Friday, 7 June 2013

The Most Sacred Heart in Bath

Today we celebrate the great feast of the Most Sacred Heart. An extra Latin Mass was celebrated in the diocese, at the chapel of the Sacred Heart in Prior Park College chapel, Bath. It was celebrated by Fr Malcolm Smeaton, the chaplain of Prior Park, who kindly added an Extraordinary Form Mass to his schedule. This was arranged at short notice and so could not unfortunately be advertised.

Fr Smeaton learned to celebrate the Extraordinary Form last year at the LMS Priests’ and Servers’ training conference, and now celebrates a Latin Mass once a week.

Prior Park chapel was built in 1844 by the architect JJ Scoles. It is dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows, a dedication it shares with the great Roman basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. 

The sanctuary of the chapel. The wooden forward altar is conveniently easy to remove.

Pevsner described Prior Park chapel as ‘without any doubt the most impressive church interior of its date in the country.' The magnificent nave with its giant Corinthian columns and the beautiful sanctuary are indeed remarkable.

The impressive polychrome marble High Altar (above) was a bequest of Isabella Countess English. It contains the relics of a martyr: the inscription on the back states ‘corpus s. Lelii pueri martyris’.

Below is the marble side altar of St Edward the Confessor:

In the chapel of St Joseph there are stautes of Pope St Pius X and St Philomena.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

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