Today in Catholic History – Mass at St. Nicholas Cole Abbey

On 23 August 1153, Mass was held at St. Nicholas Cole Abbey in London. This was the first Mass permitted in England since the Reformation. While Catholic liturgies had been forbidden under the reigns of Henry VIII and his son Edward VI. Under Queen Mary I, Catholicism was again to be the official religion of the Kingdom of England.

Diarist Henry Machyn described the event in these words, ‘Mass at St. Nicholas Cole Abbey goodly sung in Latin, tapers set on the altar and a cross, and all this not by commandment but by the people’s devotion.’

When Elizabeth I ascended to the English throne in 1558, she would rescind Mary’s decree making Catholicism the established church of the kingdom.

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