29 September 2008


Is it a record? At Cardinal Kasper's International Mass he shared the Asperges with a former Vice-Principal of S Stephen's House; the Gospel was read in English by one of the House's latest deacons; and most of the serving team were Staggers men. What sort of record, I wonder? In the Good Old Days, when the Diocese of Oxford was under the sound Catholic management of Bishop Kirk, whenever a major event was needed, the Principal of the House turned up with a team and managed things with that style and precision for which Staggers was famous. One of the Chapter members at Christ Church - I think it may have been Canon Jenkins, but they were mostly a rather weird lot - said 'I suppose we shall have Couratin here again with his circus'. To which Arthur is said to have retorted 'Well, old man, better a circus than a menagerie'.

It would be lovely if, whenever the Western Church needed really top quality serving, Mgr (Good) Marini sent for Canon Ward and his circus. And it could easily come to that. Have you seen the interesting names recently added to the list of Consultors of the Office for Pontifical Ceremonies?


Unknown said...

I am afraid that that would be rather inappropriate from the point of local tradition. The iron discipline and precision of English and German servers was world famous in the Old Days and Westminster Cathedral was known to have some of the most accurate serving in the world. BUT I suggest you take a look at the videos of John XXIII's Mass and coronation on youtube! The Italians have always had a much more relaxed style, it is a veritable chaos in those videos! Just think how it compares with the coronation of Elizabeth II only a few years earlier. I suspect this has a lot to do with national character and the vast size of Roman Churches; when looking at the shambles in those videos remember that this is how things have been done for centuries, centuries with no recorded film and when most people were so far away from the sanctuary that they really could not see much of what the exact gestures were! No, no, no, the accuracy of the English is our tradition but not southern Europe's.

motuproprio said...

The new consultors are not additions, they are replacements! The old crew that worked with Marini MkI have been thrown out en bloc.

Anonymous said...

I thought the story of the Oxford Canon and Fr Couratin ran that the Canon said, "I see Arthur's brought his travelling circus" and that upon hearing this Fr Couratin sought him out and told him that he "would rather be part of a travelling circus than a permanent freak show" !!