The Extraordinary Form
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales announced on Wednesday 18th March 2020 that we must not, at this time, gather for public acts of worship in our churches. Consequently, all Sunday, Holyday and weekday public Masses are cancelled in our Parish and indeed in every Catholic Church and parish across England and Wales as from Friday evening, 20th March 2020 and lasting until further notice.
This means that the Extraordinary form Mass at St John Vianney’s on the 20th March will be the last such celebration until further notice.
The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite
Pope Benedict XVI wished that the treasure of the traditional Roman liturgy, which was celebrated without change for many centuries, should be preserved for all generations as part of the patrimony of the whole Church. Following the steps of Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, with his milestone document Summorum Pontificum restored to priests the freedom to celebrate the “Extraordinary Form”of the Roman rite.
The Traditional Latin Mass was the exclusive form celebrated during the Second Vatican Council. Indeed, the Council itself never abolished the traditional liturgy, and its famous document about the Liturgy of the Church, Sacrosanctum Concillium, mentions only the possibility of some adaptations but never called for a change of language for Mass nor for a new rite of Mass as a whole. It is, therefore, very desirable that all the faithful should still know the traditional liturgy and should be able to understand its significance in the life of the Church and for the spiritual nourishment in the life of Catholics today.
The Attraction of the Latin Mass
More and more young people, who have never before experienced the profoundness and beauty of the traditional liturgy, are deeply touched by their first contact with it and are increasingly requesting its wider use all over the world. Wherever Mass in the Extraordinary Form is celebrated, it is often frequented by young families and youth. More and more Catholics are desiring to know and experience the classical Roman Liturgy because it strengthens their faith, it helps them in their struggles for a Christian life in the world of today, and it always attaches them more to the Church and to the Holy Father.
Please know: Holy Communion at extraordinary form Masses is received kneeling, and on the tongue, not in the hand. As the priest administers Holy Communion, he will say “Corpus Domini Nostri Iesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam, Amen,” which in English means “May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto life everlasting. Amen.” Because the priest says “Amen,” there is no need to respond to him.
Bishop Michael Campbell OSA, in September 2014, established a Shrine in Preston for prayer and worship exclusively in the Extraordinary Form run by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest at St Walburge’s, Preston. A further shrine church was similarly established by Bishop Campbell, under the care of the Institute, in September 2017 at English Martyrs, Preston. As a consequence of these decisions two iconic and listed churches in Preston were saved from possible closure and their legacy safeguarded for the future.
Here in Blackpool
We are blessed that, since September 2017, at St John Vianney’s we have had Fr Etienne serving in our parish who, as part of his pastoral ministry, provides us with Mass in the Extraordinary Form. These liturgies are offered in addition to the many responsibilities in his ministry and to the ordinary provision already provided for in the parish. All this means that St John Vianney’s is the only parish in Blackpool and indeed along the Fylde coast with such pastoral provision in the Extraordinary Form.
Everyone is warmly welcome at all the sacred liturgies in our parish – including in the Extraordinary Form