1 July 2015

The Precious Blood

I published this on Sunday March 6 2011, Quinquagesima Sunday, our last Sunday in the Church of England. I repeat it with one or two slight amplifications.

Glory be to Jesus, Who in bitter pains, Poured for us the life-blood From his sacred veins.
 
I really felt unusually affected at Mass this morning. Three hymns: Praise to the Holiest ..., which Pam and I had at our Wedding: suitable also because in 1828 Mr Newman contributed to raising the floor-level of S Thomas's above the flood-level of the Thames - and his scout John Hayworth was a life-long worshipper at S Thomas's. And Sweet Sacrament Divine. And, at the end, Glory be to Jesus (Viva! Viva! Gesu!), a hymn I particularly love. I had it at my Licensing to S Thomas's, unaware as I made the choice that it is painted on the roof-beams of the church ... probably during the incumbency of Fr Roger Wodehouse, who very much loved it (he was also the priest who put in place the baroque High Altar). Lift ye then your voices; Swell the mighty flood: Louder still and louder Praise the precious Blood.

After the Angelus, we polished off, as Canon Law required, a quick Vestry Meeting before the Churchwardens, staves of office in their hands, led us to the Shrine of S Thomas; for the last time we did the devotions traditional here on festivals of S Thomas, this time in thanks to our Patron for his gifts of grace in bringing us to where we now are. These devotions end with the Antiphon ad Magnificat in the Sarum Breviary: Salve, Thoma, virga justitiae, mundi jubar, robur Ecclesiae, plebis amor, cleri deliciae: Salve, gregis tutor egregie; salva tuae gaudentes gloriae. Then, in what I found a most moving gesture, the Churchwardens laid down their staves and left them at the feet of S Thomas. Vale, beate Thoma.

In my view, Churchwardens are a crucial element in the Anglican Patrimony, inherited from a medieval Church in which each of the innumerable guilds had its own Wardens, all under the ultimate control of the "High Wardens". As an indication of lay dignity and of the intricate corporate communal life of a medieval parish, they should be one of our most important contributions to the Wider Church.

Grace and life eternal In that Blood I find; Blest be His compassion, Infinitely kind. Deo gratias.

11 comments:

Pastor in Valle said...

God bless and keep you all in his loving care.

Last Knight said...

Godspeed. We'll be waiting on the shore.

The Sibyl said...

And from another Hymn...

"Shall not we your trial share and from worldly joys abstain, fasting with unceasing prayer glad with thee to suffer pain?"

Godspeed

motuproprio said...

Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter East.

Christopher said...

Deo gratias indeed. You will be in my prayers, father.

Dorothy said...

Wishing you all every blessing and joy.

Once I Was A Clever Boy said...

A moving account of an historic moment. Godspeed, and like the Last Knight I shall be waiting on the shore. May St Thomas pray for you all.

Lee said...

I hope you have an Ausonius who can give you the verse epistle you merit, Father. Godspeed.

-Dr. Lee Fratantuono

Jeffrey Steel said...

God bless and welcome!

Roger said...

"And further, a debt of gratitude to that particular branch of the Church Catholic through which GOD made us Christians, through which we were new born, instructed, and (if so be) ordained to the ministerial office; a debt of reverence and affection towards the saints of that Church; the tie of that invisible communion with the dead as well as the living, into which the Sacraments introduce us; the memory of our great teachers, champions, and confessors, now in Paradise [...] bind us to the English Church, by cords of love." [Tract 71]

Thank you Father - your sacrifice is a witness to us all. And may all your Loss turn to Gain

Don Camillo SSC said...

I do so agree about churchwardens. Cannot the Ordinariate find some way to retain this office (doubtless with duties re-defined)?