Tuesday 11 June 2019

An Interesting Event

Mass at Ushaw : LMS training conference 2010
Word has reached Gateshead of an interesting event on July 10th in Durham. The Centre for Catholic Studies is hosting a conference entitled Catholicism, Literature, and the Arts II: Legacies and Revivals. So far so good. I`ve never been to any of the lectures organised by the CCS as they are generally held at Ushaw at 5.30 which is not a great time for getting through the traffic from Tyneside and we are well-served at this end of the diocese by the annual programme of talks organised by the North East Catholic History Society.  However here is the overview of the conference:


This second biennial conference will explore key questions concerning the relationship between Catholicism and the arts, including literature, music, and visual art. What substantive relationships of conceptual and formal influence exist between Catholicism and the arts? Is there such a thing as Catholic literature, Catholic music, and Catholic art? If so, in what ways does their catholicity reside in relevant ideas, attitudes, values, and beliefs?

Keynote Speakers

  • Paul B. Murray OP (Angelicum, Rome): At the Threshold of Wonder: Poetry and Religion, Friends or Foes?
  • Robin Jensen (University of Notre Dame): Epiphany and the Visual Art of Early Christianity
  • Patricia Waugh (Durham University): Catholicism and Muriel Spark
  • Bennett Zon (Durham University): Catholicism and 19th Century Music
  • Martin Dubois (Durham University) on the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins

All well and good but not likely to get me running down the A1. However the final event of the conference raised the eyebrows. The draft programme is here.

3.30pm-5.00pm Celebration of a Missa Cantata, using Charles Newsham's setting (ticketed event) With special thanks to the University of Notre Dame Centre for Ethics and Culture for their generous support for this event, as also to the DU Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies for their assistance

Not sure why the Mass should be a ticketed event but Option H for registration allows attendance at one conference session and the Mass for £20. 

This is said to be a cultural event and not a traditionalist one. I don`t think they know traditionalists very well if they think they can make that distinction.  However as this is to be a historical re-enactment with music written by Mgr Newsham, a 19th century president of Ushaw, then surely it should not be a Missa Cantata. I`m confident that a sung Mass at Ushaw in the 19th century would be a Solemn High Mass. It was my privilege to have celebrated such a Mass at the LMS training conference held at Ushaw in 2010. Nonetheless it is interesting that a conference of this sort is experimenting with the Extraordinary Form. Who knows there may be a James Baxter moment for one or more of the participants?! (See previous post.)

So hope all goes well with the Mass for Fr Adrian Dixon and all who participate.


1 comment:

  1. Sounds interesting but it's not acceptable to charge for going to Mass! Also agree that a Solemn High Mass would be much more appropriate for the setting and occasion.


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