Association for Latin Liturgy

Under the patronage of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
Founded in 1969 to encourage and extend the use of Latin in the liturgy of the Catholic Church.

The Roman Church has special obligations towards Latin . . .
and she must manifest them whenever the opportunity presents itself.





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Latin Liturgy
 (ALL Journal)

Pope Benedict XVI




Earlier Meetings

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St Mary of the Angels Bayswater, London 11 October 2014.

The 2014 Annual General meeting of the Association was held on Saturday 11th October and included a Solemn Requiem Mass, Celebrated by Fr Gregory Pearson, OP, for the repose of the soul of the late Jeremy de Satgé, ALL Council member, as well as a talk by Fr Uwe Michael Lang of the London Oratory, entitled "Ritual and the Sacred in Catholic Liturgy".  Following AGM business Fr Anton Webb presided at Solemn Vespers and Benedction.

Spring Meeting, the Church of the Immacualte Conception and St Joseph, Hertford: Saturday 3rd May 2014

The meeting took place this year on Saturday 3rd May at the Church of the Immaculate Conception and St Joseph, Hertford.  Mass began at 11.15 (rather earlier than usual), celebrated by the Parish Priest, Fr Terry Phipps, assisted by Fr David Rocks OP and Fr Thomas Skeats OP.  A choir, modestly described as "St Joseph's choir and friends", conducted by Derek Harrison, sang Byrd's Four Part Mass and Mozart's Ave Verum at Communion, as well as leading the congregational responses.  The proper chants for the Feast of St Philip and St James were sung by Fr Guy Nicholls and a memeber of the Newman Consort.
Hertford Priory

St Joseph's New Malden, Surrey: Saturday 19th October 2013
The Annual General meeting of the Association held on Saturday 19th October 2013 at the Church of St Joseph, Montem Road, New Malden, Surrey. 

Spring Meeting, St Birinus, Dorchester-on-Thames   Saturday 13th April 2013
The Spring Meeting was held at the Church of St Birinus, Bridge End, Dorchester on Thames, on the feast of St Martin I.  St Birinus was a 7th century monk sent from Rome by Pope Honorius I to Wessex. According to tradition, the King of the West Saxons gave him “the city of Doric” (Dorchester), where he built a wooden cathedral, and by the 9th century the diocese extended from the Thames to the Humber. Birinus was buried in his cathedral in 650, although his remains were later moved to Winchester.  The Catholic church of St Birinus was built in 1849 and is Grade II* listed.  Its architect was William Wilkinson Wardell, a friend of Pugin, and who later designed the Catholic cathedrals of Melbourne and Sydney.


This exceptionally rich day, liturgically and culturally, began with Solemn Mass of Pope St Martin I: Fr Guy Nicholls Cong. Orat. was the celebrant, assisted by Deacon Ken MacNab, of St Birinus’ parish, and Fr David Rocks OP, of Holy Cross Priory, Leicester.  The setting of the Ordinary was the Missa Congratulamini mihi by Francesco Guerrero, its complex counterpoint superbly realised by the Newman Consort directed by Paul Kolb, together with Deus tuorum militum by Victoria (sung alternatim) at the Offertory, and Tu es Petrus by Clemens non papa at the Communion. A photograph from the Mass is shown here. The interior of St Birinus’ combines intimacy and magnificence; the painted rood screen is so highly decorated and beautiful that it almost has the air of an iconostasis. Painted heraldic shields line the upper reaches of the nave walls on both sides, and the roof of the sanctuary is richly decorated.  Deacon Ken MacNab preached on Pope St Martin I (pope from 649-653, deposed, died 656) the last pontiff to be martyred. 

After lunch, we crossed the road to the former Abbey church, where Fr Jerome Bertram (of the Oxford Oratory) guided us round.  Although there is no trace of the monastic buildings, a surprising amount survives from before the ‘Reformation’ in the church.  The main, monastic, part of the church culminates in the great east window, flanked by others on either side, the one to the north being the famous Jesse window [see photograph]. In its combination of stained glass and sculpture this is wholly exceptional.  As well as the main monastic nave and chancel, there is a large and spacious parish aisle, where some original wall-painting survives over a raised platform where the altar once stood.

We reassembled in the church for Fr Jerome’s talk on “Aspects of pre-Refornation Dorchester,” which was delivered extempore, entirely without notes, and was at once learned and funny, peppered throughout with a nice dry wit. The strength of Fr Jerome’s approach lay in his grasp of the whole broad sweep of English history, back to the Romans and beyond. Applied to Dorchester (‘a fortifiable position, but prone to flooding’) we were presented with a microcosm of England through the ages, Roman, Saxon, Norman, Catholic and Protestant, and then on to the building of the Catholic Church in 1849, and its ups and downs since then (currently its state is very positive) concluding with an account of its more recent beautification.  

The day concluded with first Vespers of the Sunday, the celebrant being Fr David Rocks OP and the cantors Fr Guy Nicholls and Deacon Ken MacNab; Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament followed, as is customary.

We are very grateful to Father John Osman the parish priest of St Birinus’ for welcoming us to his church and for his generous hospitality during the day.

AGM at St Mary Moorfields, London EC2: Saturday 13 October 2012
The roots of the parish of St Mary Moorfields go back to several chapels that sprang up in the area in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Catholic worship in those days was, of course, illegal and the chapels were known locally as ‘Penny Hotels’, as people had to pay a penny to a man behind a grill in the door before they were allowed in. In 1736, the Gordon Rioters attacked the chapel in Ropemakers Alley, ripping out its altar, fittings and crucifixes. In 1820 the first church of St Mary Moorfields opened in Finsbury Circus. As the permanent seat of the Vicar Apostolic, it served as Cardinal Wiseman’s pro-cathedral from 1850 to 1869. The church was pulled down in 1899 and replaced by the present church in Eldon Street, which was opened on 25th March 1903. The architect was George Sherrin, who also designed the dome of the London Oratory as well as several Underground stations.

The day started with Solemn Latin Mass and finished with Vespers and Benediction.  Lunch was held in the in the crypt, produced by the parish chef, and, as promised was particularly good. In the afternoon, Fr Peter Newby, the parish priest and formerly an architect and antiquarian bookseller, spoke on ‘From active participation to horizons of involvement: translating Liturgy into Architecture’. He also spoke about St Mary Moorfields, and how the architecture lent itself to all forms of Liturgy.

Spring Meeting 2012 at Oulton Abbey and Stone, Staffordshire, on 21 April 2012
Our Spring Meeting took place on Saturday 21st April, the feast of St Anselm, at Oulton Abbey and the convent of Dominican sisters in Stone.

The Benedictine Abbey of the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Lady was founded at Ghent in 1624 for English subjects. It was a filiation of the monastery at Brussels established in 1598 by Lady Mary Percy, daughter of the martyred Earl of Northumberland, Blessed Thomas Percy, and was colonised by four professed nuns of Brussels, namely Dame Lucy Knatchbull, Dame Magdalen Digby, Dame Eugenia Poulton, and Dame Mary Roper.  The community at Ghent prospered and grew, and in time sent out filiations to Boulogne, Dunkirk and Ypres. When the French Revolutionary army invaded Flanders in 1794 the community fled to England and settled at Preston in Lancashire; then (in 1811) it was transferred to Caverswall Castle in Staffordshire, and finally in 1853 to Oulton near Stone. The nuns commissioned Edward Pugin to design and build their church, which was consecrated just one year later in 1854 by Bishop Ullathorne. Edward Pugin was nineteen at the time, and it is his first church.

The convent at Stone was a foundation made by Margaret Hallahan who, in 1845, was the first to found a congregation of non-enclosed Dominican women in Britain. Other congregations of Dominican sisters were founded in different areas of England during the 19th century, and in 1929 five of these were amalgamated to form the present Congregation. The church of the Immaculate Conception and St Dominic was started by the nuns in 1852, and is by Charles Hansom, being Listed Grade II, and it contains the tomb of Bishop Ullathorne by J S Hansom.

Solemn High Mass was celebrated at 11.30am at Oulton Abbey, and in the afternoon one of the community gave us a tour of the convent, grounds and church. Vespers was sung in choir with the nuns at 4.30pm.

We thank Beryl Terry, the organist at Oulton, for making the arrangements for what was a very interesting day.

AGM at St Mary Magdalen, Brighton, on 15 October 2011
The Association enjoyed one of its most successful Annual General Meetings ever on Saturday 15th October. We were the guests of the Parish of St Mary Magdalen Brighton, and of its parish priest Fr Ray Blake. At 12 noon Solemn Mass for the feast of St Teresa,
Doctor of the Church, was celebrated by Mgr Andrew Burnham of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, assisted by Deacon James Bradley, also of the Ordinariate, and Br Anselm Carpenter of Farnborough Abbey.

The Mass was celebrated in the novus ordo as is always the rule for the Association’s masses, using the ad orientem option, with the Roman Canon, including all the names of the Saints.

Schola Scholastica, directed by Clare Bowskill, sang the plainsong proper Dilexisti justitiam and led the congregation in Mass XV Dominator Deus, with Credo III. At the Offertory they sang the Salve Mater Misericordiae, and during communion a three-part setting of Panis Angelicus by Giuseppe Baini (1775-1844). In his homily, reflecting on the life of the great saint whose day we were celebrating, Mgr Burnham spoke of the great importance, indeed the centrality, of the interior spiritual life.

A three minute video of the Mass (courtesy of St Mary Magdalen Choir) may be viewed HERE.

After lunch Mgr Burnham gave the talk, on ‘The Liturgical Patrimony of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and the Reform of the Reform’. This extremely topical and interesting address will be published in Latin Liturgy and can also be found on the website of the Ordinariate.

The Business meeting opened with the Chairman’s and the Treasurer’s annual reports, after which the meeting voted for the maintenance of the current subscription rates and for the re-election of the three officers of the Council. Three ordinary members were re-elected for two years, and it was announced that Mgr Bruce Harbert, who led the work on the new translation of the Roman Missal, has agreed to be co-opted onto the Council.

The day continued with First Vespers of the Sunday when the officiant was Deacon James Bradley, and which was again magnificently led by the Schola, and a beautiful celebration of Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament led by Fr William Young.

The Association wishes to record its gratitude to Fr Ray and to the parishioners, many of whom attended the day, and especially to Clare Bowskill whose organisational skills proved invaluable, and to her singers, who voices so greatly enhanced the liturgies of the day.

An account of the day’s events, with many photographs, can be found HERE and HERE.


Other Recent Meetings

The Association has continued its policy of holding two meetings each year for members and others who may be interested in our work. In addition to the formal Annual General Meeting which is normally held in October, we try to arrange an interesting Spring Meeting in a less familiar part of the country with interesting historical associations. One of the objectives is to provide an opportunity to make available well celebrated Latin liturgy in the new rite for those who are rarely if ever able to experience it. All our meetings begin with Solemn Latin Mass followed by a relaxed lunch and conclude with Latin Vespers and Benediction. Recent events have included:

AGM 2010 - This was held at St George's Cathedral, Southwark on Saturday 23rd October. Solemn Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary was celebrated by Fr Luke Smith, assisted by Fr Dominic Allain and Fr Peter Newby, the chant proper and some polyphony being sung by the men of the Cathedral Choir.

The social and business parts of the day were held in the adjacent Amigo Hall. After lunch Mgr Bruce Harbert spoke on ‘New English and the Future for Latin’, an extraordinarily interesting and illuminating address, shedding light both on the recent work of ICEL and, even more revealingly, on the nature, theory and practice of the translation of liturgical texts, and the sometimes quite intractable difficulties the process presents. An abstract of Mgr Harbert's talk will appear in Latin Liturgy.

Spring 2010 - at Farnborough Abbey. Solemn Mass was celebrated by Dom Cuthbert Brogan OSB for the feast of St Joseph the Worker, particularly apt as the abbey houses the National Shrine to St Joseph. A small schola sang the Mass Propers and led the congregation in Mass no I, Lux et Origo. The famous Cavaillé-Coll organ was played by the abbey's organist, Neil Wright. After lunch we were given a talk on the history of the abbey by the abbot, including a visit to the crypt to see the tombs of Napoleon III and the Empress Eugenie. Refreshments were taken in the guesthouse on the abbey's farm where we were delighted to see a couple of lambs born only hours before our arrival. This most interesting day concluded with First Vespers of the Fifth Sunday of Easter

AGM - Saturday 10 October 2009, the feast of St Paulinus of York - at Our Lady and the English Martyrs, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 1JR.  A splendid day was spent in Cambridge marking the AGM at the end of our fortieth year, and it was a great pleasure to be back in the city after an interval of eleven years. We were at the Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs and received a particularly warm welcome from Mgr Tony Rogers, the parish priest, and who was a curate there at the time Dick Richens founded the Association, and Fr Christopher Back who assists at the church and is a regular celebrant of the Sunday evening solemn Mass. Our Chairman's last two visits to the church were the funerals of Ruth Richens in 2002 and Mary Berry in 2008, so he was much moved by the occasion and the associations we have with the church. The church is one of the largest Catholic churches in the country, and its 65-metre spire is a landmark which can been seen for miles around Cambridge.

Solemn Latin Mass for the feast of St Paulinus of  York was celebrated by Mgr Bruce Harbert, assisted as deacons by Fr Christopher Back and Fr Guy Nicholls. The ministers wore the beautiful vestments of the High Mass set first used at the opening of the church in 1890 (at a Mass celebrated in the presence of all the bishops of England and Wales except Cardinal Manning and Bishop Vaughan who were unable to attend for reasons of health). Fr Guy's singing at Our Lady's as a student was his introduction to the Association. A schola, conducted by Christopher Hodkinson sang Byrd's Mass for Five Voices, and the motet O Sacrum Convivium from his Gradualia of 1605. After Mass, Nigel Kerry, Director of Music, played the Hymne d'Action de Grace 'Te Deum' from the Trois Paraphrases Gregoriennes Op.5 No 3 by Jean Langlais.


After lunch, Joanna Bogle gave a captivating hour's talk on 'Celebrating our Catholic Heritage - the glories of the Catholic Calendar', also covering some of the secular connections with our Catholic past in things as diverse as pub names like the Lamb and Flag, and Angel (hence the Underground station of that name), and celebrations like Hallowe'en (including its word-connection, hallowed, in the Lord's Prayer). This was a talk Joanna has given to many different groups, but was geared entirely to our particular interests.


The day ended with First Vespers of the 28th Sunday per annum celebrated by Fr William Young, with Frs Guy Nicholls and Anton Webb as Cantors. This was followed by Benediction and the singing of the Salve Regina. Organ Music after Benediction was Nigel Kerry's own improvisation on the 'Benedicamus Domino'.


In Joanna Bogle's words in her blog a day or two later: "A GLORIOUS the magnificent church in Cambridge. I was last here some three years ago for the baptism of a young relative. This weekend it was a splendid setting for the Mass celebrated for the annual meeting of the Association for Latin Liturgy. A good choir, a glory of timeless worship. A grand meeting and the delight of meeting various friends. A warm, open, friendly atmosphere with an upbeat feel. The day ended with a beautiful sung Vespers and Benediction..."

Spring 2009 - at St Joseph's, Burslem. Solemn Mass in Latin was celebrated by Fr Anton Webb, Cong Orat, assisted by Fr Guy Nicholls, Cong Orat, and Fr Jan Nowotnik. The church, designed by Sidney Brocklesby, has a splendid interior, and was decorated by local people at the suggestion of Burslem's MP in 1927, Andrew MacLaren. They called upon Gordon Forsyth, the Art Director of the Potteries, who designed stained glass windows and the ceiling, and who ran Saturday morning classes at the Wedgwood Institute, Burslem, attended by about 50 young parishioners, where the windows were made, similar in colour and texture to the glass in Chartres Cathedral. Forsyth's daughter, Moira, was commissioned to paint the inside of the dome above the apse.

After lunch, Ian Wells gave a fascinating illustrated talk on the life and work of Sidney Brocklesby, and the day concluded with solemn Vespers and Benediction, celebrated by Fr Julian Booth. The choir was the Choir of St Mary's, Moseley, Birmingham, directed by Michael Perrier, and it was a particular pleasure to have this large group with many young singers enhancing the day's liturgy.


We had the pleasure of their singing a few years ago at Woodchester Priory, and this time they gave us Haydn's delightful Missa Brevis de Sancti Joannis de Deo, with one of those "naughty" Viennese Glorias which telescope the text but as compensation a substantial Benedictus, which their fine soprano soloist sang as a Communion motet.   Organist Ian Biggs coaxed fine sounds out of the church's 1936 Rushworth & Dreaper instrument, concluding Mass with Bach's "Dorian" fugue BWV 538.

The choir coped brilliantly with Vespers (a learning curve for almost any choir these days) with a faux-bourdon setting of the Magnificat.   Benediction  featured familiar chants but began with Marcel Dupre's glorious setting of the O Salutaris.   Framing the afternoon service were two more organ pieces, Reger's devout Benedictus and a Praeludium by Buxtehude.


October 2008 AGM at the Cathedral of St Barnabas, Nottingham. Solemn Mass was celebrated in Latin by Fr Adrian Tomlinson of St Theresa's, Sheffield, assisted by Fr Guy Nicholls of the Birmingham Oratory and Rev James Anthony, a Deacon at the Cathedral. The Cathedral choir provided the music for the day, which consisted of Byrd Mass for four voices, Palestrina Exultate Deo, Stanford Justorum Animae, Hymn to St Ignatius arr John Driscoll SJ.  Improvisations before, during and after Mass and Vespers by assistant organist Graeme Vernon;  Choral Scholars of St Barnabas's Cathedral directed by the Assistant Director of Music Chris Burton.


After lunch members enjoyed an illustrated talk on the history of Catholicism in Nottingham given by Ian Wells, one of the Association's Council members who also organised the day's events. The Business Meeting followed, beginning with the Chairman’s annual report from Bernard Marriott. The liturgy continued with Sung Latin Vespers, of the 30th Sunday of the Year, at which the celebrant was Fr Thomas Crean, OP, of Holy Cross Priory, Leicester, and the cantors Fr Nicholls and Fr Anton Guziel of the Birmingham Oratory. The day concluded with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

Spring 2008 at Gloucester Cathedral. Solemn Latin Mass was celebrated in the Lady Chapel by the Abbot of Downside, Dom Aidan Bellenger OSB, assisted by Fathers Guy Nicholls, Cong Orat and Anton Guziel. The Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge, directed by Philip Duffy, sang the Gregorian Proper for the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Ordinary was sung to Cum jubilo.

Following lunch, members enjoyed a talk by Dom Aidan on the Benedictines in Gloucestershire.

The day concluded with Solemn Latin Vespers, in the Choir, at which the celebrant was Dom Aidan and the cantors Fr Nicholls and Fr Guziel. The organist for the “Dupré” Vespers was David Cowen with the chant accompaniment provided by Nigel Kerry. (The Schola Gregoriana had recorded the Dupré Vespers at Notre Dame (Paris) in 1995 under its founder, Dr Mary Berry, at whose Requiem the Schola sang only three weeks before our Gloucester meeting.)

Thanks are due to the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral for their generous hospitality and to the Cathedral staff for the willing and unstinting assistance which we received.

October 2007 AGM at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, Mayfair. Solemn Latin Mass was celebrated by the Parish Priest, Fr William Pearsall SJ, assisted by Fathers Anton Webb and Guy Nicholls of the Oxford and Birmingham Oratories. The Farm Street Choir, conducted by David Graham, the Director of Music, sang the Gregorian Proper and Byrd’s setting of Mass for Three Voices.

After lunch members enjoyed an illustrated talk on Catholic Church Architecture by Fr Anthony Symondson SJ.  The Business Meeting followed, beginning with the Chairman’s annual report from Bernard Marriott. The liturgy continued with Sung Latin Vespers, of the 27th Sunday of the Year, at which the celebrant was Fr Webb and the cantor Fr Nicholls. The schola comprised of ALL members was directed by Jeremy de Satgé. The day concluded with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and singing of the Salve Regina.

Spring 2007  Yorkshire, at St Austin’s, Wakefield.  Sung Latin Mass for the feast of St Anselm was celebrated by Fr Matthew Habron of St Austin’s, assisted by Fr Guy Nicholls. The choir led the congregation in Mass I Lux et Origo and sang the Gregorian proper. In the afternoon, the Yorkshire Catholic historian, Dr James Hagerty gave an informative talk on “Religion in Ruins”, describing the amazing concentration of religious houses that once existed in the county, only partly revealed by the evidence of the ruins that remain today. The day concluded in the fine setting of Wakefield’s Anglican Cathedral with the singing of Latin Vespers by ALL members led by Mary Halloran for the Third Sunday of Easter, at which Fr Nicholls officiated in the presence of the Bishop of Pontefract who extended a warm welcome to the Association.

October 2006 AGM at the Sacred Heart, Wimbledon. Solemn Latin Mass was celebrated by Fr Kevin Donovan SJ, assisted by Deacon Anton Webb of the Oxford Oratory and Fr Guy Nicholls, Parish Priest of the Birmingham Oratory. Music was provided by the Parish Choir. After lunch Ian Wells, an Old Wimbledonian who had organised the meeting, found himself having to deliver a talk about the founding of the church by Edith Arendrup written by the much respected teacher and historian Richard Milward who was unfortunately too ill to attend and sadly died two months later. After the Business Meeting and tea break, Fr Nicholls celebrated Vespers and Benediction in Wimbledon College Chapel.

Spring 2006 Derbyshire, at locations associated with the Derbyshire martyrs, with Mass at All Saints, Hassop where Derby Cathedral Voluntary Choir sang a Mozart Mass and Mary Halloran conducted the Gregorian Schola. Vespers and Benediction followed at the ancient Padley Chapel.  Ian Wells gave a talk on Robert Hugh Benson and his novel "Come Rack, Come Rope" which concerns the Derbyshire martyrs and set in the area we were visiting.

October 2005  AGM at Our Lady of Dolours, Leigh on Sea, with Mass of St Teresa of Avila. Anthony Bevan directed the Gregorian choir of ALL members who sang the proper and led the congregation in Mass IX Cum jubilo. There followed an interesting talk by Fr Stewart Foster, Diocesan Archivist.

Spring 2005  Gloucestershire, with Solemn Mass for St George’s day in the Church of the Annunciation, Woodchester, a visit to Woodchester Mansion and a drive to Prinknash Abbey for Latin Vespers.

October 2004  AGM at St Mary’s, Chelsea, with Pontifical Mass of the Holy Guardian Angels celebrated by Bishop Alan Hopes. St Mary’s Latin Choir sang Hassler’s Missa Secunda with motets by Michael Haydn and Palestrina. Mike Withers gave a fascinating talk on the development of Church music entitled ‘Lawmakers and Lawbreakers’.



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