Christmas Day in Portsmouth

St. Agatha’s new blog gives us some pictures of Christmas Day at St. Agatha’s Ordinariate Church, Portsmouth, UK:

Christmas 2014 - 1 - kleinChristmas 2014 - 4 - kleinChristmas 2014 - 5 - kleinChristmas 2014 - 7 - kleinNotice board - klein

 

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12 Responses to Christmas Day in Portsmouth

  1. Matthew the Wayfarer says:

    Beautiful. The last time I saw pictures of Saint Agatha’s Church was when it was still Anglo-Catholic just prior to entry into the New Anglican Ordinariate. It looked pretty narly then. Looks like the congregation did some upgrades – ALLELUIA!

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Matthew,

      You wrote: The last time I saw pictures of Saint Agatha’s Church was when it was still Anglo-Catholic just prior to entry into the New Anglican Ordinariate. It looked pretty narly then. Looks like the congregation did some upgrades – ALLELUIA!

      Yes, and the restoration of this magnificent church is still very much a work in process.

      Norm.

  2. pioraviacasino says:

    Oh to be there to concelebrate the mass with them. It is such a beautiful church. Fr. Bill H.

  3. sT Agatha's says:

    Glad you enjoyed the photos.
    Don’t worry though – the photo of the Last Gospel was a “mock up” taken after Mass. Naturally I couldn’t be taking photos during the Mass itself.
    As is the tradition most of the congregation went to the Vigil Mass of Christmas so we were rather low on numbers on Christmas Day itself.
    St Agatha’s day will soon be here (7th Feb) to which you are all invited.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      sT Agatha’s,

      You wrote: Naturally I couldn’t be taking photos during the Mass itself.

      I don’t know why not, unless you were serving as a liturgical minister. Several years ago, I shot five rolls of film during the mass of solemn dedication of an abbey church. Far from chastising me for doing so, the abbot expressed gratitude and asked for copies of the photographs for the abbey’s archives.

      But the key to good photography of a liturgical service is to turn off the camera’s flash and use ambient light — which might require a very steady hand, or even a tripod, to keep the camera still during the long exposures required for dimly lit parts of the service. The automatic exposure control units on most modern cameras are very good at regulating the correct exposure time.

      Turning off the flash provides three significant benefits.

      >> 1. There’s no flash disrupting the service or distracting worshippers.

      >> 2. Photographs taken with ambient light usually capture the ambiance of the moment much more authentically.

      >> 3. Ambient lighting provides consistent lighting of closer and more distant objects and backgrounds, whereas a flash provides inordinately brighter illumination of foreground objects.

      Note that the brightness of illumination from a flash falls off as the square of the distance from the source, so an object that’s twice as far away as another object gets only a quarter of the brightness incident upon the closer object. This might be great if you really don’t want the background to show up in your picture, but it’s not so great if you want to show the whole reality.

      Norm.

  4. St Agatha's says:

    Thank you Norm. I couldn’t take photos during the Mass as I was serving. I’m a fan of photo taking but always try to do so from the very back of church (preferably in the choir gallery) when a service is taking place. Have you ever been to St Agatha’s? There have been many changes in recent times. We are improving the side altars and have a new electronic organ originally to be found in Worth Abbey. It’s most impressive.
    portsmouthmission.wordpress.com

    • Rev22:17 says:

      St Agatha’s,

      You wrote: Thank you Norm. I couldn’t take photos during the Mass as I was serving.

      Yes, of course not!

      You continued: I’m a fan of photo taking but always try to do so from the very back of church (preferably in the choir gallery) when a service is taking place.

      I find that it’s generally better to be as close to the action as possible without creating a disruption. The telephoto lens that you need to get a close-up from a distance requires unduly protracted exposure times, resulting in very blurry images, and use of a tripod to keep the camera still, especially when shooting with ambient light, and a flash is virtually useless at that distance.

      When I photographed the mass of dedication of the abbey church, I had a seat in the front pew right next to the extraordinary ministers of holy communion, probably about three or four meters from the altar and only a couple meters from the presidential chair. This let me get good close-ups with manageable exposure time. I did use the zoom lens on my camera to get close-ups of the proclamation of the readings from the ambo, which is on the opposite side of the altar from where I was seated. This vantage point let me get good shots of the whole mass without leaving my seat, thus minimizing the disruption and distraction.

      You asked: Have you ever been to St Agatha’s?

      Not as yet, though I have been very close. I was last in “old Pompey” in 1984, while embarked aboard USS Saipan (LHA-2) as a liaison officer attached to Headquarters, Second Marines, for Operation Teamwork ’84. I assisted in several masses at the cathedral there, but St. Agatha’s probably was still a Royal Navy storehouse at the time.

      You wrote: There have been many changes in recent times. We are improving the side altars and have a new electronic organ originally to be found in Worth Abbey. It’s most impressive.

      Yes, I see that you are making great strides in restoring this edifice to its former glory!

      Norm.

  5. St Agatha's says:

    Note: Concelebration isn’t part of St Agatha’s patrimony.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      St Agatha’s,

      You wrote: Concelebration isn’t part of St Agatha’s patrimony.

      Concelebration is not commonplace in the experience of most Roman Catholics, either. One sometimes sees it on normal weekdays in parishes with more clergy than masses and at weddings and funerals in which the concelebrating clergy are friends of the couple or the family of the deceased. On Sundays and Holy Days, however, most parishes have more masses than clergy so concelebration would happen only if there’s a special mass of some sort in which more than one priest wished to participate. Concelebrations tend to happen in houses of clerical religious orders and in places such as seminaries where there is no pastoral need for each presbyter to celebrate mass separately. Note that, in a concelebration, each priest may offer the mass for a different intention.

      From a standpoint of liturgical theology, though, the guiding principle is that those who possess sacramental orders should vest and participate in each liturgical celebration in a manner that’s consistent with the orders that they possess. Thus, a presbyter or bishop in good standing who is present at a mass, but not the principal celebrant thereof, normally should concelebrate and the functions of the deacon should be divided among all of the deacons if there is more than one deacon present.

      Note that this has resulted in a change of discipline from the Tridentine era: one ordained as a presbyter does not vest as a deacon, nor exercise the ministry thereof in the liturgy, and the former office of subdeacon is now suppressed.

      Norm.

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