Saturday, 22 September 2007

Requiem for the Cardinal Duke of York

This year is the bicentenary of the death of the Cardinal Duke of York - the grandson of James II and brother of 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'. A Solemn Requiem was celebrated this afternoon by Bishop Bernard Longley at the Conventual Church of the Soveriegn Military Order of Malta, which is hidden away in London's SS John and Elizabeth Hospital. As you can see from the pictures, the church was superbly decorated and the catafalque had a cappa magna and precious mitre (lent by various prominent London churches), ducal robes, decorations and even a very fine galero, expertly made for the occasion by one of the priests who sat in choir.

It was a historic occasion - a solemn commemoration of the 'Cardinal King', one of the most intriguing and yet forgotten figures in our history, and also the first Pontifical Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite in this country since the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum. The Mass was organised on behalf of the Royal Stuart Society (of which I am Honorary RC Chaplain) and with the permission of the Order of Malta.

I acted as subdeacon and also preached the panegyric before the Final Absolutions. A reception followed in the Order of Malta's Chancery, next to the Hospital, where we enjoyed Kir Royale in the September sunshine. I even met a former blogger (Hilary White of The Devout Life). A good time was had by all - I think the Cardinal Duke would have approved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very glad that the Royal Stuart Society has suitably marked the bicentenary of King Henry IX. I am sure it was a splendid event. I am only sorry that I could not be present.

6:07 pm  
Blogger said...

It was a splendid occasion which everyone appeared to appreciate. Thank you also for delivering such a superb sermon on Henry's life and his contributions to the Church.

6:17 pm  
Blogger Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

Yes, I saw the announcement for the Pontifical Requiem for the Cardinal Duke of York.

A pity not to have been there.

Yet another solemn Mass in "usu antiquiore".
And this time a Pontifical Mass.
You must be feeling very familiar with the rubrics by now.

The photos of the chapel are magnificent.
I don't think I can remember seeing a cardinal's galero before.
Quite like the old days.

I've not tried a Kir royale.
I wonder if I would like it.

I made a variation of the Grand Mimosa to celebrate 14th September.
A priest, whom I shall call Fr.E., suggested I call it a "dry Montini".
I was a little unsure about adding all that orange juice to a good champagne, but the addition of a generous portion of "triple sec"
(Aurum or Grand Marnier ad libitum) settled any lingering doubts.

To be drunk outdoors in warm autumn sunshine (if possible).

Cassock and saturno for clergy.
Day dress for laity.

Now I need an excuse for a little party ..

9:10 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Photos of the Mass and reception will shortly be available at

11:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shortly after the funeral of Pope John Paul II, there was an item in a Zenit bulletin about Requiem Masses. The writer explained that if the body of the deceased is not present, there should not be an empty coffin and the funerary rites should not be given. So I was surprised by the pictures of this event.

10:37 am  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

The zenit article would have concerned the 'ordinary form' of the Roman Rite. However, a catafalque (as you see in the pictures) is still required for the 'extraordinary form' when the body is not present. It represents the deceased, for whom the Mass is being offered.

11:45 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm very pleased that your priests have time to make 'galeros' whatever they are. If they're ever over in the US we can offer them a very warm confessional in which to stitch.

3:32 pm  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

Come now - even priests can have outside interests which needn't interfere with their priestly work.

I, for one, returned to my parish after the Requiem to sit in the confessional for 45 minutes and then celebrate the Vigil Mass.

3:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was an unforgettable occasion, and your panegyric was excellent.

Given that the galero-maker was made a pastor just fifteen months after his ordination, he can hardly be accused of shirking his priestly responsibilities.

4:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fr. Nicholas,
I enjoyed your Blog entry about Cardinal Duke of York which did wet my appetite for more information about his life. Is there a biography which can be purchased detailing more about his life? Duane

4:51 pm  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

Anon - sadly there is no biography in print, but the best one is Brian Fothergill's The Cardinal King (London, 1958), which you might find via ABE books.

Dr Wright - I like your recipe for Dry Montini!

5:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incensing an empty coffin seems to me to be extraordinary indeed!

12:06 am  
Blogger elena maria vidal said...

Thank you, Father, for the pictures of such a fascinating event!

5:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it true that the Cardinal Duke of York was a homosexual who filled his home with beautiful young men dressed as abbots?

3:32 pm  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

This claim was sometimes made and was unsurprisingly encouraged by Hanoverian spies. Like any other high-ranking Prelate, his household was mostly masculine and he did have a number of young proteges, including the futuire Cardinals Consalvi and Erskine. There is no evidence that I know of that shows that the Cardinal Duke led an immoral life; indeed, he had a deep piety and was very concerned about proper behaviour in his household.

5:33 pm  

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