Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle
Latin Mass Society

Diocesan Representative Mr J Harvey Tel: 0191 281 0125

Newsletter No 17: August 1997

A monthly round-up for members in the
Hexham and Newcastle Diocese

CLICK HERE for a summary of the current status of the Old Rite of Mass

Masses this month

All Masses with the generous permission of
the Rt Rev Dom Ambrose Griffiths OSB, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle

St Dominic's, Newcastle
Missa Cantata (Sung Mass) every Sunday at 11.30 am

Date Sunday Celebrant
Sunday August 3rd 11th Sunday after Pentecost Fr Brown
Sunday August 10th 12th Sunday after Pentecost Fr Elkin
Sunday August 17th 13th Sunday after Pentecost Fr Elkin
Sunday August 24th 14th Sunday after Pentecost Fr Laurencou
Sunday August 31st 15th Sunday after Pentecost Fr Elkin

English Martyrs, Stockton Contact: Margaret Walsh (01429) 260410

St Patrick's, Ryhope Contact: Fr Wilfrid Elkin (0191) 521 0340

Friday August 15th .... The Assumption .... 12.00 noon

Wednesday August 20th .... Mass .... 7.30 pm

St Robert's, Morpeth Contact: Fr Michael Brown (0191) 477 1524

Wednesday August 27th Mass 7.30 pm

St Wilfrid's, Gateshead Contact: Fr Michael Brown (0191) 477 1524

Our Lady & St Cuthbert Berwick on Tweed Contact: Mr James Rowley (01289) 307213

Mass sheets

Mass sheets with the Ordinary and the Proper in Latin and English are supplied at every Mass at St Dominic's, and at most of the other Masses.

If you are travelling a long distance to any weekday Masses, it is advisable to telephone in advance in case of alterations.

Altar Team

Contact: Nick Murray, MC (0191) 232 2539

Instruction in serving the Old Rite Liturgy by arrangement


There are four choirs associated with the Society in the diocese.

All always welcome new members.

The Latin Choir:

Sings at the Sunday Masses as St Dominic's: polyphony and some plainchant.

Rehearsals: Thursdays, 7 - 9pm at St Dominic's.

Contact: David O'Neill, Choirmaster, (0191) 264 5771

Ryhope Parish Choir:

Sings Masses at Ryhope, mainly polyphony.

Contact: Fr Elkin (0191) 521 0340

The Schola Gregoriana:

Sings Masses at St Robert's and St Wilfrid's, and Vespers and Benediction at St Wilfrid's: all plainchant.

Contact: Ian Graham, Director, (0191) 281 1670

The Singers of the Holy Cross:

Sing by arrangement, polyphony and plainchant.

Contact: Michael Leckenby (0191) 584 4902 or Joseph Coyne (0191) 534 6438


Recent Special Masses

Both Fr Bryce's Golden Jubilee High Mass and the Catenian Mass were well attended and were well received. Fr Bryce's family was very pleased with the celebration. A video will be forthcoming of Fr Bryce's Mass.

High Mass for the Feast of Christ The King Sunday 26 October

Fr Elkin will celebrate, with Frs Brown and Marley as deacon and subdeacon. The music will be sung by the joint choirs of St Dominic's and St Patrick's.

Isobel Green RIP

Isobel Green, one of our older members died recently and was buried on July 21st from Our Lady of the Annunciation in Gateshead. Isobel had been a regular attender at our Masses for many years. May she rest in peace.

Ceilidh Barn Dance at Ryhope ... Wednesday 15th October

This will be at St Patrick's social club in Ryhope after the 7.30 Mass. Contact Margaret Walsh for more details: (01429) 260410.

Traditional Pilgrimage to Fatima

This will take place from 23-29 October. The cost will be £395 inc full board. Contact Margaret Walsh for more details: (01429) 260410.

Brinkburn Mass Saturday 20th September

There will be a High Mass celebrated at Brinkburn Priory (a beautiful 10th century church) on Saturday 20th September at 12 noon. The Schola Gregoriana will be singing the music for this Mass.

Traditional Missals

are available from: Carmel of Plymouth (new) Tel: 01752 266402, and John Bevan (2nd hand) Tel: 01600 890878.
If you have unwanted missals or can acquire these, we would be very happy to receive them, as we can put them to good use.
Either bring them to St Dominic's for the 11.30 Mass, or contact the editor.

Prayer Intentions

Of your charity, pray for the repose of the soul of Isobel Green, and of all members of the Society whose anniversary occurs in August. Animae eorum, et animae omnium fidelium defunctorum, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pacem.

Please let the editor know of any prayer intentions that you would like included in the Newsletter.


Copies of a video of a High Mass, a Low Mass, and Benediction at St Mary's, Bayswater are available from Jack Harvey at the discounted price of 10 UK Pounds a copy.


St Dominic's and St Wilfrid's can both easily be reached by public transport.
St Dominic's is 5 minutes' walk along New Bridge Street from Manors metro station, and several buses stop directly outside.
St Wilfrid's is 5 minutes' walk from Gateshead Stadium and Felling metro stations.


Do you know someone who needs a lift to any of our Masses?
Please let the editor know and we will see if we can help.

This Newsletter is edited by Roy Macgregor 22 Curtis Road, Fenham, Newcastle. Tel: (0191) 273 4731, to whom Notices for the September Newsletter should be given or sent by August 25th

Any ideas for this Newsletter will be gratefully received and carefully considered.

Email: Andrew@ascott.demon.co.uk

Quam dilecta tabernacula tua Domine virtute!

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The Status of the Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Rite of Mass

Fr Wilfrid Elkin, Parish Priest St Patrick's, Ryhope


Recently, I have come across a number of instances of prejudice and ignorance concerning the Latin Mass, in some cases from people who ought to know better.
So in case anyone is wondering what is the legal status of the Latin Mass which I and others celebrate, here are the facts.

The Background

In 1970, Pope Paul VI issued the Novus Ordo Missae (the New Order of Mass). Ten years later, a questionnaire was sent to all the bishops asking them how the New Mass was settling down; the results of this consultation were issued in December 1981. Then in 1984, the Sacred Congregation of Divine Worship issued an Indult called Quattuor abhinc Annos (Four Years Ago - most documents issued by Rome are called after the first two or three words of the document) for the benefit of those groups who had remained attached to the Tridentine Rite; bishops were now allowed to grant permission for the celebration of the Tridentine Rite Mass in very strictly controlled circumstances. (In this diocese it was very strictly controlled indeed!).

The Lefebvre Crisis

However in 1987 came the crisis with Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.
The problem was not so much that he and his followers in the Society of St P ius V clung exclusively to the Old Latin Mass and would not tolerate the New Mass of Paul Vl or any of the 'new Church'; it was that Lefebvre, an old man, wanted to consecrate a Bishop to succeed him. Any bishop has the power from Christ to consecrate a new bishop but before he can exercise that power he needs authorisation from the Pope, and this the Pope refused to give.
When Archbishop Lefebvre went ahead with the consecration, he was excommunicated in July 1988.

Ecclesia Dei

In the same month, Pope John Paul II issued a motu proprio (that is, a personal statement by the Pope) entitled Ecclesia Dei (The Church of God) in which he shared his pain at the excommunication of Marcel Lefebvre, saying that his disobedience resulted in a schismatic act of rejecting the Papacy by not taking sufficiently into account the living character of Tradition.

The Holy Father's Wishes

"However," said the Pope, "it is necessary that all the Bishops and the other faithful have a new awareness, not only of the lawfulness but also of the richness for the Church of a diversity of charisms, traditions of spirituality and apostolate, which also constitutes the beauty of unity in variety: of that blended harmony in which the earthly Church raises up to Heaven under the impulse of the Holy Spirit."

The Pope goes on to say: "To all those Catholic faithful who feel attached to some previous liturgical and disciplinary forms of the Latin tradition I wish to manifest my will to facilitate their ecclesial communion by means of the necessary measures to guarantee respect for their rightful aspirations.
In this matter I ask for the support of the bishops and of all those engaged in the pastoral ministry in the Church." He continues that he is setting up a Commission to oversee this matter, and, he says, "respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See (in the Indult Quattuor abhinc Annos), for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962."

The Commission's View

Recent responses from the Ecclesia Dei Commission state that "respect for those attached to the Latin liturgical tradition is not confined to those older people who can remember it but also applies to young people who now come across it and are drawn towards it."
Those priest-followers of Archbishop Lefebvre who came back to the Church after his excommunication were encouraged by the Pope to set up a special society called the Society of St Peter in which the old ways are observed; the Society is booming on the Continent and in the States.

In Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Ambrose has been very generous in the granting of permissions for Latin Mass celebrations.
We who celebrate the Latin Mass are doing so with the full blessing and encouragement of Holy Mother Church; we are a part of the "diversity of charisms, of traditions of spirituality and apostolate, which constitutes the beauty of unity in variety."

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