Sunday, 11 May 2008

With the Martyrs

Pentecost Sunday and our Parliament prepares to debate the critical issues of the HFE Bill. Thirty people from Yorkshire gather at the site of the York Tyburn on the Knavesmire to celebrate the Mass of Pentecost. The platform where the scaffold once stood by the roadside was a place which witnessed the most powerful offering of life for Christ by so many.
Here St Margaret Clitherow would come, at night, even before she was a Catholic, to pray after a priest had been hung, drwan and quatered - perhaps Blessed William Hart or Blessed Richard Thirkeld. Here Blessed Francis Ingleby, who she had harboured in her house, was excecuted. We came too in order to ask God, through the Mass, that the sacrifice of the Martyrs all those years ago might be effective for our nation and our culture today.

I was grateful to Fr Michael Kelly, also from Leeds, for coming out to join me in offering this Mass. We recalled the three day vigil of prayer and fasting which the Fathers of the London Charterhouse enjoined all those years ago in 1537 when the Oath of Supremacy was put to them, and how it was the Mass of the Holy Spirit offered by Fr John Houghton on the third day which broke the power of evil over them. Becuase of that Mass the whole community was able to witness to Christ with constancy and even joy. This was our prayer also; that the Holy Spirit would break the power of the culture of death in our country.
Thanks also to Mike of the Rudgate Singers for providing the sung chants in Latin throughout this Penetcost Mass.

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