Some of the searches that have been run here on the blog suggest that folks may not be entirely familiar with the term Oratory as used in the site title. This is a word that was rarely heard at all for many years, but has recently reappeared in American conversation, particularly in connection with Barack Obama. We hear much about his oratory, what a fine orator he is (although it is becoming apparent that this is limited to reading from a Teleprompter). But oratory in this sense does not quite connect with the meaning that we have in mind for the blog title, St. Frideswide’s Oratory. So what is an Oratory?
If we go back to the Latin verb form, we find the connection directly to public speaking: oro -are [to speak]; esp. [to speak as an orator]; with acc. , [to treat, argue, plead; to beg, pray, entreat, beseech]. But if we look down the list of meanings there, we begin to get an understanding of what the present usage is all about, plead, beg, pray, entreat, beseech. It is a place of prayer.
More specifically, it is a small, private chapel specifically designated for prayer and for the celebration of the Holy Mass. It is a place set aside for holy purposes, to communicate the message of Jesus Christ to the world and where we take our sins and cares to the Father for forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
We can accomplish only a limited part of that through the blog format, but as much as is possible, that is the purpose of St. Frideswide’s Oratory.