Pentecost, the titular feast of our Priory of the Holy Spirit, always promises a great celebration at Blackfriars, Oxford. On Saturday evening we held an extended Pentecost Vigil Mass, with readings from Scripture reminding us of the intimate connection of the Holy Spirit's action throughout history with our own Christian lives today. The choir sang Palestrina's setting of Loquebantur variis linguis and Tallis's If ye love me. Fr Richard Ounsworth OP preached about giving birth and the 'unutterable groanings' ('stenagmois alaletois, since you ask') of the Spirit (Rom. 8:26). As usual, the sacristans ensured the church was looking splendidly illuminated, as captured perfectly in the following two photos by Fr James Claffey OP.
Then on Pentecost Sunday, we held our prioral feast, known familiarly as the Doorkeepers' Dinner. This is an occasion for our community to express our gratitude to all those who give their time in the doorkeepers' lodge, by serving them at table. Good food, good drink, and good company: what better way to celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost? (Photos by Br Laurent Mathelot OP)
'These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the evening' (cf. Acts 2:15).