Bunhill Quaker Gardens

Charting the redevelopment of the Quaker Gardens between Banner Street and Chequer Street, London, in 02005.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Palm Sunday

About 35 years ago, Alan Watts wrote that "[t]he Roman Catholic Church recently made the serious mistake of having the Mass celebrated everywhere in the vernacular, so that it could be 'understood,' and added insult to injury by having some person standing with a microphone beside the altar to 'explain' what was going on, thereby depriving Christendom of the last widespread stronghold of mystery".

So presumably he would have approved of the Mass sung in Latin, which Lucy and I attended this morning at St Ethelreda church — the oldest Catholic church in Britain. The service began in the crypt before a short procession, each of us with a small palm leaf, along Ely Place and into the main church. Beautiful singing by the choir and of the St Matthew Passion. To quote Watts again, "[f]or many people, the contemplation of God, of the Ground of Being, is most easily reached through the contemplation of pure sound".


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