Friday 30 September 2011

Investiture 2011

Last weekend the Grand Priory of Great Britain held its annual Investiture in Lancashire - a hugely enjoyable and a wonderful expeience for all. Guest of honour was the Order's 50th Grand Master HE Jan Count Dobrzenský z Dobrzenicz and also HRH Prince Charles-Philippe d'Orléans, Grand Master Emeritus & Grand Prior of France. The Heads of Jurisdiction from the USA, Spain, the Czech Republic, Italy, the Netherlands and the Grand Prior Spiritual, the Patriarcal Exarch of the Catholic Melkite Church in Europe, Mgr Pierre Boz were also with us We rejoiced to welcome seven new members into the British Grand Priory and eleven Companions, as well as various promotions for some of our own members and international guests. As the Priory of Great Britain we are fortunate to be welcoming new members from England, Scotland and the Northern Ireland. The Mass on Saturday morning was in the Extraordinary Form, with Byrd's Mass for 5 voices as the setting. We offered Mass of Our Lady of Walsingham because she is the principal patron of the Order in Great Britain.

After business meetings all day on Friday a Vigil for the investiture was held, followed by a Charity Dinner.

The Schola practising before Mass,
led by Philip Arkwright from Liverpool Cathedral.
The Mass setting was Byrd's Mass for five Voices, chosen because it is an English composer and because it was used at Westminster Cathedral for the Holy Father's visit 12 months ago.
The music was excellent and really uplifted the atmosphere.

Servers and members preparing for the procession into church.
My thanks to the team of altar servers, under the MC Chris Morris,
who carried off the occasion with great aplomb.

Last but not least! The Sacred Ministers set off.
Fr Mark Lawler, SchLJ, assisting as deacon and preacher
and Fr Ian O'Shea from Liverpool Cathedral as sub-deacon.

Prayers at the foot of the altar
with the Grand Master and the Grand Master Emeritus in choir on the sanctuary.

The distinctive "stove-pipe"hat of the Grand Prior Spiritual,
the Patriarcal Exarch of the Catholic Melkite Church in Europe,
Mgr Pierre Boz.
Fr Mark Lawler proclaims the Gospel.

Fr Ian O'Shea Points to the precise place where Fr Simon is to reverence the Gospel.

Fr Mark Lawler preaches on the synchronicity of resurgence - of the Christian Faith, of the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham,
and of the Order under the leadership of the last two Grand Masters.

The Grand Master and grand Master Emeritus are incensed.

You can get a good look here at the new vestments for the Order, sporting a discreet green Maltese Cross among the embroidery on yellow silk. They were a bespoke design from Serpone near the Vatican and we blessed them at the Vigil the night before.

In Choir - Fr Aldo Tapparo, SchLJ, our Hospitaller,
and new members Fr Michael Thompson, ChLJ, and Fr Damian McCaughan, ChLJ.

Adoro Te.

Those in Choir await Holy Communion.

The clergy receive Holy Communion.

As ever, the only sort of sacred queue that should ever form in front of an altar!

The Blessing caught in mid-flow!

The final Blessing.

Photograph above shows Member William Hacket with the Grand Master and Prince Charles-Philippe d'Orleans and below piping us into the Charity Dinner. William is the official Piper to our Grand Prior, the Baron of Fetternear. The Charity Dinner was held at Farington Lodge Hotel, next door to St Catherine's Church. We estimate that we raised £2,000, supporting a charity that looks after those suffering from leprosy in Sri Lanka. Thank you also to Peter and Bridget at "Forget Me Not" Florists in Leyland who donated the beautiful table arrangements in the order's colours. Not forgetting a host of others who worked so hard behind the scenes to make everything work.

The Grand Master addresses Mayor of South Ribble, Councillor Jim Marsh.

Prince Charles-Philippe d'Orleans & Dame Astrid Beerkens.

The Prior of Great Britain, addresses the Mayor.

Some pictures from the Charity Dinner. Thank you to everyone who attended and made it such a wonderful evening raising money for such a good cause.

The Mayor and Mayoress of South Ribble.

Some pictures of the Investiture itself:

After Solemn Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, the patronal Feast of Order in Great Britain, the Grand Master opened the Investiture to bring in seven new members to our Priory and eleven Companions, as well as to bestow promotions and honours.

A light-hearted moment ensued when the Grand Master managed to pin the insignia through the thumb of his glove as well as to Anthony Dickinson's jacket!

The other investitures went off without any such hitch!

Daniel Lawler, BLJ

Matthew Jackson is promoted to the rank of Knight.

Fr Damian McCaughan, ChLJ -a new priest member of the Order.

Margaret Lawler, SLJ

Eleven new Companions - those who are friends of the Order who support it in prayer and action but without becoming full members.

His Excellency Enrique Castello Soler is promoted to Grand Prior of Spain

The final prayers

Exuent omnes!

The Grand Master preceeded by the ceremonial sword.

After Mass, awaiting the Grand Master to proclaim our motto with great gusto:
Atavis et Armis!

Our Treasurer with his son, who wanted a photo to prove to his school he went away early for a good cause.

Grand Masters past and present.

Fr Simon Henry, ECLJ, Chaplain General, with the Grand Prior, the Baron of Fetternear.

Our Marshal and Treasurer getting to grips with flag poles!

The Grand Prior Spiritual with the His Excellency Lieutenant-Colonel (rt) Philippe Jourdain, the Grand Capitular.

Chatting over a glass of prosecco.

The wind starts to get up!

Fr Lawler is given a pointer on his Sermon
by H.E. Chevalier Thierry Pauquet de Villejust,
Bailiff of the United States.

Some of the new members and guests.

The Grand Secretary, HE Chevalier Matthew Jackson with the Master of Ceremonies for the Mass, Christopher Morris.

(Thanks to Mike Forbester for most of the photos and also to Confrere William Hackett, SBLJ. Mike's photos can be found here).