"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"
Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (July 19, 2020):
July 19, 2020 – Seventh Sunday After Pentecost
The Dominican Rosary Shrine in London, England
Many of our readers will be familiar with Fr. Lawrence Lew, OP, a Dominican priest renowned for his skill with photography, particularly of stained glass around the world. Fr. Lawrence visited metro Detroit in April, 2018 and took pictures of some of our local historic churches. He is a master of social media, and his photographs have appeared on web sites and printed media across the globe for years.
Though he remains a world traveler – at least until the recent travel restrictions – Fr. Lawrence’s main responsibility is as a priest of London, England’s Rosary Shrine / St. Dominic’s Priory, a massive church north of central London in the Chalk Farm neighborhood. With so many lovely Catholic churches offering high-quality liturgy in London, the Rosary Shrine, in large part due to its somewhat remote location, has managed to stay under the radar for tourists and locals, but Fr. Lawrence intends to change that.
First of all, Fr. Lawrence began to celebrate the Dominican Rite Low Mass in the church’s gallery of side chapels. There are 15 chapels, one each for the 15 mysteries of the Holy Rosary. This writer has been privileged to serve Fr. Lawrence’s Low Masses there on two occasions and can vouch that the thematic decoration of those chapels is most impressive. It is not uncommon to see faithful praying the 15 decades of the Rosary as they move from one chapel to the next.
Fr. Lawrence then started a weekly Sunday 4:00 PM Dominican Rite Missa Cantata, initially at a Side Altar. A young adults’ group formed, receptions were held after Mass, and a community gradually built, in part because there was no other Traditional Mass in London at that time of day. Also, despite London’s almost incredible abundance of Latin Masses, most High Masses around town are actually Novus Ordo Latin Masses. The Rosary Shrine offered one of the few sung Traditional Masses on a Sunday, and the only one at that time of day, filling a need.
Next up the Rosary Shrine commenced a “Future Decades” campaign to raise funds for the restoration of the church. EWTN filmed a documentary about the project, The Way of Beauty, which can be viewed here: https://rosaryshrine.co.uk/ewtns-rosary-shrine-special-feature/
The Dominican Order then named Fr. Lawrence Rector of the Rosary Shrine and “General Promoter of the Rosary”, an important title and responsibility given that the Rosary was originally given by Our Lady to St. Dominic. A Rosary Garden, where the Rosary can be prayed while walking along a mini-pilgrimage path, was built in an unused area behind the church.
Recently, the Rosary Shrine began using its impressive High Altar once again for Dominican Rite Masses. The Sunday 4:00 PM Mass was moved from a Side Altar to the High Altar to accommodate the growing congregation, and a wedding Mass was recently held at the High Altar.
During the pandemic while churches were closed, Fr. Lawrence livestreamed weekly Sunday Dominican Rite Low Masses on the Facebook page of the parish, https://www.facebook.com/RosaryShrineUK. Now that public Masses have resumed, the 4:00 PM High Masses are being livestreamed.
For a media maven such as Fr. Lawrence, the parish web site just had to receive special attention. It contains a mind-bending 3D Virtual Reality Tour in the “Visit the Shrine” section. You can click on any part of a “dollhouse” view of the church and be zoomed in to any place you would like view as though you were standing there. Visit their web site to take this tour and learn more: www.rosaryshrine.co.uk.
Of course, nothing beats seeing it for yourself. We encourage you to make a pilgrimage to the Rosary Shrine on your next visit to London; it’s not far from the Belsize Park station on the subway system known as the Tube.
Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
- Tue. 07/21 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (St. Laurence of Brindisi, Confessor & Doctor)
- Sat. 07/25 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (St. James the Greater, Apostle)