Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Happy Clothing Day

... to Dom Anselm, clothed 24 yeras ago today the feast of St Maurus in a certain monastery in London.

Although there was an intervening 23 1/2 years, it is good to be back in the habit.

St Maurus was as a boy given into St Benedict's care and among other things, ran on water to save St Placid when he was drowning, so the Office an Mass are all 'water' themed. Around 543, Innocentius, the Bishop of Mans, sent his vicar, Adenard, to Monte Cassino to ask St Benedict to send some monks to Gaul. Maurus was dispatched. He founded the Abbey of Glanfeuil.He died on January 15th 584.

From this monastery countless monasteries in France flourished, so St Maurus is the monastic apostle to the Gauls.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

The Prayers of the Community

When I was a young man I was in a monastery in London for four years. Well, less said about that the better, but one of the things that struck me was the reading of the Rule of our Holy Father, St Benedict. Just as it should be, of course, but it struck me for a number of rather strange reasons.

One was when an elderly monk pronounced ‘none’ as ‘none’ – i.e. no one, or nothing, instead of the Monastic Prayer of None (long ‘O’ rhymes with ‘bone’). So he ended up by saying that ‘None should be said early’, as if it were no one or nothing should be said early, instead of the prayers ‘None’. Honestly, we didn’t get out much, it was hilarious. I still have a smile on my face when I think of it.

So… back to reading the Rule. The weird thing was that the Rule is to be read three times in its entirety every year, and most of the older translations have three dates next to each section so you know what bit to read when. But in the monastery in London, we didn’t follow that scheme. And we cut out huge bits of the Rule, and it has only struck me now why we did that. It was because quite simply we didn’t follow it, and it would have been embarrassing to say ‘this is what St Benedict, our Holy Father, the one that we are supposed to be following, being Benedictines and all, said we should be doing… and… oh… well… we’re not.’

Not quite our habit.
You know this because this chap is carrying a sword
and in this we do not follow our Holy Father.
It was not the things about wearing knives (which we must fit to the age in which we live), nor was it about sleeping together in dormitories (now way at all nowadays… the old monasteries have more than enough problems in that direction) it was something much more fundamental. It was to do with the prayers that we sang.

It was the Office. And being a monk is all about singing Prayers..

Monday, 13 January 2020

Community of Our Lady of Glastonbury

In August 2019, Bishop Declan Lang of Clifton Diocese, signed the statutes of the Community of Our Lady of Glastonbury, a private clerical association. This is community following the Rule of Our Holy Father St Benedict, singing the Office in accordance with the Rule according to the Antiphonale Monasticum and the Breviarium Monasticum.

Our apostolate is running parishes in the Diocese of Clifton. Currently we are the parish priests of Glastonbury, Cheddar, Shepton Mallet and Wells.

Please pray for us.

Our website is

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Mass Times at Christmas

At Cheddar

Mass on Christmas day at 9.00am

At Wells

Mass on Christmas Eve at 6.00pm
Midnight Mass (carols at 11.30pm, Mass at Midnight)
Mass on Christmas Day at 11.00am
Mass on Christmas Day at 12.30pm (Latin)

At Shepton Mallet

Mass on Christmas Eve (carols at 6.00pm, Mass at 6.30pm)
Mass on Christmas Day at 9.00am

At Glastonbury

Midnight Mass (carols at 11.30pm, Mass at Midnight)
Mass on Christmas Day at 11.00am
Mass on Christmas Day at 12.30pm (Latin)

Served by the Community of Our Lady of Glastonbury
Diocesan Benedictines

Monday, 9 December 2019

An Extraordinary Mass

Saturday 7th December saw the celebration of a very particular Mass in the Shrine. It was in honour of the Benedictine Abbots Richard Whiting, Hugh Faringdon, and John Beche, together with the four other Benedictine Martyrs, including two from our own monastery at Glastonbury, Richard James, and John Thorne. 

You can see pictures and a longer account of this Holy Mass on the community website here.

Friday, 6 December 2019

Come to Mass tomorrow/today


Isle of Wight

Quarr Abbey
The Community of Our Lady of Glastonbury paid a visit to the Isle of Wight.

Needless to say, the highlights were going to Quarr Abbey, and St Cecilia's in Ryde. What fantastic places. I hope and pray that they flourish as they sing the praises of God.

The extraordinary thing about Quarr is that it was designed by a monk, for monks. So it is not only beautiful, but is exactly what a Benedictine community needs.

St Cecelia's on the other hand, though a fine building etc etc. is made and founded on the voices of the holy nuns. If you want to have a hint of what heaven is going to sound like, then go to Ryde. It is not just music, anyone can sing just music - it is the voices of heaven and earth intertwined.

St Cecilia's, Ryde

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Missa Cantata for Blessed Richard Whiting

Blessed Richard Whiting
Stained Grass Window in the Sacred Heart in Minehead
On 19th September 1539, Richard Layton, Thomas Moyle, and Richard Pollard arrived at the abbey without warning. They were not convinced about Whiting's answers and he was sent to the Tower of London. They discovered a book condemning Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon. They also discovered evidence that Whiting hid a number of precious objects from Cromwell's agents.

The commissioners wrote to Thomas Cromwell claiming that they had now come to the knowledge of "divers (many) and sundry treasons committed by the Abbot of Glastonbury". Whiting was sent back to Somerset in the care of Richard Pollard and reached Wells on 14 November. "Here some sort of trial apparently took place, and next day, Saturday, 15th November, he was taken to Glastonbury with two of his monks, Dom John Thorne and Dom Roger James, where all three were fastened upon hurdles and dragged by horses to the top of Toe Hill which overlooks the town. Here they were hanged, drawn and quartered, Abbot Whiting's head being fastened over the gate of the now deserted abbey and his limbs exposed at Wells, Bath, Ilchester and Bridgewater."

Come to the Mass in his honour and to beg for his prayers on Saturday December 7th at 11.00am in the Shrine of Our Lady, sung by the Community of Our Lady of Glastonbury.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Missa Cantata

This Mass is specifically Benedictine and should be celebrated on December 1st. It was moved some time later to the middle of November, with common chants, but as is fitting for the Community of Our Lady of Glastonbury, we have restored the feast.

It cannot be on December 1st this year, so it will be celebrated as a Votive Missa Cantata on

Saturday December 7th

Come along!

Saturday, 22 September 2018

A Reception Video

This is a wonderful record of Vespers and the Blessing of the Icons.

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