Monday, July 03, 2017

Monday, 12 June 2017: London Eye

Katarina Gerrard has been my FaceBook friend for a couple of years now. We met in person last summer, and I had planned today to be spent with her and her daughter, Amy, visiting the London Eye and other sights.

They live in Mottingham, south of the Thames. I took the train there, arriving around 9:00 am, then we took the bus and train back into the city. They (like many Londoners) had never been on the London Eye, and they were very excited!

We also took the London Dungeon tour, which doesn't allow any photos or video. It was an interesting take on many of the more colorful legends and history of London. Afterwards, Amy wanted to go climbing at the playground.

(I think Amy likes cameras!)

Amy spotted the carousel and wanted to ride, and Katarina went with her.

Then we walked across the Jubilee Bridge to the north side of the Thames to find a pub for lunch.

We tried to make it up to the Zoo in Regents Park, but got there just after it closed for the day. But we fit a lot into the day, and took the train back home. It was a really great day!

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Wednesday, 7 June 2017: Churches of Sacra Liturgia

All of the Liturgies this year were of the Ambrosian or Milanese Rite. They took place in a number of churches in the center of the city.


Sunday, 11 June 2017: Tea at the Ritz, London

Any fans of "Downton Abbey" will certainly be fans of the Ritz Hotel in London, where some of the scenes were filmed. It is a legendary venue, especially for its Afternoon Tea. Here is an archive photo, before the renovations in the 1990's.

(Obviously pre-1990's with the horse-drawn carriages!)

Here is the facade today.
Notice the added wrought iron and lighted signage:

Now, please meet my good friend, Eve Farren. I met Eve one Sunday in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2010. We were both looking for St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral to attend Mass, and I had asked a local for directions. We went to Mass and chatted, and have been friends since. (Isn't FaceBook wonderful!) 

During my London visit last year, we had a nice picnic lunch one day in a park behind the Brompton Oratory. We chatted about all sorts of things, including family. She told me that her father had designed the signage at the Ritz, but that she had never been there! Eve recently received her MA from Birkbeck College and RADA. When I told her I was going to be in London again, she suggested we do tea. So I replied that we needed to do Afternoon Tea at the Ritz!

We had a really wonderful time. We met at Green Park tube station, went to 5:30 pm Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, a historic Jesuit parish. Then, while waiting for our seating time at the Ritz, we sat in park/deck chairs in Green Park for a while.

Reservations are taken for Afternoon Tea at two-hour intervals beginning at 11:30 am with the last seating at 7:30 pm, which was the time we were waiting for. 

If you go to London, you really MUST plan to do "Tea at the Ritz"! You will never regret it! The service is wonderful, and the food is better than you can imagine. We just had to have one more photo with the doorman!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Tuesday, 6 June 2017: Sacra Liturgia Milano

This was the fourth Sacra Liturgia Conference, and my third. It was held at the University of the Sacred Heart which is next to the Basilica of St. Ambrose. Speakers gave their papers in either English or Italian and we had headphones to hear translations.

 The main entrance to the University.
(The Basilica of St. Ambrose is
just to the right out of the photo.)

It is a beautiful campus,
all contained within a double cloister.

The entrance to our conference hall.

Our conference hall.

There were only a couple of companies exhibiting the products.
This custom vestment maker had some really beautiful pieces!

The above Requiem chasuble includes
the text of the Introit in its medallions!

We had coffee and pastries at morning and afternoon breaks, and more than an hour to find lunch each day. Dinners were quite interesting, with various groups of old and new friends, from all over the world.

The Liturgies included both Mass and Vespers, each in both the contemporary and historic forms of the Ambrosian Rite. These are really quite different from our Latin Rite, based on earlier Rites of Jerusalem and other Byzantine Rites. Ambrosian Chant predates Gregorian, and is quite a bit simpler, but some use of Gregorian Chant has been adopted. This was one of my top reasons for attending this year as this Rite (also known as the Milanese Rite) is only observed in the Archdiocese of Milan. The choirs, cantors, and organists performed very well, and our worship aids provided a good guide to the orders of worship.

Monday, 5 June 2017: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

This is my next post on my trip to Milan, Italy. There was so much to do that I wasn't able to blog every night. So I will catch you up starting now.

Monday was my only other free day in Milan. I spent it mostly at the Galleria. Friends from Houston may or may not realize that the Galleria there was based on this historic shopping center. It is a beautiful piece of architecture with many interesting stores and restaurants. I found two shops with men's shirts and ties, and bought a bow-tie from each of them.

I also had a very nice pasta lunch at the Galleria Restaurant & Pizza.

Here is a view of the Duomo Piazza including the Galleria and La Scala Opera House near the upper-left corner.

There is so much to see and do just in this very center of the city!

Monday, June 05, 2017

Duomo di Milano

I made it to the 1100 Sung Mass of Pentecost at the Duomo. All of us had to be wanded by security and have contents of bags checked. It was not a problem, and didn't take a lot of time, but I think it is sad that we have come to this. I also hope that we never do come to that in the USA.

The Diocese of Milan is the only region that uses the Ambrosian Rite for their Liturgies. Almost everything is slightly different from the regular Roman Rite that most of us Americans are used to. And they do have both a current version of the Rite and the historic version. Both use a set of chants that are different from Gregorian Chant. Also, the order in which things happen is different. We will be concentrating on both forms of the Amtorsian Rite during the Sacra Liturgia Milano Conference, which begins tomorrow morning (Tuesday, June 6th).

I had planned to take the tour of the Duomo that included the terraces on the rooftop. But those tours are not offered every day. And the Sunday tours are limited to families with children. If I do get to take the tour, it will probably be Friday, between the last speaker at the Conference and the beginning of the final Liturgy which will be at the Duomo. Meanwhile, here are photos that I've taken so far.

The front looks very "busy",
but on closer look,
there are statues.

Every flat surface.

And every corner.

And at the top of each
and every spire.

Many of the stained glass windows
have stone tracery midway,
with more stained glass above.

West Front and Bronze Doors

I'll see about taking more photos on the inside later in the week. I didn't want to take any photos during Mass. It was enough to take in the differences between the Rites. Much more on that later.