News Archive

Saturday 5 January 2019

The Future of Music at the Oratory

The beginning of the new year also marks the start of an exciting time for sacred music at the Oratory. We have a new Director of Music, Matthew Martin, a prominent composer and organist, as well as Director of Music and Fellow at Keble College. Matthew’s areas of special academic interest include the Roman liturgy and plainchant.

The Fathers of the Oratory, since the time of St Philip, have always valued music as a tool for drawing people into the worship and love of God. With this new appointment comes also a new approach to the Oratory Choir, a new organ scholarship, and a renewed commitment to invest in the future of music, following the principle that only our best is good enough for God.


New Director of Music: a biography

Matthew Martin studied at Magdalen College, Oxford and at the Royal Academy of Music and later with Marie-Claire Alain in Paris. Martin is Director of Music and a Fellow at Keble College, Oxford where he conducts the choir, teaches academic music, and runs the annual Keble Early Music Festival.

His ‘spikily dynamic style of composition’ (BBC Music Magazine) has led him to be commissioned to write for many prominent ensembles, including The Tallis Scholars, the choirs of Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, St John’s College and Clare College in Cambridge.

Martin won the Liturgical category in the 2013 British Composer Awards for for his Festival Anthem I Saw the Lord and, in 2014, a disc of his choral music, Jubilate Deo, was recorded by The Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford and Daniel Hyde and released on the Opus Arte label. In the same year he was commissioned by The Genesis Foundation to write a new setting of the Stabat Mater for The Sixteen and Harry Christophers.

At the 2015 Cheltenham Music Festival Martin premiered his Trumpet Sonata with Jason Evans. In 2016 Peter Phillips and The Tallis Scholars performed a new set of Lamentations at Cadogan Hall, London and a cycle of Petrarch Sonnets for Marcus Farnsworth and James Baillieu received their first performance at the 2016 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester.

His large-scale unaccompanied choral work, A Rose Magnificat, written for The Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh was first performed in 2017 at St John’s Smith Square, London. The work was subsequently recorded for release on the Winged Lion label in 2018. Other projects have included a re-imagining of Guerrero's Ave Virgo sanctissima for ORA and Suzi Digby OBE, and Psalm 150, a Festival Anthem written to mark opening of the new organ in Manchester Cathedral, the premiere of which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 in September 2017.

Saturday 5 January 2019

January Music

6 IN EPIPHANIA DOMINI  Solemn Mass 11:00

Missa O magnum mysterium Victoria
Omnes de Saba 57
Vidimus stellam 58
Magi videntes stellam Victoria
Magi veniunt ab oriente Lupino
Organ: Épiphanie Litaize

13 IN BAPTISMATE DOMINI  Solemn Mass 11:00

Missa Tristezas me matin Morales
Benedictus 257
Benedictus 59
Tribus miraculis Palestrina
O sacrum convivium Morales
Organ: Toccata Undecima Frescobaldi

20 DOMINICA II PER ANNUM  Solemn Mass 11:00

Missa Brevis Palestrina
Misit Dominus 261
Laudate Deum 262
Alma Redemptoris Mater Guerrero
Regem natum Handl
Organ: Wie schön leuchtet Pachelbel

27 DOMINICA III PER ANNUM  Solemn Mass 11:00

Missa Brevis in C (220) Mozart
Timebunt gentes 26
Dominus regnavit 26
Dextera Domini Lassus
Ave verum Byrd
Organ: Toccata nona Frescobaldi

Saturday 15 December 2018

Some pictures of this year's Rorate Mass

IMG_2869 IMG_2870 IMG_2871

Tuesday 4 December 2018

Times of Masses, Confessions and Services for Christmas 2018



Before every Mass

and on Monday 24th December from 10am-6.30pm


Saturday 15th December        

7am - Advent Rorate Mass by candlelight

Wednesday 19th December

8pm - Carol Service

Monday 24th December, CHRISTMAS EVE

6.30pm - Vigil Mass with carols

The Church reopens at 11 pm

11.15pm - Carols & Readings Midnight Mass at midnight

Tuesday 25th December, CHRISTMAS DAY

8am - Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form)

9.30am - Parish Mass, with Children’s Liturgy

11am - Solemn Mass

5.30pm - Solemn Benediction


Wednesday 26th December, ST STEPHEN’S DAY

Mass at 10am only

Sunday 30th December, FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY

6.30pm (Saturday 29th) - Vigil Mass

8am - Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form)

9.30am - Parish Mass

11am - Solemn Mass

6pm - Benediction (no Vespers)

6.30pm - Evening Mass

Monday 31st December, NEW YEAR’S EVE

Mass at 7.30 & 10am, 6pm

11pm - Mass & Benediction for the New Year

Tuesday 1st January, NEW YEAR’S DAY, Mary Mother of God

Mass at 10am only


6.30pm (Saturday 5th) - Vigil Mass

8am - Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form)

9.30am-Parish Mass, with Children’s Liturgy

11am - Solemn Mass

5.30pm - Solemn Vespers & Benediction

6.30pm  - Evening Mass

Saturday 12th January

3pm - Epiphany Procession & Benediction in the Crib

Thursday 29 November 2018

The Cause of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman of the Oratory


His Grace the Archbishop has today issued the following statement:

        "At the September Ad Limina visit of the Bishops to Rome the Congregation for the Causes of Saints indicated that there had been considerable progress with Cause for Canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman. It may help if I try to explain the process.

         I understand that the medical board responsible for assessing a second miracle has now delivered a positive assessment to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. However there are several further stages between now and a possible canonisation. I believe the Congregation for the Causes of Saints is to meet in spring 2019 (gathering together its various Cardinal, Archbishop and Bishop members from across the world) to consider the medical board’s assessment and to make its own recommendation to the Holy Father.

           In the light of the positive assessment of the second miracle attributed to Blessed John Henry Newman, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints will then decide whether or not to recommend his canonisation. There is then a further moment of discernment when Pope Francis takes the final decision and sets a date for the Canonisation ceremony.

          It is wonderful news that the process for canonisation is now moving closer towards its conclusion and I pray that we may witness the canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman within the coming year.   This will be a cause of great joy for the Catholic Church in Birmingham and for the Birmingham Oratory, I am sure that Pope Benedict XVI, who came to our city to beatify Cardinal Newman, will be joining us as we continue to pray for Blessed John Henry’s canonisation in the near future."

+Bernard Longley

Archbishop of Birmingham

29 November 2018