Friday, 8 May 2009
St. Catherine Of Siena (Round 2) !
The Society of St. Catherine of Siena doesn't usually get to hold their Annual Mass on the actual feast day of St. Catherine because the Mass is organised around the diary of the chairman, Bishop Malcolm McMahon. This year, the Annual Mass was a week after the feast itself, which made it rather like celebrating the Octave Day.
The Solemn Pontifical Mass was held in the conventual chapel of the Knights of Malta at the Hospital of Saint John & St. Elizabeth, St. John's Wood.
I've been feeling rather tired and washed-out of late, and so very nearly didn't go: I'd only been to St. John's Wood once or twice before, by tube, but the effort involved in negotiating public transport was just too much to contemplate. I checked out the route on Google Maps, and realised that it was a pretty straightforward drive, and so, having programmed the sat-nav on my phone, I set out.
The chapel itself is amazing. It is not the usual hospital chapel, and there is a curious tardis-like experience on entering from the hospital corridor: the huge marble columns would not be out of place in a Roman basilica.
Anyway, I managed to get a place at the front (most un-Catholic behaviour, I know, but I don't think it is enough to get me classed as a heretic!) and promptly whipped out my phone to take photos.
The Mass itself was awesome (as ever!) The silence during the Canon gave me goosebumps - this silence was amazing given that the marble makes it quite a noisy chapel. Boys from the London Oratory school came to sing the Mass; I don't know what settings they sang, but the music was beautiful...
Unfortunately, the low light levels meant that the phone camera took absolutely ages to focus, and so I completely missed the Consecration shots which look so very impressive. Still, the photos which I did manage to get don't look too shabby...