In much of the internet traffic we have spotted encouraging people to attend the Ordinariate's "first birthday party", taking the form of Solemn Evensong, Procession of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction at St James's, Spanish Place this Sunday (15th January) at 5pm, we have noted a good number of comments about how lovely St James's is. You would hardly expect us to disagree: it is indeed a spectacular and most lovely place in which to attend mass.
However, as those in the Ordinariate are by definition new Catholics, it is perfectly understandable that the "landmark" Catholic parish buildings in London are not as widely known to us as perhap the "shrine churches" of London Anglo-Catholicism are. We are all still learning our way around (even those of us who attended mass at Catholic churches on more than a few occasions before joining the Ordinariate). With that in mind, it seems a good idea to post a youtube video that shows the singing of the Veni Creator Spiritus at St James's on New Year's Day 2011.
This footage shows very clearly the stunning sanctuary, and gives some idea of what awaits those of you who are planning to be with us in Central London on Sunday to share in this great occasion.
You can find out much more about the history and architecture of St James's on the parish website, where there are also some rather good photos. Fr Ed Tomlinson has also posted a good picture here, clearly taken from a similar position in church to the video included above.
You will also find a couple of "exclusive to this blog" (well, taken by my shaky hand) photos in this blogpost on Remembrance Sunday, and in this blogpost on the subject of the parish procession on the Assumption. High up on the right hand side of this blog's sidebar, there is a photo of St James's taken as we celebrated St James's day 2011 with the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Mennini, as Celebrant and Homilist. Finally, for those who haven't seen the pictures already, a Christmas blogpost showed a couple of photos that I took of the external crib at St James's.
There are many reasons why we hope that Sunday's celebration will be a momentous event, and why we hope that many people will be there to give thanks for the Holy Father's initiative in allowing the creation of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. We also hope that there will be so many reasons encouraging you all to attend that none will be able to resist : the opportunity to celebrate and to give thanks; the opportunity to be among other Ordinariate friends; the opportunity to be among other Catholics and among Anglicans who wish the Ordinariate well; the opportunity to enjoy the fine Anglican Patrimony of Evensong; the opportunity to hear our Ordinary, Monsignor Newton, speak to us on this great day, and to see him give Benediction; the opportunity to hear a fine choir sing some fine music and.......... (hence the blogpost) the opportunity to do all the above in such a fine and inspirational building.
See you on Sunday.