The sun shone over Christ the King Church, Bedford on the evening of Corpus Christi as we gathered to celebrate our first weekday Latin Mass. The congregation was similar in size to that of Sunday mornings at around 50 people. We were joined on this occasion by some of our confirmation candidates who normally meet on a Thursday evening and who had been invited to come as part of their Catholic education.
Fr Anton Webb of the Oxford Oratory, who was visiting us for the first time, was our celebrant and was in fine voice, as was our schola of two, who sounded as if there were a lot more of them as they sang the settings for Corpus Christi with devotion and skill. All our regular servers, and one or two extras, did well in the sanctuary, especially as it was the first Missa Cantata for some of them.
The day was drawing to a close as we processed out of the church and into the grounds. Christ the King is fortunate enough to be set amongst lawns and trees with a circular path and we walked round twice before going back inside for Benediction. Our recently refurbished monstrance gleamed between two seven-branched candlesticks, making a worthy setting for the precious Body of Christ.
It was a beautiful, prayerful Mass, a little piece of Heaven, and time seemed to stand still. I was amazed to glance at my watch and find that I had been there for almost two hours. Conversations as we went our separate ways confirmed that it had been a wonderful occasion. Fr Webb said in his homily that he hoped we would invite him again, and I hope we will; the feasts of St Peter and St Paul and the Assumption are on the horizon …