All over the country, the secret is being acted out, and Bedford is no exception. For the last four years priests have been celebrating Sunday Mass in the Extraordinary Form every week at Christ the King, which has grown from 16 people at the first Latin Mass in August 2015 to around 100 every Sunday by September 2019. These are men and women in their 70s and 80s, young adults, teenagers, children, babies a few weeks old. They come from far and wide, even as far as Norwich, 100 miles away.
What is the attraction? In this age which is marked by noise, change and uncertainty, there is a deep desire in many hearts for silence, stability and clear teaching. All these are to be found in the traditional Latin Mass, which has remained virtually unchanged for many hundreds of years, and which has nourished the faith of the saints and countless others down the ages.
Most people attending a traditional Mass for the first time are struck by the silence as they enter the church. The Mass gives inspiration and space for private thought and prayer. The beautiful vestments, the incense and the precise actions of the celebrant leave one in no doubt that something other-worldly and very special is happening. The transubstantiated Host, the Body of Christ, is handled by the priest alone and received directly onto the tongue of the communicants while kneeling if able. After Mass the congregation remains silent in thanksgiving before leaving the church or staying on for the Rosary.
Interested? The Latin Mass is celebrated at 8.30 am every Sunday at Christ the King, Bedford, see https://latinmassbedford.wordpress.com, and also at 8 am every Sunday at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Chesham Bois.