Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Beauty will save the world

I have been spending the last few days in one of the most beautiful and precious places I know: St. Michael's Abbey, Farnborough.

This Abbey is a centre for liturgical excellence. All of the Mass are Novus Ordo. Please, if you are not a fan of the Novus Ordo read on. Sunday Mass is in Latin, sung to Gregorian Chant and takes nearly two hours. All Masses are facing East.
Truly Farnborough Abbey is a treasure unknown in these isles.

I have been to quite a number of Tridentine Masses and Masses in Westminster Cathedral but the Sunday Masses here are THE MOST BEAUTIFUL I have ever seen. This is what Vatican II wanted. This is a true organic development of the Classical rite. Indeed I would say that the Mass, as celebrated at Farnborough, is the Classical Rite of today's Church.
Communion is received kneeling. People participate in the parts of the Mass (Sanctus, Agnus Dei etc) in exquisite Gregorian Chant.

It truly permits the participation that Vatican II requested but leads the people into the mystical and the contemplative

As I stood there singing the Creed I realised that this is the future of the Catholic Church's liturgy. We can't go back on what Vatican II wanted. We can't deny it. But at Farnborough one can see genuine organic development. They too realised this. That is why in 1995 they removed the forward facing altar and began the Genuine Renewal that is taking place.

I spoke to one of the monks who told me that a few years ago the CDF telephoned from Rome. Naturally the monk who answered the phone was, at first, a little worried. The CDF siad "Don't worry. We're just phoning to say that we know what you are trying to do there and we know of your printing press and WE THOROUGHLY APPROVE!". That was when Ratzinger was heading it.

If you can, go to Farnborough Abbey for Sunday Mass. You won't regret it. They also have an excellent bookshop and Abbey shop (which sells honey, beef, pork and eggs etc).

Visit their website:

It's a truly wonderful place. There I realised that, indeed, BEAUTY WILL SAVE THE WORLD!!!

1 comment:

Dad said...

Be careful what you wish for! Farnborough is a very beautiful place but has a poisonous atmosphere. Why do you think so few good men stay?