In the Catholic cathedrals throughout the kingdom solemn requiem Masses have been offered for the repose of the soul of Benedict XV. The great gathering at Westminster Cathedral on Friday of last week, when a requiem was sung in the presence of representatives of the Royal Family and members of the diplomatic corps of many nations, was the central official function ; but in the other dioceses also the scenes were no less impressive in the gathering together of prelates and clergy, with civic and other public representatives and overflowing congregations, in homage to the memory and prayer for the soul of the late Sovereign Pontiff.
From an early hour in the morning, Catholics from all parts of London were assembling at Westminster Cathedral, and long before the hour appointed for the requiem all the unreserved seats were occupied and the aisles filled with standing crowds. A large portion of the nave had been reserved, and among those received and conducted to their seats by Mgr. Howlett, the Administrator, were the Lord Chamberlain (the Duke of Atholl), representing the King, and Earl Howe, representing Queen Alexandra ; besides a large number of distinguished Catholics and others. Almost every State in the world sent its representatives, whose brilliant uniforms relieved the prevailing black of the congregation. The catafalque, covered with a pall of black and gold, was surmounted by a facsimile of the papal tiara. The Mass was sung by Bishop Butt, assisted by Fathers Tibot and Smith as deacon and subdeacon. Father Hall was the assistant priest, and Fathers Dove and Beckett M.C.s. Nearly two hundred prelates and clergy, secular and regular, of Westminster and the neighbouring dioceses were present in the sanctuary, including Bishop Bidwell, Bishop Keatinge; Mgri. Canons Surmont, V.G., Moyes, Brown, and other members of the Cathedral Chapter and clergy ; Mgr. Carton de Wiart, Mgr. Brown, V.G. (Southwark); the Abbots of Farnborough, Fort-Augustus, and Woolhampton ; Priors O’Connor and Higgins, C.R.L. ; Fathers Bodkin (Provincial) and Galton (Superior, Farm Street), S.J., Bede Jarrett (Provincial) and Vincent McNabb, 0.P., Dr. Brendan, O.S.F.C., and many other representatives of religious orders and congregations. The music was Anerio’s Mass for four voices unaccompanied, with Motet by Miller at the offertory, ” Justorum Animae,” and some plainsong settings. The Absolutions were given by the three Bishops present and by Mgr. Surmont and Mgr. Moyes. At the conclusion Dr. Terry played the Dead March in ” Saul.”
Among the diplomatic and other representatives present were the following :—The Spanish Ambassador and Mme. Merry del Val, the German Ambassador and Mme. Sthamer, the French Ambassador and the Countess de St. Aulaire, the Belgian Ambassador and Mlle Moncheur, the Brazilian Ambassador ; Signor Giuliano Cora, Counsellor to the Italian Embassy, and staff ; the Ministers of Austria, the Argentine,Hungary, Liberia, Nicaragua, Switzerland, Peru, Czecho-Slovakia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Chile, and Bolivia ; Mr. Henry Harris, Secretary to the Legation to the Holy See; Sir Philip Sassoon, Bart., representing the Prime Minister; Sir William Tyrrell, repre-senting the Foreign Office, and Miss Tyrrell ; Mr. A. W. Leeper, of the Foreign Office; representatives of the Pontifical Court ; representatives of the Legations of Cuba, Columbia, the Nether-lands, Poland, Bulgaria, Ecuador, Serbia, Portugal, Greece, Peru, Persia, Latvia, and Rumania, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Chinese Legation ; Mr. Frederick Pearson, representing the U.S.A. Embassy, and Mrs. Pearson.
Others present included Princess Nina of Russia, the Duchess of Norfolk, Earl and Countess Haig, the Earl of Denbigh (President), Sir Henry Jerningham, Bart. (Vice-President), and Mr. J. S. Franey (Secretary), representing the Catholic Union ; the Dowager Marchioness of Bute, Lord and Lady Rosslyn, Lord. and Lady MacDonnell of Swinford, Adele Countess Cadogan, Lord Lovat, Lord Leigh, Lord Morris, the Right Hon. J. F. Hope, M.P., Viscount and Lady Campden, Sir John Gilbert, K.C.S.G., K.S.S., Mr. Edward Eyre, K.C.S.G., Colonel Sir Arthur Dick, C.B., Sir Roper Parkington, Sir Pierce Lacy, Bart., K.C.S.G., and Lady Lacy, Major-General Sir William Western, K.C.M.G., C.B., Major Wegg-Prosser, and many others.
The above text was found on p.14, 4th February 1922, in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .