|Painting of the Trappists being led to Tyburn for execution.|
They were held in such esteem that their capitulation meant
everything to the King. But that esteem was merited: they did
not (except for a final few members) give in to his will.
|That little circle between the two|
sets of window is the "squint."
Sister Giovanna and I had planned to go to St Paul's for Evensong, but a headache ruled that out (it's still on the "to do" list!). London sightseeing would have to wait for another opportunity.
That opportunity came the following Saturday. I was on my own this time (not as much fun, for sure), but decided the time had come to visit the Royal Residence. Make that one of the Royal Residences.
Palaces abound over here. But you know what I mean: Buckingham Palace. I had a general idea of where it was, having crossed by the front gates a few times when walking to our Kensington book shop from Westminster, but I had no idea where to buy a visitor's pass. I figured I would wing it. The day started with confession and Mass in Westminster Cathedral, where a Saturday mid-morning Mass brings you the Westminster Cathedral Choir and a full serving of Palestrina. In other words, a perfect beginning! From there I found my way to the Palace and happened upon the very spot I needed to be. As I scanned the area to see where exactly the queue was, a woman with an Irish accent asked me, "Do you need a ticket to the Exposition?" Not even knowing what the Exposition was, but figuring it would get me where I wanted to be, I said, "Sure!" Turns out that she and her daughter had arranged with a friend to visit the State Rooms and the current exhibit on Royal Childhood, but the friend had to cancel. Lucky me! (Pray for the friend; she was quite ill.) So not only did I get to visit the main attractions of Buckingham Palace for free, I had company to share the experience with! And it was
|No pictures allowed inside the Palace. Too bad!|
|Ah, modern art!|
When that was done, I had hoped to see the London Bridge, but I couldn't figure out how to get there, so I looked on a map and decided to take in a little bit of the Tate Gallery, which turned out to be fairly close by. Passing under a modern art installation (can you see my enthusiasm?) and avoiding a gallery with some other modern art, I found a gallery of mid 1800's works. The first thing I came across was "Jesus Washeth Peter's Feet" by Ford Madox Brown, about which I have previously written in this blog. What a find!
The following day I was also free to explore, so I set off for the choir Mass at the Jesuit parish, Immaculate Conception, known as the "Farm Street Church." It is in a VERY posh district. (As I walked through the streets, I passed a parking lot with two Aston Martin convertibles in it.) The Jesuit church is lovely; built in the early 1900's in a lacy Gothic style, it reminded me of Holy Name Church where my parents were married--only half the size and twice as ornate. The choir Masses here are almost always in Latin, a kind of hybrid liturgy between the older rite and the contemporary missal--the readings are in English, the liturgy is mostly the "novus ordo" that we use in English, the altar is between the priest and the people, but instead of a Responsorial Psalm, the choir sings a couple of lines taken from the Psalms, and often the Sanctus is sung, but the Benedictus used either in addition to or before the acclamation of the Mystery of Faith! It takes a bit of getting used to, as does the Gregorian Chant prayer (in Latin) for Queen Elizabeth, graciously ruling over us.
Today, Saturday, was again my day on the town. Now, after Mass last week while I enjoyed the Jesuits' coffee, a woman from the parish welcomed me, and with great enthusiasm told me that I absolutely must visit Southwark Cathedral (the "w" is silent, as is usual here: Suthark is the pronunciation). It had been a convent as far back as 600 AD, then an Augustinian priory and then, with the King's Great Matter, it was "surrendered" to the Crown and since then has been used by the Church of England. It is now the Cathedral of the Diocese of Southwark. When I got home, Sister Giovanna told me that she had been, of all places, to Southwark Cathedral. She even brought me the brochure to encourage me to visit. So what else could I do today but go to Southwark? I took the Underground to London Bridge (yes! that London Bridge), and got a little lost--actually I got
I'll let the pictures say the rest; suffice it to say that--as for the Market--I'll be back! (Besides, I still didn't see London Bridge!)