8 December 2021


"Incarnation/Redemption too, although it took place at a specific historical moment, the period of Jesus' time on earth, nonetheless extends its range of action to all time that preceded and followed. And, in their turn, the Second Coming and Final Judgement, decisively anticipated in the Cross of Christ, exercise their influence on the behaviour of mankind in all ages."

These words of Pope Benedict, set me meditating on three things: (1) The Immaculate Conception. It seems to me that one reason why that dogma really matters - and is not mariological excess mascarading as dogma - is that it makes rather powerfully the point that the Redemption 'extends its range of action to the time that preceded'. 

(2) The Harrowing of Hell. Perhaps the Pope gave us an interesting basis for a more sophisticated understanding of what it means to say that redemptive grace is at work in the men and women of the Old Testament. 

(3) Dom Odo Casel's ideas about how the commemorations of the liturgical year make present mystice the 'past' events which they commemorate. What Benedict XVI said about the interpenetration of times fits nicely.

7 December 2021

Horace and the Vigil of Mary Immaculate: mainly for classicists

December 8 will be the birthday of one of the greatest Roman poets, Quintus Horatius Flaccus. It would be beautifully appropriate if, during these days which precede the celebration of the Immaculate Conception, I could share with you his words on that Immaculate Conception of our Lady. But ... I can do something very much like it.

Readers of my posts on the Hymns of the Roman Breviary will remember my strong preference for the versions of the old hymns which appeared in all the Medieval Breviaries (including Sarum); and in the present Benedictine Breviary; and in the post-Conciliar Liturgia Horarum. Those texts were not in 'pure' Clasical Latin, but in Christian, Liturgical, Patristic, Latin. But this was all changed in the 1620s at the order of a superb classicist, Urban VIII, who wanted them to be in the grammar and metres of Augustan Latin. I believe that this change should not have been made, and I applaud the resolution of Vatican II to reverse it. But there can be no doubt about the brilliance of the enterprise, in itself and in its own terms, and about the sparkling, classical erudition and inventiveness of Papa Barberini and his helpers.

One of his collaborators was a Polish Jesuit Matthias Sarbiewski. He was an enthusiastic admirer of Horace, and wrote poetry himself in the Horatian style and often with allusions to Horace's text. The following has its origins in Horace's Odes, III 28.

Quid muti trahimus diu
Segnes excubias? Suggere postibus
Dereptum, ROSA, barbiton.
Nos arguta manu fila docebimus:
Tu buxum digitis move,
Et mutis animam suffice tibiis.
Nos cantabimus aureos
Stellarum vigiles sistere lubricam
Mundi sollicitos fugam, et
Palantum choreas ducere syderum.
Tu rerum dominam canes,
Et sparsam Zephyrorum arbitrio comam
Nudis ludere bracchiis,
Et nimbos volucrum fundere crinium.
Addes et teretes pedum
Suras non humilem lambere Cynthiam;
Et sutas chlamydum faces,
Indutique togam Solis amabili
Emirabere fistula:
Donec virgineis laudibus, et suis
Placatus, resecet moras,
Et currum madidis flectat ab Indiis.

I could not begin to translate this; Horatian Latin is not only a different language; it is also a radically different sort of way of using words to convey meaning. Translations are either distant paraphrases or else they sound like gibberish.

But lines I have emphasised above, it seems to me, are a superb piece of classicising Latin describing the baroque iconographical conventions of Maria Immaculata. Horace advises his friend Rosa, as they meet in the twilight of a Vigil of our Lady, to sing of the Mistress of Things; of her locks, scattered by the will of the Zephyrs, playing upon her bare arms and pouring forth clouds of flying hairs; with unhumble Cynthia licking the smooth ankles of her feet.

Horace, just like his Polish imitator, rejoiced in a Callimachean allusive intricacy accessible only to his fellow-erudite. Indeed, oderunt profanum vulgus et arcebant.

Her Immaculate Heart will prevail!

6 December 2021

Bergoglianity and Scripture (2)

Looked at from the point of view of somebody not terribly literate, these alterations in the inspired texts are easy to understand. Why should we imply that the Almighty himself actually leads us into temptation? The answer (in my view the correct one) is that temptation, peirasmos, does not here mean that nasty little voice within us which tempts us to eat the last chocolate in the box while nobody is watching, but means Persecution; the 'testing' to which we are subjected when we are being persecuted ... when our Faith is being put to the test. 

But, be that as it may, I prefer the advice given in Liturgiam authenticam, that admirable and scholarly document on the methodology of liturgical translation put out in the pontificate of S John Paul. It is now sneered at by the sort of people who have filled up the offices of the Congregation for Worship after the ejection of scholars and academics. It points out that, when there is doubt about which of more than one interpretation of a Latin text is preferable, it is best to go for a fairly literal rendering of the original which leaves each option open and available. 

This is, of course, exactly the sort of open-minded preference for liberty which so runs against the grain of Bergoglianity.

And the rendering of "for many" as "for all" illustrates this. 'Many' can mean 'for a lot' or it can mean 'not for all'. My own view is that the Lord is proclaiming the availability of the Salvation he brings is for absolutely everybody. All they need to do is to 'receive' him and to 'believe on his name'. I do not believe that the Lord has removed from any human heart the faculty of rejecting him.

The problem here for many traddies is that "for all" appears to select and impose the notion that every human will ultimately be saved ... you might call this "Universalism". I rather sympathise with their suspicion in this regard.

There is a very amusing whimsicality here. In one of its Offertory prayers, the Authentic Use of the Roman Rite does indeed pray that the Chalice may be accepted "pro nostra et totius mundi salute". But the Vandals ... or was it the Visigoths ... of the 1960s chopped that out! 

In other words, the Modernists of the 1960s were convinced that the vera et certa utilitas Ecclesiae demanded (exigat) that this prayer be excised (Sacrosanctum Concilium 23). Half a century later, the Bergoglianists, the Modernists of our own time, are convinced that the idea be shoved back in ... so strongly convinced that they cheerfully mutilitate the Lord's words in order to do so!

To be concluded.

5 December 2021


 Our political class seems to be making much use of the formula ramping up the roll-out.

Can anyone analyse this neatly trochaic formula for me?

Bergoglianity and Scripture (1)

For many generations of Anglicans, the Second Sunday in Advent was 'Bible Sunday'. This is because of a rather over-wrought Proddy interpretation of the Epistle; which is shared by the book of Common Prayer, and the edition of the Roman Rite issued by S Pius V; Romans 15:4sqq. But it is as good a Sunday as any to consider the relationship of PF with Holy Scripture.

[Preliminary Note for those who need to know what "textual criticism" is: contrary to popular assumptions, textual criticism is the science ... or art ... of reconstructing what an ancient text "originally" said. Before the invention of printing, when manuscripts were copied by hand, changes crept in. Scribal mistakes ... scribal improvements ... scribal harmonisations (when S Mark's text differed from S Matthew's, scribes very often brought  S Mark into line with S Matthew, which they probably knew better). The textual critic assembles the evidence: the different 'readings' in the different manuscripts or early translations or quotations in early Christian writers. Then s/he uses a variety of (mainly linguistic) tools to work out which 'reading' s/he deems "original".]

Popes have long intervened in making decisions which touch upon the text and Canon of Scripture. A distinguished codicologist has argued that the "Four Gospel Canon" was set in place circa 100 ... in Rome. When the Vulgate was authorised, implicit approval was thereby given to the the readings preferred by S Jerome. During the Counter-Reformation, Pope Sixtus V in 1590, then Pope Clement VIII in 1592, officially established (unidentical) texts of the Vulgate. This meant that, where different manuscripts had different ('variant') readings, an official decision was made about which should be used. The popes were not claiming to know what the 'original writers' 'originally' wrote; they were claiming only to provide a usable and safe and orthodox text for private ... and, more importantly ... public use.

During the current supremacy of Bergoglianity, two constructive changes have been made in Scripture. They involve changes in words ascribed to the Lord in the Gospels, in places where there are no textual variants in the manuscripts. Moreover, these are texts used daily by millions of Catholics.

 (1) In the accounts of the Last Supper, the Lord offered the Chalice of His Blood which had been poured out "for many" (peri pollon). In a number of European languages, including the Italian, which the arrogant current boss-class in the Vatican seems to regard as normative, we are offered "per tutti" ("for all": in Latin it would be pro omnibus; in Greek, peri panton).

(2) In both the Matthaean and Lucan texts of the Our Father, et ne nos inducas in tentationem is is now to be rendered e non abbandonarci alla tentazione. I presume that in Latin that would be et ne nos derelinquas tentationi; in Greek, perhaps, Kai me katalipe hemas toi peirasmoi..

I repeat: there is no evidence in the Manuscripts ... all the thousands of them ... or in the Versions ... or in the Patristic citations ... for these tinkerings. 

Textual Criticism can do nothing to back up PF.

To be continued.

4 December 2021


George V and Mary (May) of Teck did not live in a flat. I gather that, at a time when married couples of the English upper classes habitually slept apart, they shared the same bed all their married lives, and produced six children.

I have ventured to consider 'the Flat' as emblematic of the Sterile Marriages of the Thirties. It also excluded whole swathes of corporate  life; if it was kitchenless and gardenless, it excluded servants, from butlers down to under-dairymaids, they were all were redundant. Unwanted family members of the earlier generation, such as Rosamund's father, could be relegated, with a modest pension, to South Coast watering-places. Surely, this is the seed-bed of the atomised social life which we have inherited.

But, if George's recent biographer is correct, and he 'spent his life fighting against the twentieth century', it is a cruel irony that, at the end, he was defeated by it. He was murdered by the eugenicist medical profession of the 1930s, in the person of his doctor Lord Dawson. And he was succeeded by a young man who, like Adolf Hitler, deemed it 'Modern' to arrive hatless and in an aeroplane. 

And whose 'marriage' was sterile.

In conclusion, and purely for your fun, here are two passages, about two contrasting marriages, from Lewis and Sayers. Each of them calls upon the haunting liturgical diction of Archbishop Cranmer.

Lewis: "'Matrimony was ordained, thirdly,' said Jane Studdock bitterly to herself ... 'for the mutual society, help, and comfort that the one ought to have of the other'. In reality, marriage had proved to be the door out of a world of work and comradeship and laughter and innumerable things to do, into something like solitary confinement. For some years before their marriage she had never seen so little of Mark as she had done in the last six months. Even when he was at home he hardly ever talked. He was always either sleepy or intellectually preoccupied ... only one thing ever seemed able to keep him awake after he had gone to bed, and even that did not keep him awake for long ..."

Sayers: "At the end of a week's work, [Harriet] found herself in need of a little technical information, and, going into the library in search of it, discovered Peter, laboriously collating a black-letter folio ... 

"'Glad to be of use,' said his lordship. 'Now as to the effects on a corpse of intermittent submersion in dirty water ...'

"Thirdly', murmured Harriet, with a rich thrill of emotion, 'marriage was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other.' She sat down on the opposite side of the table, and they plunged eagerly together into the statistics of putrefaction."

In making use of the published edition of Thrones, Dominations, I have, possibly rashly, assumed that chapters 1-6 are by Sayers. Because I think I detect solecisms in chapter 7, I incline to attribute it and the rest of the book to Paton Walsh. But in chapter 3, there is the phrase "the forensic people", meaning practitioners in Forensic Medicine. The OED gives an 1845 reference for 'forensic medicine', but I am a trifle suspicious of this modern use of 'forensic' on its own to mean scientific ... as it does today in English English. Has Paton Walsh tampered? or is Sayers ahead of he time?

I believe that Sayers was a significant enough writer for what she actually wrote to be safely on the record. Did Paton Walsh take liberties with Sayers' drafts?

I wonder where Paton Walsh's own papers ended up after her death.


3 December 2021

Cardinals and an Emperor

What fun it always is to walk through Cardinal College and to see the Founder's Arms flying in a gigantic banner; so typically Tudor and so nouveau in their elaboration and detail. Whereas most Oxford colleges assumed their Arms, Cardinal College got a grant, in 1525, from Garter and Clarenceux. An assertion of particular dignity?

I presume that the Cornish choughs indicate that Wolsey's Patron was S Thomas a Becket. (I think Thomas Cromwell included choughs on his arms.) And the butcher's son adopted Suffolk noble motifs: a silver cross from the Ufford earls; blue leopards from the de la Pole Earls. And a lion rouge nodded cheerfully towards Pope Leo X. There is no blood connection between Wolsey and all these; sometimes the words 'of affection ' are used to describe this sort of heraldry.

 Among Bodley's treasures is a spectacular little volume - the earliest English gold-tooled binding - presented to Wolsey c1519, containing prose and verse encomia addressed to him, and with S George on the cover ... and roses ... and pomegranates! A real evocation of the Renaissance, humanist days before all went to pot. And what a European axis that would have been, England with Spain and the Empire! It reminded me of an occasion three decades ago when the then Subdean of the Chapels Royal, the admirable Fr Anthony Caesar, smuggled me past the security guards to show me the Tudor chapel in S James's Palace with all the pomegranates in the ceiling decoration. I wondered, and wonder still, what the syphilitic old tyrant thought when his eye lighted accidentally upon them in his latter days after he had repudiated his wife and betaken himself to whores. 

From the same period, Bodley has a book, also with gold tooling, which was probably given to the humanist Cuthbert Tunstall, later Bishop of Durham, during the bonanza which accompanied the Peace of Cambrai in 1529. And the next King Henry - the opposite in most conceivable ways to the Eighth - was the source of an Italian book, the red silk binding embroidered with the arms of our late Sovereign Lord King Henry IX, Cardinal Bishop of Frascati. Crown underneath the ecclesiastical hat (which only has six tassels each side: why?). 

But what really transports you back to the early centuries of English Christianity is an Evangelarium of c800, Court School of Charlemagne at Aachen, with an ivory inset of Christus Victor. It was made for the Abbey at Chelles, where Charlemagne's sister Gisela was Abbess. 

It evokes for me that earlier Renaissance, the age of Alcuin the Englishman, which was so instrumental in conveying Romanita to the Middle Ages.

I do not imply that the random visitor will find these books on display in Bodley.

2 December 2021

Anglican Orders

The Ordinary of the Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham has recently adopted a shield of arms, designed for him by "a Spanish Expert in Heraldry". (The Archbishop of Birmingham acquired a Grant from the College of Arms in Queen Victoria Street; the Anglican Shrine at Walsingham, at the instance of Fr Fynes Clinton, got a grant, with a very fine design, from the College. They do a good job.)

 What interested me most was the fact that the Ordinary's shield is surrounded by a hat with tassels ... indications that a prelate is a Bishop.

Prima facie, hostile pedants might argue, this sits uneasily with the 1896 bull Apostolicae curae, which declared Anglican Orders null and void.  Anglo-Catholics nevertheless claimed that, despite the endless misbehaviour of official Anglicanism, Anglican Orders were technically valid on Catholic grounds which had been ignored in Apostolicae curae

This Anglo-Catholic claim received oblique support from an unusual and entertaining quarter when sedevacantists took to pointing out that the arguments deployed in Apostolicae curae also render doubtful or worse the Orders of the 'post-Conciliar Church'! (Efforts to refute this thesis are hampered by the different interpretations which different Catholic writers have, over the years, put upon the logic and argument of the bull.)

Can there possibly be anything new to say?

There is.

Since the bull Apostolicae curae was issued, there has occurred what I named as "the Dutch Touch": the participation in Anglican episcopal Consecrations during and since the 1930s of Dutch schismatics with irreproachably valid orders and using a formula from the pre-Conciliar Roman Pontifical, the adequacy of which for validity ... even on its own ... was strongly urged by as gigantic an authority as Cardinal Gasparri, the great Begetter of modern Catholic Canon Law. 

Those with acute historical minds will have noticed that the Dutch Touch occurred nearly half a century after Apostolicae curae, so that Bull can hardly be claimed to address the new elements in the situation created by the Dutch Touch.

The formal decision of S John Paul II, upon the advice of the CDF in the case of Graham Leonard, formerly Bishop of London, was to proceed on the basis that the 'Dutch Touch' rendered it no longer certain that Apostolicae curae still applied to the dutchified situation.

This papal precedent cannot easily be treated as non-existent. A very distinguished  and traditionalist Catholic theologian wrote to me, even before the Leonard decision, that the "applicability of its [Apostolicae curae] teaching to [Anglican] orders today is not itself unconditionally proposed by the contemporary Roman church" (emphasis original).

Another factor of which few people seem to be aware is that the bull Apostolicae curae, in the text published in Acta Sanctae Sedis 29 (1896-7), explicitly limited its scope to 'discipline', not doctrine. A distinguished Catholic theologian wrote to me that the ASS "is the official version of the text. ... However, in the [later] collected edition of the Acta Leonis XIII the word is omitted ..." Dr E C Messenger wrote "The omission would seem to have been deliberate". It would be interesting to know who it was that contrived this deft and significant excision; my nominated suspect is Merry del Val, operating in the interests of Cardinal Vaughan, who realised that this limitation could provide an opportunity to question the doctrinal force of the bull. 

There is something which is not quite kosher about these proceedings!!

Furthermore, just the other day I checked via my computer the text of Apostolicae curae on the official Vatican website. The text there does include the limiting term disciplinae!! Stone the crows!

Some writers, both those ferociously arguing against Anglican Orders and sedevacantists ferociously denying the Orders of 'the Conciliar Church' as if their very lives depended upon it, give the impression that God has an eagle eye which he constantly has open to the possibility that there might be a technical detail rendering a sacrament invalid. There are stories of pre-Pius XII bishops reordaining all their ordinands sub conditione in the Sacristy immediately after their ordination, so as to be on the safe side! I must confess to having quite the opposite suspicion. Sacramental grace, I think, is, by the Divine Will, much more like water ... perhaps like the flood water which, so ably assisted by Anthropogenic Climate Change,  just keeps getting into the homes of  poor people all over the world. It so often seems to find ways of seeping through or getting in round the side, even despite the best attempts of human wilfulness to block it out. I am an Essex Man; I know about all this! Memories of 1956!

That, surely, is the basic and untechnical meaning of S Bellarmine's famous teaching on Intention, in which he demonstrates that even a heretic who explicitly believed that the [Calvinist] Church of Geneva was Christ's True Church, could (given adequate Matter, Form, and Minister) validly confect the Sacraments, despite all his personal heresies.

I accept, as the C of E now implicitly does, Leo XIII's general proposition that Anglican Orders have now to be categorised, at least and certainly juridically, as not identical to Catholic Orders. Official Anglicanism has made its bed, and individual Anglicans can hardly whinge if they are required to lie upon it. This does not, in my view, necessarily entail the proposition that no individual in the Anglican Ministry is truly a Catholic priest. The very evident signs of Sacramental Grace within Anglicanism might suggest otherwise. They might even indicate (another suggestion I have heard from a distinguished and traditionalist Catholic theologian) that Deus supplevit per desiderium.

But there can be no question that sacramental certainty does need to be secured and assured. The whole Anglican business has now become far too messy and mired in sacramental disorder for this need to be fudged. 

After all, it is not exactly the fault of the Catholic Church that there is any confusion about the status of Anglican clergy. Rome never invited the Church of England to change the rites of ordination unilaterally in the sixteenth century; nor, in twentieth, to introduce women into the transmission of orders. Rome can hardly be blamed for all those endless Anglican public statements and agreements about the interchangeability of Anglican and Protestant ministries. Anglicans have a long and immensely slippery history of wanting to have things both ways. With Catholics, they sound amazingly Catholic; engaging with Orthodox ... Miracle! ... they are Orthodox; doing business with Methodists or Scandinavian Lutherans ... er ...

We are not the first to meet these problems. After his conversion, Newman "could not say that Anglican orders were invalid", and "I was surprised, when I got to Rome in 1846 to find various persons there in the belief that they were valid and none, I think, clear that they were not" (and this despite the assertion to be made in 1896 by Apostolicae curae that the matter had "iam pridem ab Apostolica Sede plene fuisse et cognitam et iudicatam"). The "difficulty" which S John Henry had about being reordained was removed by the assurance that, although ordination would not be explicitly conditional, the 'condition' would be "implied ... in the Church's intention". 

 Conditional Ordination does indeed seem to me by far the most traditionally Catholic solution to this matter; Fr Aidan Nichols' original suggestion was the tactfully private rectification of the Orders of English Anglican priests seeking Full Communion. Since the diaconate does not impinge upon sacramental validity, diaconal ordination need not be part of the procedure; readers will recall that S John Paul II with his own hand struck out Diaconal Ordination from the draft documentation put before him for dealing with the case of Bishop Graham Leonard. 

It is still my view that by far the best process would have been exactly what Basil Hume, on instructions from Joseph Ratzinger's CDF in Rome, did for Graham Leonard: Conditional Ordination to the Presbyterate well away from the public eye; and in his private chapel

This arrangement was the result of the CDF receiving copies of the entire Dutch Tutch archive from Pusey House here in Oxford, plus evidence about the theological views of the Anglican hierarchs involved in the processes leading from the Douch Touch up to Bishop Graham's presbyteral ordination. CDF sent all this material to consultors whose vota formed the basis of the decision. Cardinal Hume subsequently said that other Anglican clergy who could provide identical documentation could expect to receive the same treatment ... but that the process would take very much longer than the abbreviated processes which were within the competences of the English Bishops. Anglican enquirers took this very broad, if somewhat corrupt, hint!

Bishop Graham emphasised to me that Rome had been very careful not to consider, nor to pass judgement on, his episcopal orders ... because, he was convinced, Rome did not wish to find itself saddled with a validly ordained married bishop! (Professor Tighe, by the way, has uncovered other Latin examples of episcopal wives.)

My suspicion is that, in Mgr Newton, a Married Bishop is exactly what Rome does now have! Three cheers for his green galero with its twelve tassels!

1 December 2021

Our Martyrs, as offerings to the Spirit of Traditionis custodes

In the old English diocesan Calendars which preceded the 1970s, a number of admirable traitors cluster on this day or near it (depending on your view of Elizabeth Tudor ... perhaps she was the Traitor). 

S Edmund Campion, S John's College  and Douay; S Ralph Sherwin, Exeter College and Douay; S Alexander Briant, Hart Hall and Douay. Sometimes one or other of those three is commemorated; sometimes it is Blessed Edmund Campion and his Companions; sometimes the Blessed Martyrs of Douay College; sometimes the Blessed Martyrs of Oxford University. (Vide the old calendars for Birmingham, Portsmouth, Northampton, Westminster, Plymouth, Liverpool, Nottingham.)

December 1 1581, four hundred and forty years ago today, was the day when those three Saints died for Christ at Tyburn; omnes Oxonienses, Duacenses omnes. And, of course, all three now canonised (in 1970 by S Paul VI, a completely genuine pope, poor practised-upon poppet).

Those old calendars are now out of date (except for sedevacantists who contest the canonisations of Papa Montini), and I doubt if Arthur Roche regards their updating as the first priority on his busy daily schedule. In the spirit of Canon 19, it seems to me proper (having asked "What would the nice old Sacra Rituum Congregatio have done?") to celebrate, as a second class feast, or Greater Double, "Saint Edmund Campion and the Holy and Blessed Martyrs of Oxford University".

Come to think of it: it is probable that these three great Saints were hanged, drawn, and quartered for celebrating the 'Pian' edition of the Roman Rite (which had been taught at Douay since 1576.)

If topicality may respectfully be predicated of martyrs, these three must be jolly toppingly topical now in this saeculum pravissimum Traditionis Custodum.

In view of the CDF legislation of 2020, I think it must also now be lawful to say Mass and Office of these Saints and Blesseds even in dioceses other than those listed above. (I certainly would; I remember looking up at the list of Douay martyrs in Allen Hall and the mighty and admirable Mgr Andrew Wadsworth murmuring to me "They're all yours now".)

Ora, Ora, Ora pro nobis! Orate omnes!

In any case, led by PF, we are all surely being led far beyond mere law nowadays! 

You will find no shameful Legalism, no arrogant Rigidity on this blog!!

30 November 2021

S Andrew

I often celebrate today's great feast by reminding you of the Reconciliation of England by Cardinal Pole in 1554 and the restoration of Catholicism at Durham by the Northern Rebels temp Bloody Bess Tudor, which both happened on this day. And I like dwelling upon the popularity of S Andrew in old English Church dedications, which is probably due to the influence of the Gregorian (and hence andreaphile) liturgical texts brought to England by the Augustinian Mission (whereabouts in Rome did that little band of monks come from?). Happy the City of Hexham: its great Abbey founded by S Wilfrid meant that, on the Kalendar of the English Catholic Church before the 1950s, S Andrew, Titular of the Church, is observed within the City as a Double of the First Class with an Octave (which, on December 7, had no qualms about superseding as a Greater Double the Vigil of our Lady and the celebration of S Ambrose). 

And I lament the fact that modern Novus Ordo arrangements seem specifically designed to eliminate totally, always and everywhere, any celebration of a Sunday External Solemnity of the Apostle even in places ... or countries!! ... where he is Patron. 

Yes; no wonder Louis Bouyer referred to les trois maniaques who galumphed around during the 'reform' of the Calendar in the 1960s.

Yesterday, I recorded the Existence of a Vigil for S Andrew before Bugnini and Papa Pacelli abolished it. In Sarum S Andrew also had an Octave. And (also in Sarum) on an adjacent Sunday, the 'Andrean' Gospel now preserved only in the Book of Common Prayer (John 6:5sqq) survived. S Andrew really did have quite a 'season'! (Compare the 'Petrine' Gospel, Luke 5:1sqq, which occupied a Sunday near S Peter's Day, on Trinity 5 and on Pentecost 4.)

Why did the post-Conciliar nasties have such a prejudice against the Protoclete?

But this year, on his Feast, I offer you a purely Anglican oddity.

The old Roman Collect for today, a most elegant composition, prayed that S Andrew might be "a perpetual intercessor for us in thy sight". Cranmer had by 1549 moved beyond talk of saintly intercession; so he replaced this collect with
Almightie God, which hast geuen such grace to thy Apostle saynct Andrew, that he counted the sharp and painful death of the crosse to be an high honour, and a great glory; Graunt us to take and esteme all troubles and adversities which shal come unto us for thy sake, as things proffytable for us toward the obtaining of euerlasting life.

Just a couple of years later, he replaced this with the current Anglican collect which is based upon the ready obedience of S Andrew in following the Lord's call.

Here is my take on this. When the entire structure of our thinking radically develops ... when conceptually we make a big jump ... just as when an ill-advised pope decides to inflict a 'paradigm shift' ... not every part of our previously held set of assumptions changes instantly and automatically. Some areas and some assumptions lag behind and need subsequently to catch up and to be made consistent with the new structure.

In 1549, Cranmer had put behind him the idea of asking God for a share in the intercessions of the Saints; OK. So that idea went.

But the full narrowness of the Protestant preoccupation with sola scriptura was dawdling behind a little in his mind. He had spent his life assuming that S Andrew was martyred upon a cross ... as most of England's churches demonstrated in their iconography. And so the traditional account of S Andrew's martyrdom was still part of the furniture of his mind; and it became the basis of the 1549 collect. 

He knew better by 1552.

More: could there also be just a weeny hint of Merit in the second half of that 1549 collect? A suggestion that the 'work' of accepting 'troubles and adversities'  might be 'proffytable' for 'the obtaining of euerlasting life? 

Would the fraterculus Martinus have raised a bit of an eyebrow? 

29 November 2021

Vigils again ... Oxford in the 1840s

 Until the Wreckovation of the Roman rite, today, of course, was the Vigil of S Andrew. It still is, of course, in the book of Common Prayer.

In what follows, Mr Vincent is a college tutor hosting a breakfast; I do not think he was sympathetic to the Ritualist Movement ... He is trying to be funny, but JHN is also, I suspect, making the point that all those admirably 'Catholic' directions in the Prayer Book, to which the Ritualists delightedly pointed, were obsolete.

"At this moment the door opened, and in came the manciple with the dinner paper, which Mr Vincent had formally to run his eye over. 'Watkins,' he said, giving it back to him, 'I almost think today is one of the Fasts of the Church. Go and look, Watkins, and bring me word.' The astonished manciple, who had never been sent on such a commission in his whole career before, hastened out of the room, to task his wits how best to fulfil it. The question seemed to strike the company [of undergraduates] as forcibly, for there was a sudden silence, which was succeeded by a shuffling of feet and leave-taking; as if, though they had secured their ham and mutton at breakfast, they did not like to risk their dinner. Watkins returned sooner than could have been expected. He said that Mr Vincent was right; today was 'the feast of the Apostles'. 'The Vigil of St. Peter, you mean, Watkins,' said Mr Vincent; 'I thought so. Then let us have a plain beef steak and a saddle of mutton; no Portugal onions, or current jelly; and some simple pudding, Charlotte pudding, Watkins - that will do.'"

[I don't want to make an enormous fuss about this ... I am aware that stylish Georgian writers sometimes would split an infinitive ... but S John Henry Newman in this piece misses a number of opportunities to Split, doesn't he?]

28 November 2021

Drop down ye heavens from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness

I wish my readers a very holy and devout Advent.

Three decades at Lancing left me with haunting memories of each Advent starting with the choir leading us in the unforgettable melodies and texts of the Advent Prose ... which you can, of course, now findin the Ordinariate Missal. The rubric suggests that it be used as a Processional (the old-style Anglo-Catholicism of my childhood loved having splendid if rather pointless processions in which the Vicar tottered round the Church behind choir and servers, from the Altar and back to the Altar). Or, the rubric suggests, it might be used elsewhere in the Mass, or on any of the Sundays in Advent; and on the fourth Sunday it may replace the Introit, of which it is in fact an expanded version. So there you go.

Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever; thy holy cities are a wilderness, Sion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation: our holy and our beautiful house, wherein our fathers praised thee.

Somehow, as the English winter sets in, my mind reflects upon the winter of this sad pontificate; the gusts of fear and the wildernesses of intimidation, the cold indifference to the Faith and hostility to Truth even in high places; bare trees and shrivelled buds. Is it my fault? Our fault? We have sinned, and are as an unclean thing. You must speak for yourself, but I know for certain that I am. But I, even I, am the Lord, and beside me there is no Saviour; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. Comfort ye, comfort ye my people; my salvation shall not tarry; I have blotted out as a thick cloud thy transgressions; fear not, for I will save thee: for I am the Lord thy God, the Holy one of Israel, thy Redeemer.

My salvation shall not tarry. 

The spring days and the warming sun are sorely hindered by our sins and wickedness, but we pray that His bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us*.

*Thus the somewhat flabby translation of the Advent IV collect, altered after Cranmer, found in our Missal; the more taut Latin original is "quod nostra peccata praepediunt, indulgentia tuae propitiationis acceleret". Lovely alliteration. Good cursus, with two matching and interlocking examples of tardus.