We are looking for an organ scholar to work with our Director of Music and choir, starting from November. This is an exciting opportunity for a suitably skilled organist to contribute to the vibrant musical life of the Oxford Oratory, while gaining experience of the traditional Catholic liturgy and sacred music performed to the highest standards. Full information is available here. Applications must be received no later than Friday 15 October.
The one symbol most often identified with the Lord and his Church is the cross. Yesterday we celebrated the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. This feast has its beginnings in Jerusalem and the dedication of the church built on the site of Mount Calvary in 335, after the finding of the True Cross by the Empress St Helena. But the meaning of the cross is deeper than any city, any celebration, any building. The cross is a sign of suffering, a sign of human cruelty at its worst. But by Christ’s love shown in the Paschal Mystery of his Passion, Death and Resurrection, it has become the sign of triumph and victory, the sign of God, who is love itself.
Christians have always looked to the cross in times of suffering. One of the most striking images after the atrocity of 9/11 in New York was that of a cross, formed by two iron beams — by providence, more than coincidence — which towered over the scene of wreckage and carnage. That cross stood as a sign of hope and strength in the midst of unbelievable tragedy. People in concentration camps, in prisons, in hospitals, in any place of suffering and loneliness, have been known to draw, trace, or form crosses and focus their eyes and hearts on them. The cross does not explain pain and misery. It does not give us any easy answers. But it does help us to see our lives united with Christ’s. It helps us to see Christ standing with us, suffering with us, and to know that we will rise with him.
We often make the Sign of the Cross on ourselves. We make it before we pray to help fix our minds and hearts on the Lord. We make it after prayer, hoping to stay close to him. In trials and temptations, the cross is a sign of strength and protection. The cross is the sign of the fullness of life that is ours. At Baptism, too, the Sign of the Cross is used: the priest, parents, and godparents make the sign on the forehead of the child. This sign made on the forehead is a seal, a sign of belonging. By the Sign of the Cross in Baptism, Jesus claims us as his own so that he can share his life with us.
Today, let us look to the cross. Let us make the Sign of the Cross and know we bring our whole selves to God — our minds, souls, bodies, wills, thoughts, hearts — everything we are and will become. Let us “lift high the cross” above the evil and suffering in this world, and claim back the world for Christ.
Ave crux, spes unica — Hail, O Cross, our only hope!
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O Saviour, thy Cross is worshipped by men and angels. Angels and men carry it in their hands and sing hymns of praise because it has brought peace to all the world. Restrain war and contention; draw together all peoples who in the one Church pay honour to it, recognise its majesty, and with uplifted voices cry: Holy, holy, holy art thou, O Lord, who by thy Cross hast saved mankind from perdition. To thee be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Prayer used in veneration of the relic of the Cross after all Masses today.
A quiet moment on the road to Walsingham. #oxfordoratory
Pilgrims from Oxford today at the combined Oratories pilgrimage to Walsingham. #oxfordoratory
Sunday 5 September Solemn Mass 11:00
23rd Sunday of the Year
Mass XI Plainchant
Exultate justi in Domino Viadana
Vivo ego, dicit Dominus Lobo
Sunday 8 September Solemn Mass 18:00
The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Messe Cum Iubilo Duruflé
Beata es, Virgo Maria Byrd
Sunday 12 September Solemn Mass 11:00
24th Sunday of the Year
Mass in Eb Rheinberger
Sanctificavit Moyses Palestrina
O bone Jesu a 8 Palestrina
Sunday 19 September Solemn Mass 11:00
25th Sunday of the Year
Missa De la Batalla escoutez Guerrero
Si ambulavero in medio tribulationis Lassus
Hoc corpus Robledo
Sunday 26 September Solemn Mass 11:00
26th Sunday of the Year
Missa Mon coeur se recommande à vous de Mont
Super flumina Babylonis Palestrina
O sacrum convivium a 6 Victoria