Our Lady of the Rosary, Sutton (Roman Catholic)

History

The church was founded in 1883 as a temporary iron building, with a new and permanent building opening in 1892. The church was enlarged in 1912, and further alterations were made 20 years later.

Appearance

There is a contrast inside the church between the relatively simple nave area, and the resplendent sanctuary area. The front of the church is in white marble, with a large mosaic of the crucifixion and smaller mosaics of Mary, St. John, and four seraphim representing the Evangelists. A Bible and two candles stand on the altar, which is flanked by a pulpit and font, all in the same white marble as the front wall. At the front left of the church (hidden behind the pillars of the archways which demarcate the aisles in the picture to the right) is a beautiful mosaic of Christ, in front of which burn lots of small candles lit by members of the congregation. Likewise, at the front right of the church is a mosaic of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in a similar style, although with no candles.

Pictures of the stations of the cross are situated around the sides of the church, and there are also three statues at the front – one is named as a St. Anthony, but I couldn’t find anything which said who the other two were; one was of a bishop (possibly St. Augustine) and the other was of a woman (possibly the Virgin Mary). At the back of the church is a gallery from which the choir sung and on which the organ is situated, and over the door at the back hangs a copy of da Vinci’s Last Supper.

Clergy

The service was led by a priest in green vestments, helped by several young children as altar-servers who carried candles, incense thuribles, etc. There was also a choir which sung from the gallery at the back, but I was unable to see how many people were in it, and the first Bible reading (see below) was read by a woman from the congregation.

Congregation

The congregation was very large considering the size of the church. I was unable to make a precise count, but there must have been at least 100 people there. There was a mixture of ages, a roughly equal number of males and females, and a relatively large – probably just under half the congregation – number of ethnic minorities.

Service

The service was very similar to the one which I attended last month at Sacred Heart in Wimbledon – I now realise that most if not all Roman Catholic services I attend will be following the Pauline Mass order of service, just as the Orthodox churches I have visited were following the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

The service started with the altar servers processing up the main aisle to the altar with a cross on a pole, after which a hymn was sung. After prayers, the Gloria was sung by the choir, mostly in English but with the first few lines in Latin as a refrain – I must note here that I found this to be sung very beautifully. The first Bible reading – Ecclesiasticus 15:15-20 – was then read by a lady who came up from the congregation. This was followed by a song from the choir, after which the priest gave the second reading, 1 Corinthians 2:6-10. After a short anthem from the choir came the gospel reading, Matthew 5:17-37, after which the priest gave the sermon, on the subject of the law of God. The Roman Catholic version of the Nicene Creed was then said by the congregation, after which there were various prayers and anthems during which the elements for communion were brought up to the altar and the offering was taken.

The congregation then knelt down in prayer during which the priest lifted up the wafer and wine to be used for communion, with a bell being rung several times. After the Lord’s Prayer and the sharing of the peace, most of the congregation went up to the altar to receive communion.

After communion, the priest gave some brief notices, and a final hymn was sung before the dismissal.

Afterwards

Similar to at Sacred Heart, there were no refreshments or the like after the service, but some members of the congregation stayed behind to pray in the emptying church.

One Response to Our Lady of the Rosary, Sutton (Roman Catholic)

  1. SJ says:

    This has got to be the most lovely church for Sunday Mass. The priest is dedicated, friendly, gives a meaningful homily and he shakes hands with everyone on the way out. Every time we have been, there has been incense which makes the experience all the more beautiful.

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