Celebration of the traditional Latin Mass in the Parish
The Traditional Latin Mass is Holy Mass celebrated according to the Roman Missal of 1962. This is the form of Mass settled at the Council of Trent in the 16th Century – the Mass of Ages, the Mass of the Saints, the Mass of Catholic Tradition. The celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass resumed at St Gregory’s in 2005, following a break of approximately 40 years. Seen in the light of Church history, this short intermission is just the blink of an eye.
Traditional Latin Mass times at St Gregory’s (always check the newsletter)
Wednesdays at 6pm (Low)
Fridays at 6pm (Low)
Every First Thursday of the month at 12 noon (Low)
Every Third Sunday of each month at 12 noon (Low, Sung or High)
There are also Sung Masses in the Extraordinary Form on important feast days, and occasionally High Masses (Mass with priest, deacon and sub-deacon). See below for the link to the Latin Mass Society for information about other Traditional Masses in the Oxford area.
Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament always takes place in the Traditional Latin form.
Other Sacraments in the Traditional Form
Baptism, Penance, Extreme Unction, and Marriage. Funerals Masses can also be celebrated in the Traditional Latin form.
Devotions in the Traditional Form
First Thursdays are devoted to Our Lord Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest; first Fridays are devoted to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus; first Saturdays are devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Masses on first Thursdays and Fridays are celebrated in the Extraordinary Form, first Saturdays in the Ordinary Form.
The Forty Hours devotion: The Blessed Sacrament is exposed in a monstrance on the altar at the end of one Mass, and remains exposed, while people keep watch, for 40 hours until a final Mass and Benediction (with other prayers, and a procession of the Blessed Sacrament).
Sacramentals in the Traditional Form
There are many Sacramentals and blessings in the Traditional Form, and some of these ceremonies also take place in the Ordinary Form. Items are blessed for special purposes and some examples are listed here:
✠ Holy Water is water blessed for protection against evil spirits and many other physical and spiritual benefits;
✠ Blessed Chalk is distributed on the Feast of the Epiphany (6th January), and used to write the initials of the Three Kings and the date around the lintel of one’s house. These initials are also the initial letters of a blessing for the house: Christus mansionem benedicat;
✠ Blessed Candles are distributed at Candlemas, the Feast of the Purification (2nd Feb). They are taken home and burnt to invoke a blessing, for example, during storms, or childbirth.
✠ Throats are blessed with special candles on the Feast of St Blaise (3rd Feb).
✠ Blessed Ash is used to sign the foreheads of the faithful on Ash Wednesday, as a mark of penance at the start of Lent. This ceremony also takes place at Masses celebrated in the Ordinary Form.
✠ Personal Blessings are given, for example, to an expectant mother, for a mother after childbirth, or to a married couple after 25 or 50 years of marriage.
✠ Relics are venerated especially on the feast day of the saint to whom the relic belongs. St Gregory’s has a number of relics, including a first class relic of St Gregory the Great, the primary patron of the church. This veneration also takes place at Masses celebrated in the Ordinary Form.
Introductory booklet; How to attend the Extraordinary Form by Dr Joseph Shaw, published by CTS
Comprehensive information can be found on the Latin Mass Society website https://lms.org.uk/
A talk given by Fr John Saward gave to the Oxford University Newman Society on the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum can be read here