September 17th, 2012The Faith of Fr. Faberby Joseph Pearce
One of my favourite hymns is "Faith of Our Fathers", a celebration of Cathoic Martyrs in general and the English Martyrs in particular. It is a veritable anthem of the Church Militant, especially when Faber's words are united to the stridently upbeat tune to which it is sung in England as distinct from the mellow melody employed in the United States. It is the custom in the Pearce family to sing this hymn (English version) on the feast days of the English martyrs. The hymn was written by the the great convert priest, Frederick Faber, a friend of Blessed John Henry Newman and, like Newman, a convert to Rome from the Oxford Movement within the Anglican Church.
Apart from his wonderful hymnody, Faber's other great achievement was his founding of the London Oratory. This wonderful church, situated in one of the most fashionable areas of London, next to the Victorian & Albert Museum and on the same street as Harrods, has remained a bastion of tradition-oriented Catholicism. Whenever I return to England, I try to attend the 11am Latin Mass at the Oratory, which is, me judice, the most beautiful liturgy I've ever been blessed to attend.
Those interested in learning more about Father Faber should read this excellent brief appraisal of his life and achievement in today's Crisis Magazine: