News Archive

Wednesday 12 August 2020

These are the fragments of the bones of Pope St Fabian and St Sebastian that will be buried in the sepulchre when we consecrate our altar. Each altar must contain the relics of a martyr, a practice predicted in the book of the Apocalypse: ‘I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne’ (Rev. 6:9).

A martyr is literally a ‘witness’. Part of the function of an altar is to serve as a witness to our covenant with God, and so it is fitting that their relics are involved in its consecration.

The certificate in the background is the guarantee of their authenticity. #oxfordoratory

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Tuesday 11 August 2020

Altars contain a small cavity called a sepulchre. The relics of saints are buried in this sepulchre together with three grains of incense, and the cover sealed in place. This recalls the earliest custom of the Church of celebrating Mass always on the tombs of the martyrs. We are certain that the martyrs’ souls are in heaven, therefore their bodily remains are a link to them and to heaven itself. #oxfordoratory

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Monday 10 August 2020

The new altar already has five of these crosses carved into its surface: one at each corner and one in the centre. Since the altar represents Christ’s body, these crosses represent his five wounds. During the rite of consecration, they are washed with specially prepared water (more on that later!), and anointed with chrism, as Christ’s wounds were washed and anointed before he was placed in the tomb. #oxfordoratory

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Saturday 8 August 2020

Catching up: we were due to consecrate our new altar in April. It will be consecrated later this week by Bishop Robert. We’ll film the whole thing for you to watch online and will post our preparations as we go along. #oxfordoratory

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Friday 7 August 2020

An appeal for Beirut

An appeal to all the countries of the world, from the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, Cardinal Bechara Boutros al-Rahi:

Beirut is a devastated city. [...] Beirut, the bride of the east and the beacon of the west is wounded. It is like a war zone without war. Destruction and desolation in all its streets, neighborhoods and homes. Dozens of citizens have been killed, thousands of people have been injured, and hospitals, churches, houses, institutions, hotels, stores and various public and private facilities have been demolished. Hundreds of families are homeless. All this happened and the state is in a situation of economic and financial collapse that makes it unable to face this humanitarian and urban disaster, and the Lebanese people are in poverty and need.

The Church, which has put in place a relief network across all of Lebanon, sees itself today before another major duty, for which it is incapable to assume on its own, all the while in solidarity with the afflicted, the families of victims, the wounded and the homeless whom the Church is willing to receive into her institutions…

If you can, please consider making a donation to Caritas Lebanon.

Alternatively you could make a donation to Aid to the Church in Need.

Saturday 1 August 2020

Changes to Mass and streaming schedule

Over the last month, it has been great to see people returning to Mass, and with it, the number of viewers on our live stream dropping. We will keep live streaming, but we will be cutting down which Masses we stream. From now on, we will stream all Masses on a Sunday morning, the 6pm Mass Monday–Friday, and the 10am Mass on Saturday.

Vespers will not be sung during August, except for the feast of the Assumption. Vespers will return in September, and will continue to be streamed. Benediction is still currently suspended, but has not been abolished! Friday Holy Hour and Sunday Benediction will be back as soon as it is practically possible.

Our daily EF Mass was very popular on the live stream during lockdown and we were able to keep it going for the month of July. We now have to return to our normal Mass schedule, but will look for ways of providing access to Mass in both forms in the future.

Saturday 1 August 2020

Exciting news from Br Benedict

Saturday 1 August 2020

Many people found time to finish projects over the lockdown period and Freddie Quartley was no exception, painting this beautiful frontal for the Oratory. #oxfordoratory

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