On my appointment as Chairman of Una Voce Scotland

From the New Chairman of Una Voce Scotland

Dear members and friends,

At the AGM on the 23rd November 2019, the members present elected me to succeed Fred Stone as Chairman of Una Voce Scotland. I am humbled by the confidence that Fred has shown in me by proposing me and by the unanimous support of members. I have accepted the role of Chairman.

My primary response is to express my sincere thanks and admiration for the work that Fred has done during his tenure. In what have been at times challenging circumstances, Fred has supported countless priests, seminarians and lay faithful in the promotion of the Traditional Latin Mass from our own dioceses of Scotland and as far away as Taiwan, Hungary and South Africa.

Under Fred’s leadership, Una Voce Scotland has supported several communities in establishing and maintaining the Usus Antiquior and the relatively wide availability of the old rite in the central belt is testament to Fred’s commitment to serving Christ and His Church and the ongoing work of Una Voce Scotland. These communities continue to grow and bear good fruit, attracting many from varied backgrounds, most notably young Catholics. Fred has also brought much encouragement to us all by organising the visits of Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider which have served to evangelise through the beauty of the Church’s ancient rites.

As I assume the role of Chairman, I hope to build on the sacrifices and successes of my predecessors by leading UVS in continuing to support the training in and celebration of the Traditional Rites of the Church and with God’s grace and the intercession of Our Blessed Lady, expanding the support and unity that Una Voce Scotland provides to all who seek beauty, truth and tradition for the glory of God and for the salvation of souls.

Please pray for me and for the work of Una Voce Scotland.

In Domino,

Fraser Pearce
Una Voce Scotland

Last Sunday after Pentecost 2019

St Cecilia Mass, Charles Gonoud

For the feast of St Cecelia I’d like to share the St Cecelia Mass by Charles Gonoud. The work was premiered in 1855 in Saint-Eustache, Paris where is was the custom to premier a new Mass on our saint’s feast day.

November 22.–ST. CECILIA, Virgin, Martyr.

IN the evening of her wedding-day, with the music of the marriage-hymn ringing in her ears, Cecilia, a rich, beautiful, and noble Roman maiden, renewed the vow by which she had consecrated her virginity to God. “Pure be my heart and undefiled my flesh; for I have a spouse you know not of–an angel of my Lord.” The heart of her young husband Valerian was moved by her words; he ‘received Baptism, and within a few days he and his brother Tiburtius, who had been brought by him to a knowledge of the Faith, sealed their confession with their blood. Cecilia only remained. “Do you not know,” was her answer to the threats of the prefect, “that I am the bride of my Lord Jesus Christ?” The death appointed for her was suffocation, and she remained a day and a night in a hot-air bath, heated seven times its wont. But “the flames had no power over her body, neither was a hair of her head singed.” The lictor sent to dispatch her struck with trembling hand the three blows which the law allowed, and left her still alive. For two days and nights Cecilia lay with her head, half severed on the pavement of her bath, fully sensible, and joyfully awaiting her crown; on the third the agony was over, and in 177 the virgin Saint gave back her pure spirit to Christ.

Reflection.–St. Cecilia teaches us to rejoice in every sacrifice as a pledge of our love of Christ, and to welcome sufferings and death as hastening our union with Him.

Video: Si Iniquitates, Wesley

As we move towards the end of the Church year and during the month of the Holy Souls, the De Profundis has appeared regularly in the liturgy. Even today’s introit contains motifs from the Requiem introit and the De Profundis sung at the offertory had phrases from the Libera Me.

Here is a video of the offertory motet from this morning’s Missa Cantata, Si Iniquitates, verse two of the De Profundus, set by Samuel Wesley.

The Dream of Gerontius: St JH Newman on the four last things

Not long after converting and after having read St John Henry Newman’s Apologia and Loss and Gain, I discovered the Dream of Gerontius. I was aware of Elgar’s setting as a music student but hadn’t studied it or performed it but as a fresh convert, I was beguiled by Newman’s flawless prose- a creative and enthralling communication of the Church’s doctrine on the four last things. Coupled with Elgar’s music, the result is a monumental emersion in the realities of Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell. There are too many things to comment on in this work so I’ll share my favourite performance.

Elgar was married in the Brompton Oratory and as a wedding gift, his best man gave him a copy of Newman’s poem, The Dream of Gerontius. When he had finished writing his setting of it, Elgar commented to his wife ‘this is the best of me.’ The link to the Brompton Oratory is significant to me because it was there that Mrs Pearce and I attended our first Traditional Latin Mass and I, as another Anglican friend of mine did, knelt at the Lady Altar and asked Her to guide me as to whether I should convert to Catholicism.

If you don’t have a lot of time to do some November reading, take time to immerse yourself in this dramatic presentation of the realities of death. And, Pray for the Holy Souls!

Requiem Sequence: Dies Irae

The sequence of the Requiem Mass is both an exquisite piece of poetry and a striking meditation on the four last things. It is quite astounding that this prose was supressed in the new Mass of Paul VI and even the tract is replaced with the Alleluia! This is key to understanding the principle ‘lex Orlando, lex credendi’ because this change in the prayer of the church signifies a significant change in belief.

The Dies Irae provides a sobering meditation to us and excites a keen desire to pray for the Holy Souls. May we all redouble our efforts to assist them by our prayer, fasting, almsgiving, indulgences and Masses.

In a lighter note, here is a presentation about the influence that the chant of the Dies Irae has had on popular culture.