What church should I visit in London?
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    I'm going to be in London next week, staying in Euston Square. A question for our wonderful Brit friends here: Where would you advise that I attend Mass? I can find the Catholic parishes in the area, of course, but I know nothing about their music programmes.
  • Please try to go to Mass at Brompton Oratory. It is not difficult to find.
    Also, of course, Westminister Cathedral. both choirs are excellent with good organs.
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    Thanks, Dale! Should be easy to get to via the tube, and near the museum too.
  • AOZ
    Posts: 369
    St. Etheldreda, Ely Place
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    Fantastic! Man, I love the internet and Google Maps. This kind of exploration would have been practically impossible 15 years ago. Since I have the afternoon of 11/22 and all day 11/29, it's possible I may be able to do BOTH churches!
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    Our Most Holy Redeemer & St. Thomas More, Cheyne Rowe, Chelsea.

    Looks like you have an embarrassment of riches!
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    Darn, you're now forcing me to make choices!

    Thanks all.
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    Carl,

    If you have the chance, try choral evensong at Westminster Abbey or St. Paul's. I know it's not a Catholic liturgy, but it's not un-Catholic (unlike the Anglican communion service), and it can be very moving. Then, too, it's sung in the week as well as on a Sunday.

    Also, it occurs to me that Euston Square is near Kings Cross Railway Station, from where you are less than an hour's train ride from Cambridge. This opens up the possibility of choral evensong at St. John's or King's College.

    I think I'd better stop there!
  • Of course, IMHO Westminster Cathedral has the best choir (even globally).... :-)
  • I too would recommend St. Etheldreda, Ely Place.
  • Phipps
    Posts: 15
    St. James at Spanish Place. There is a new reform minded pastor at St Etheldreda's though it is the oldest Catholic Church in England. We got it back when the protestants decided to sell it.

    Father Phipps was reassigned as well but the is a Wonderful choir and this Sunday the 10:30 Solemn Latin Mass features Christus vincit (Worcester manuscript), Missa ‘Pater peccavi’ Andrea Gabrieli Ecce vicit leo Philips, Organ: Final Franck and for the First Sunday of Advent Missa ‘Aeterna Christi munera’ Palestrina Ad te Domine levavi Hakenberger.

    There will be a Christmas Fayre on the 28 of November, 10:30-2:00
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,611
    Brompton
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    Well, this morning I got in early enough that I could attend the 11:00 Mass at St Etheldreda's. Absolutely incredible!

    The music was:
    * (With strings and continuo)
    * Scarlatti: Missa Sanctae Caeciliae
    * Philips: Ecce vincit leo
    * Philips: Ave Iesu Christe
    * Credo III, Salve Regina, Christus vincit, Te Deum
    * Organ: Scarlatti: Quartetto in F

    I've never heard a Mass with a chamber choir, and the singing was absolutely top notch!
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    D--n, I wish I'd been there! So, where next, Carl?
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    Here's a little more of my writeup from the Mass at St Etheldreda's in Ely, London. I have a number of pictures but haven't had time to process and upload them yet.

    Regarding next weekend: I'm not sure yet, Ian, it depends on when the Masses are and how my Sunday shapes up.
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    Based upon many recommendations, I attended 11am Mass today at Brompton Oratory. Check out my writeup of this wonderful experience.
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    As it turns out, I will once again be returning to London to complete a series of classes on 12-14 April 2010. I was starting to think about where I should attend Mass on 11th April when I found this little gem in The Hermeneutic of Continuity:

    GREGORIAN CHANT NETWORK

    Our first Chant Training event: 9-11th April

    Following the successful three-day chant course with Nick Gale organised by the St Catherine's Trust last spring, we have organised another for April 9th to 11th (Low Sunday).

    As before it will take place in conjuction with the St Catherine's Trust Family Retreat; this year the venue will be the Oratory School, Berkshire, which is between Reading and Oxford.

    Nick Gale is the Director of Music at St George's Cathedral in Southwark, and trained under Dom Daniel Saulnier in the chant at Solesmes. This year he will be assited by Mr Mark Johnson to enable the singers to be divided into different groups to suit all levels of experience.

    The feedback from last year's course, which included an introduction to semiology through the Graduale Triplex, was enthusiastic: it gave the participants, few of whom had ever encountered the Graduale Triplex before, a fascinating and very practical new perspective on the Chant. This course, in its length and scope, is unique in the UK and should not be missed by anyone interested in singing Gregorian Chant.

    It is also a very good deal at £80 per person. All are welcome.

    ....see more by going to that page....

    I don't know if I'll be able to make to 11:30 Mass after my plane arrives at Heathrow though....
  • mahrt
    Posts: 514
    On Saturdays, you can attend evensong at Westminster Abbey, take the tube and then attend evensong at St. Paul's Cathedral. It is always good to try to sit in the choir, where you can hear best.

    The choir at Westminster Abbey is now directed by the former director at Westminster Cathedral; the singing is exquisite. It took an act of parliament to appoint him, because he is Catholic.
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    I'll check that out, thanks. Unfortunately my plane doesn't arrive until Sunday morning, but still worth looking at.

    Carl
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    Carl,

    The thing about Evensong is that it's derived from the Office, so it's sung every day. Also, St. John's and King's College really are very close to London by train (see my comment above), especially if you have the money for a cab from Cambridge station to the city centre. Evensong awaits you!