyone had wondered where all the straw from our Christmas Crib had gone when it went away at Candlemas, John Keown’s pigs are happily hunkered-down in it. We probably won’t ask for it back for next Christmas! #oxfordoratory

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