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A Wonderful Day In York

For the first time since the reign of Mary Tudor, the traditional Latin Mass was celebrated at York Minster last Saturday. About 800 people attended the Mass celebrated in honour of St Margaret Clitherow. Afterwards, there was a procession through the streets of York, including The Shambles where the Saint lived, across the Ouse and on to the English Martyrs' Church...



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Eight Hundred Attend LMS Pilgrimage to York in Phenomenal Display of Faith by Catholics Adhering to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass

28 MARCH 2011

Something special happened in York on Saturday. Hundreds of Catholics converged on this historic centre of northern Christianity to honour one of England’s bravest women in a quite extraordinary way.

Thanks to the efforts of the Latin Mass Society, and with the kind permission of the Dean and Chapter, for the first time since the Reformation, a Traditional Latin Catholic Mass was celebrated at the High Altar of York Minster. The celebrant was Fr Stephen Maughan of the Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough.

An estimated eight hundred people attended the Mass, which was part of the Latin Mass Society’s northern pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret Clitherow, the York wife, mother and martyr, who was executed under Elizabeth I for her Catholic Faith. This form of Mass, of course, was the same Mass that St Margaret would have attended in secret before being arrested and executed.

Although the Mass took place in the Minster’s large choir, such were the numbers attending that extra seats had to be provided. Even these were insufficient, and yet more people spilled out into the Nave of the Minster. The music was provided by local choir the Rudgate Singers who sang William Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices.

The Latin Mass Society had originally hoped to hold the Mass in the nearby Catholic parish church of St Wilfrid’s, but unfortunately this was unavailable. However, the authorities at the Minster made the LMS very welcome and the Dean,the Very Reverend Keith Jones, and Precentor, Canon Peter Moger, sat in choir during the Mass. Our grateful thanks to them and their staff for all their help.

Following Mass, there was a procession from York Minster through the city streets via St Margaret’s shrine in The Shambles, across Ouse Bridge, the site of her execution. The sight of so many Catholic pilgrims processing and praying the Rosary drew the notice of Saturday afternoon shoppers, and buskers fell silent as the procession passed. Once everyone reached the Catholic Church of the English Martyrs there was Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, offered by Fr Michael Brown, the LMS’s regional chaplain for the North of England, and veneration of a relic of St Margaret Clitherow that was on loan for the occasion from York’s Bar Convent. The church was completely packed.


(good pictures at link below)
The Celebrant at the York Minster Mass was Fr. Stephen Maughan, a priest of the Diocese of Middlesbrough.  Here is his sermon, which I thought was excellent and worth posting here:

A Sermon Preached at the Votive Sung Mass Offered in Honour of St Margaret Clitherow at York Minster on Saturday 26 March 2011

by Fr Stephen Maughan

I am both honoured and moved to be standing here today. Honoured and moved to be celebrating, here in the heart of York, the ‘Pearl of York’ - a woman I have prayed to daily since before I was ordained a priest – a woman who gave her life for the Eucharist and, in so doing, gave her life for the likes of me who, unworthy though we are, are anointed to confect that Eucharist.

Honoured and moved to celebrate the patroness of the mothers of priests – and in doing so honour those women of faith who have given their sons to the service of the Church, her sacraments and her people – and in doing so pray for them – and for my own.

Honoured and moved to be celebrating St Margaret here in what would have been her minster – a building she would have been very familiar with – and although she died for the Holy Mass irrespective of form – to be so doing in the form of Mass she was familiar with – through which she received her Blessed Lord.

Honoured and moved that our friends and brothers of the Dean and Chapter would extend the hospitality they are rightly renowned for in this city and beyond, to us and indeed to join us to pray with us. I am personally honoured and moved by your presence with us, brothers, and have a feeling that St Margaret would warmly approve.

Psalm 63 says,

O God, you are my God, for you I long;
For you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
Like a dry weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
To see your strength and your glory.
For your love is better than life.

Again, Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want…

Again, Psalm 62:

In God alone is my soul at rest;
my help comes from him.
He alone is my rock, my stronghold,
My fortress: I stand firm.

The kind of faith which Margaret had – the faith to stand firm in the face of adversity – the faith to stand firm with grace, with dignity – the kind of faith which enables one to stand firm – in which the soul is at rest – in which the soul wants for nothing – which pines for God – which gazes on Him in love – is indeed, in the words of today’s Gospel, a treasure worth selling everything for.

Some of the last words Margaret heard were those of Judge Clench:

You must return whence you came, and there in the lowest part of the prison, be stripped naked, laid down, your back upon the ground, and as much weight laid upon you as you are able to bear and continue three days without meat or drink, except a little barley bread and puddle water, and the third day be pressed to death, your hands and feet tied to posts, and a sharp stone under your back.

With the grace and fortitude of a saint, she was given this sentence for harbouring priests who would celebrate the Mass we celebrate here today. Of those priests, she said:

As for good Catholic priests, I know no cause why I should refuse them as long as I live…

Margaret’s life and death speaks very directly to me as a priest. It tells me to be a good priest – to celebrate the sacraments with dignity, reverence and respect – to remember the words of an older priest to me before I was ordained – ‘Never forget that you, at the moment of consecration, hold in your hand Him who holds all things in being.’ But her life and death speak to all of us. She says to you – in your everyday lives let your faith not be a hidden treasure, but one which you are very aware of and which affects your thoughts, your words, your actions. She says to you – take courage from my example – be ready for what the Lord may ask of you – and, when He does, say ‘Let what you have said be done unto me.’ She says to you – when you genuflect, do so as if the Lord of Lords was standing in front of you. She says – keep the Eucharistic fast – and when you do, hunger for the Lord. She says – pray – pray for the unity of a Christianity whose divisions took her from us too early.

As for me, with Margaret as my witness and my encouragement, I echo the words of a late cardinal and ask her to pray for me as I do:

For however many years I am given, I give myself to you, Lord. I offer you my service, my energies, my mind, my heart, my strength and, yes, my limitations. I offer you myself in faith, hope and love.

I pray that, in the words of our first reading from the book of Wisdom, that My soul shall praise the Lord even unto death; because Thou, O Lord our God, deliverest them that wait for thee.

Praised be Jesus Christ.
Deo gratias!  Awesome!
Glory to Jesus Christ!
Deo Gratias!!  Another step....  :)
Another sign that the prophecy of St, Edward the Confessor (Feast Day, October 13, same as the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima) may be coming to pass before our eyes. Laus tibi, Christi!  :pray: