14 February 2014

Reply to Joshua


I had better make it clear that I am far to busy and important a man to chase up euchological formulae for other people, but occasionally a cry for help from the colonies touches a chord in my heart, or whatever the cliche is. So, in circumstances in which I would normally refer an enquirer to The Christian Year: Calendar, Lectionary, and  Collects (Church House Publishing, 1997, ISBN 0 7151 3799 9) I will ... just on this one occasion ... assist a Tasmanian. Here is the Collect authorised in Old Mother Damnable for use on the festival of Blessed Priscilla Proudie, Educationalist and Worker for Women's Rights.

Almighty and Everlasting God, who raised up Priscilla Proudie from the low estate of the niece of a Scottish Earl, and made her equally adverse to impropriety of every description: grant us so to benefit from the example of her meekness and humility; that we may ever practise perfect abstinence from any cheering employment upon the Sabbath.

This collect is a perfect composition. Those learned in such matters will recognise the natural grace of the rhythmic cursus with which it is composed: one trispondaicus, and two velox. None but a liturgical genius could have been so served by his own fine instincts as to produce such a masterpiece. And I will reveal that it comes from the pen of 'Bubbles' Stancliffe himself, quondam Bishop of Salisbury, whose deft and skilful hand guided the Church of England through the minefields of Liturgical Revision. He began life as One of Us; indeed, I remember to this day the moment when an episcopal friend said to me "Have you heard? Stancliffe has ratted". The postman brought Bubbles his mitre the very next morning. He is not yet a member of the Ordinariate. But who can tell what Grace may achieve? What a catch he would be!

12 comments:

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Hmmm. Matthew points out that 'averse' makes better sense than 'adverse'. But 'adverse' is what Trollope wrote ... at least, as far as my bookshelves are concerned. Ideas?

Sir Watkin said...

The OED offers under "adverse":

"Of a person, action, agent, or force: acting against or in opposition (to someone or something); opposing, antagonistic, actively hostile."

And cites Jefferson:

"The general spirit, even of the merchants, is becoming adverse to it."

Sir Watkin said...

The sense (cf. adversus) would seem to connote an active turning towards in order to confront and oppose, rather than a turning away from and rejection of (cf. aversus). Amounts to much the same thing in practice, but the former is more active, as befits Mrs Proudie.

motuproprio said...

Well she was certainly the adversary of every kind of impropriety rather than simply averting her gaze.

Robster said...

Brilliant, utterly brilliant. It "strikes" a chord, by the way.

Robster said...

Brilliant, utterly brilliant. Things "strike" a chord, btw.

Col. Hugo Thrumpington-Mange said...

Whilst we’re playing this game, anyone like to speculate on a Collect for the Blessed Christina Rees?

Joshua said...

Words fail me - I stand in awe.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

GAME, my dear Colonel, GAME??? Words fail me. But it is very good to see your gallant self on my thread. With the Great Sir Watkin, veteran of so many Jacobite risings and so many Jacobite drinking bouts ... and the erudite, witty, Joshua ... it feels almost like old times. I wonder where Little Black Sambo has got to ...

Matthew said...

I stand corrected.

Col. Hugo Thrumpington-Mange said...

Dear old Fr H, over smokers last night, following the mess hall nosh, I set the Padre a task. He was to continue your game and knock up one of those Collects ready for when the Bank Manger of Canterbury decides to call that chappess, Christina Rees, Blessed. Apparently the Padre knew her well from some work they did on a subgroup of the SS Synod High Command. I thought it best only to publish the redacted version, but I think you’ll get the idea!
Almighty and Everlasting God, *** ***** ** Christine Rees from the common estate of *** *** *****, and *** her **** ******* of *** dra@on: grant us so to ****** from the **** of her ***** and gentle kindness; that *** ever ***** ***** humility **** any **** her ** *** ****.

Francis Arabin said...
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