Weekly Email – Trinity 14
As we ponder the life of our late Queen and look ahead to her State Funeral on Monday, I am filled with a profound sense of thanks to all those who pulled together so wonderfully last weekend to produce two immensely beautiful and moving liturgies in her memory.
I am very grateful indeed to our music department for the excellent renditions of the Requiem settings by Fauré and Victoria. They are very different pieces of music, but somehow between their varied emotional timbres they expressed eloquently the range of emotions I sensed everyone was experiencing.
I want to thank particularly Jeremiah Stephenson, our Assistant Director of Music, and Hamish Wagstaff, our new organ scholar, for stepping in so professionally in a period in which Stevie Farr, our Director of Music, has happened to be abroad judging an organ competition in America. Our whole parish is very grateful indeed.
We owe a great debt of thanks to our sidespeople, church welcomers, and sacristan, who have worked tirelessly over the past few days both to welcome people at the liturgies of last weekend, and also to staff the church during the week when it is open in order to show hospitality to those who visit All Saints’ to pray. These volunteers are the first face people see when they visit our parish, and I am so grateful for the tireless warmth, dedication and hard work they have shown over the past few days. I particularly want to thank John Forde for constructing such a magnificent and moving catafalque as a focus of our prayer during this time of national mourning.
We should all thank our serving team for turning out in force with such little notice. Both Requiems on Saturday and Sunday were wonderful examples of the sort of prayerful, attentive, and gracious liturgy we have come to expect from our first rate serving team. Many thanks indeed to Cedric Stephens and all our servers for what they have accomplished.
As we look to the next few days the following liturgical norms will apply. All Masses during what is left of the period of national mourning will be offered as Masses of Requiem for Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth. The church will be open, as usual, from 11 am until 7.00 pm for people to pass by, pray, and light candles. There is also a Book of Condolence in church, in which anyone may write a message of support and sympathy for the Royal Family.
This Sunday, the day before the State Funeral, two significant liturgies will take place at All Saints’: at 11.00 am in the morning, we will offer our final High Mass of Requiem for the Queen (Music: Duruflé’s Requiem); in the evening at 6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction will be offered in particular commemoration of Her Majesty’s life (Music: Collegium Regale, Howells), with prayers before the Blessed Sacrament for her and for our new King. Both liturgies will be live-streamed: the Requiem Mass here and Evensong and Benediction here.
On the day of the State Funeral itself, we will only have one Mass offered at All Saints’, at 6.15 pm, as I imagine everyone will want to be participating in the Queen’s Funeral at 12 noon either on the streets of our nation’s capital or via television.
I hope the liturgies we have provided so far have been an encouragement and a solace to our parish and our wider family of Friends and online worshippers during this time of mourning and sadness. I note that many thousands of people have connected with us online and have participated in our liturgies through our YouTube Channel. I am glad that we have been of pastoral service and a liturgical focus for so many.
I urge as many as possible to make an effort to attend our final liturgies for our late Queen this weekend. I pray that our whole country will gain comfort and faith from the State Funeral on Monday, as well as a renewed trust in the promise of eternal life which the Risen Christ holds out to those who believe in him.
Online response to our Requiems
The online streaming of our liturgies in memory of the late Queen has met with an extraordinary reception and unprecedentedly high viewing rates. Our online worship seems to have met a very acute need and prompted many people to interact with our YouTube account. We are humbled and honoured to have been able to play a role in our nation’s mourning for the Queen via our online ministry.
The most significant amongst our broadcast liturgies in terms of online viewing was Saturday’s High Mass of Requiem, which at the time of writing already has 18,000 views. It looks like being our best watched liturgy since we began live-streaming. Of those 18,000 views, we know around 900 people have watched it from beginning to end.
We have significantly outstripped most English Cathedrals and all the largest parish churches of our own diocese in terms of online viewing figures for worship over the past week. Just to give some context, more people watched our Saturday Requiem than the official Church of England online liturgy in response to the Queen’s death for the whole country led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. We have also had more viewers for last Saturday’s Requiem than the official Church of England Sunday online liturgy of remembrance led by the Archbishop of York. This is very impressive accomplishment indeed.
I think part of the reason for this popularity is the prayerful quality of the liturgy and music we offer, along with the moving character of the traditional ceremonies associated with the rites for the dead in the Catholic tradition. There is something deeply powerful about the traditional liturgies associated with the catafalque and the beautiful music that accompanies the Mass of Requiem in the Western liturgical tradition.
Do have a look at our YouTube Channel and share material from it if you are able and have a social media account of some sort. I hope that by seeing our previous liturgies online, people may be prompted to worship with us in person next Sunday.
I want to pay particular tribute to Huw Pryce for the tireless effort he has put into creating, supporting and sustaining this online response to the death of the Queen. I might mention that he came straight from a transatlantic flight to All Saints’ on Saturday morning to live-stream our Mass!! How lucky we are to have Huw presiding so skilfully over so many elements of our liturgical broadcasts. Many thanks, Huw!
Royal Requiems at All Saints’, Margaret Street
John Forde has researched the history of Royal Requiems at All Saints’ and has produced the following fascinating article in the past few days:
Since the time of the foundation of All Saints’ there have been the deaths of only five consecrated monarchs of the United Kingdom.
Queen Victoria died on Tuesday 22 January 1901 and All Saints’ was one of the first churches in London to take notice of the solemn event. The sanctuary was hung in black the same evening. On the day of the funeral at Windsor there were funeral celebrations of Holy Communion at 7 and 8 am; the black hangings were taken down that night.
Edward VII died in 1910 when the walls of the sanctuary were covered in scaffold for painting of the present reredos by Comper. Edward and his consort Alexandria had been regular congregants at the Sunday afternoon Evensong at All Saints’ until the death of their eldest son the Duke of Clarence in 1892. Comper prepared the building for the obsequies.
The east wall was covered by black cloth up to the base of Christ in Majesty where thirteen tapers of unbleached wax were erected (image below). A catafalque was created – an empty coffin like structure representing the presence of the departed. It was raised on a platform and surmounted by a canopy of purple cloth and decorated with scrolls between the scutcheons and roses within garters. This canopy is known as a castrum doloris, and is a continental custom of the 17th and 18th Centuries, reserved only for royalty.
The pall of Roman purple velvet with crossed orphreys of cloth of gold had previously been made for the Requiem for Queen Victoria. Attendance at the Solemn Requiem, on the day before the Funeral at Windsor, was restricted to members of the English Church Union and persons on the Easter Roll of All Saints’.
In 1925 Queen Alexandra died and Comper’s arrangements for the royal Requiem in 1910 were used once more. As there was no scaffolding to conceal, a canopy of black cloth was introduced over the High Altar aligning with the top of the black hangings (image above). The Solemn Requiem was sung at the hour of the burial at Windsor.
George V died in 1936. The arrangements were simpler; a new richly embroidered pall of black velvet and white satin, which still still belongs to the Parish and is in use this week was erected over the empty catafalque (image below). The black hangings covered only the base of the East wall; the previous full height hangings being precluded by the Tabernacle installed above the High Altar in 1928. The present mortuary candlesticks, given in the 1920s, were used with their tall stocks of unbleached wax. The then un-silvered heavy candlesticks stood on the screen. These together with the High Altar candles bore scutcheons and shields.
George VI died in 1952. There is little detail in the Parish Paper. Fr Ross commented that “it was in no merely conventional spirit the Requiem Masses were said, culminating in the Solemn Requiem arranged in conjunction with the Church Union on the day of the Funeral.” Black hangings and the empty catafalque would undoubtedly have been used as was then customary in the Parish.
On the night Elizabeth II died the black hangings went up following the tradition established with her great great-grandmother. The catafalque was erected on the second night of mourning for the first Solemn Requiem celebrated on the third day. The simple photograph of the late Queen replaced the previous heraldic displays. The long sequence of requiem masses through the period of mourning continues the established tradition.
Parish Visit to the Royal Hospital Chelsea
We are pleased to announce that we have been invited on a tour of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. This will take place on Saturday 8th October and begin at the Royal Hospital at 10.45 am.
It has been such an honour over the past two years to have the Chelsea Pensioners present in our procession for the Assumption. It will be a fascinating privilege to visit their home and learn more about its remarkable history.
We will be given a tour by one of the Pensioners who visited All Saints’ for the Assumption, and will then be shown the chapel by the Chaplain, Fr Steven Brookes. Our visit will finish with a drink in the Pensioners’ club.
Once our tour is over, those who wish to can have lunch together at a local restaurant.
We are grateful to the Chelsea Pensioners for this amazing opportunity to see behind the scenes of their remarkable life together. We can only take a maximum of 20 people, so please be in touch with the parish office by email to book your place.
Autumn Study Day
Seeing God: Theologies of the Transfiguration
Thursday 20th October 2022, 10.00 am-3.00 pm
This year’s autumn study day aims to build on the success of our focus last year on Ravenna. Join us for a series of three lectures given through the day by the Revd Dr Peter Anthony and Dr Gregory Tucker, all focusing on the Transfiguration and ways in which we can interpret and live out its mystery in the world today.
Fr Peter Anthony will begin with an exposition of the biblical Transfiguration narratives and will later speak the history of depiction of the Transfiguration. Dr Gregory Tucker, a Junior Research Fellow at Heidelberg University, will explore the Transfiguration in the light of Eastern orthodox liturgical traditions.
It promises to be a very interesting day of study, reflection, and prayer.
Walsingham Pilgrimages 2023
The following visits to Walsingham are now available to book through our parish office over the next 12 months.
Walsingham Silent Retreat
Friday 2nd December-Sunday 4th December 2022
Cost: £182 (including full board plus mini-coach from Kings Lynn – retreatants need to book their own train ticket to Kings Lynn).
Retreat leader: Rt Revd Roger Jupp, Vicar of St Lawrence, Long Eaton.
This retreat will be silent from after supper on Friday night to the Parish Mass on Sunday morning.
National Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham
Monday 29th May 2023
This is a day pilgrimage to Walsingham which takes place on the last Bank Holiday in May each year. We travel together in a coach from Margaret Street, setting off first thing, and return late in the evening of the same day. The pilgrimage includes a large outdoor Mass in the Abbey grounds of Walsingham, with sermon and procession in the afternoon. The cost is usually around £20. Details will be announced closer to the time.
Annual parish weekend pilgrimage to Walsingham
Friday 21st July to Monday 24th July 2023
Cost: £270 Friday to Monday; or £190 Friday to Sunday evening (including full board plus mini-coach from Kings Lynn – pilgrims need to book their own train ticket to Kings Lynn).
A weekend pilgrimage away involving: Pilgrimage Mass at the Shrine Church; evening processions; sacraments of healing; sprinkling at the holy well and finishing with procession of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction.
We are aware that including Monday in the time we are away might not be convenient for those who work. We have decided therefore, to offer two deals: one for those who wish to come home on Sunday night and one for those who want to come back on Monday.
Fr. Harry Hodgetts, Elizabeth Lyon, James Shrimpton, Gloria Fleming, Sebastian Taite-Ellis, David Craig, Martin Berka, Elizabeth Marr, Ligorio Pinto, James Rodger
The faithful departed
Her Majesty the Queen, Robert Chilton, Shirl Sheldon, Grenfell Prince, David Robin, Mary Chote
Anniversaries of death
September 17th – Arthur Bourchier, Allan Duggan
20th – Guy Fleming Pr, Greville Howard, Anthony Andrews Pr, Susan Gill
21st – James Wright, Mary Baddeley
22nd – Anthony Alsopp, Andrew Braybrooke
23rd – Jean Hobbs, David Shearer, Pamela Herbertson
The Friends of All Saints’
September 17th – Cornelius Logue, Henry Macey, Dirk Maney, Bp. Michael Marshall, John Martell, Robert Mason
18th – Judith Mather, Fr. Stephen McClatchie, Fr. Peter McGeary, Nigel McNeill, John McWhinney
19th – Colin Menzies, Anne Merritt, Hazel Miller, Thomas Moller, Barry Moore, John Morrell
20th – Fr. Stephen Morris, Inger Mosbery, Christopher Naylor, Fr. Philip Need, Brian Newman, Graham Norman
21st – Richard North, Fr. James Nuzzo, Priscilla Oakeshott, Anna and Fr. Peter Oesterby-Joergensen
22nd – Ray Oram, Fr. Barry Orford, Samantha Parker, Malcolm Parr, Bhaven Patel, Alma Pearson
23rd – Pat Phillips, Colin Podmore, Nick and Cecilia Powell, Simon Pusey, Simon Rainey
Service times this week
Saturday 17th September
12.00 noon Requiem Mass for Her late Majesty the Queen
6.15 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday
Sunday 18th September – Trinity 14
11.00 am High Mass of Requiem for Her late Majesty the Queen
5.15 pm Low Mass of Requiem for Her late Majesty the Queen
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction in memory of Her late Majesty the Queen
Monday 19th September – Feria
6.15 pm Requiem Mass for the Queen
Tuesday 20th September – St. Andrew Kim Taigon
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass
Wednesday 21st September – St. Matthew, Apostle
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass
Thursday 22nd September – Feria
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass
Friday 23rd September – St. Pius of Pietrelcina
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Mass
Saturday 24th September – Our Lady of Walsingham
12.00 noon Mass
6.15 pm Vigil Mass of Sunday
Sunday 25th September – Trinity 15
11.00 am High Mass
5.15 pm Low Mass
6.00 pm Evensong and Benediction