Yesterday afternoon was spent at Uncle Ged's house in Stretford, who can be seen here in this archive picture! My camera ran out of batteries after Mass.
The morning Mass was poorly attended, as had to happen at some point really, after the good Christmas attendance. It is worst of course when Christmas Day lands on a Saturday, resulting in disastrous numbers the following day. Next week, for the Epiphany, we hope for better things, as most of our holidaying wanderers will be back in the fold. We are having High Mass with the blessing of the Epiphany House, the procession and blessing of icons and the dedication of the new Holy Souls altar. All this and the Angelus (probably a little after) twelve.
We used, for those of you who delight in such things, the gothic white High Mass set bought from and made by the nuns at Horbury twenty odd years ago. There is also a fine cope, maybe we should use it for solemn Benediction sometime. Much as I like tassles on tunicles and dalmatics, these need a band half way down their length to stop them flailing about wildly. Adjusting ones tassles can be a distraction from the sacred mysteries.
Matthew lights the candles before Mass. The repaired heating system was pushing vast pockets of hot and cold air around the Church making the few remaining 'real' candles drip and gutter alarmingly. I have gradually replaced most of them with oil stocks and little glass cups to put votive lights in, which keeps the Church much cleaner than in previous times.