I forgot to mention that Effchurch Priory is in the custody of "English Heritage", and that, after the Tridentine High Mass, an Anglican Wedding took place. We found a comfy seat in the warm sun and watched the external accidentia of this bizarre event.
D'ye know, there were ten bridesmaids! But that wasn't the really odd thing, which was: not one of them seemed to be doing any actual bridesmaiding. They were all in an advanced state of squealdom and it took some time to get them lined up before the entry into the church. And they were lined up to precede the Bride! So who, you ask, went behind and held up the Bride's dress out of the mud? ... It fell to one of the two English Heritage employees in black skirts and pullovers! And the Bride's Father held her bouquet for her!
Finally they all tottered into church twenty minutes after the advertised time.
I know I still have some readers out there who have not yet succeeded in liberating themselves from the shackles of Old Mother Damnable; perhaps they will be able to explain these ritual changes which have occurred since the days when I was still around to lend the C of E a touch of style. Is it something in the spirit of Bubbles Stancliff's didactic ceremonialism, designed to evoke the Parable of the deka parthenoi and the eschatological krauge Ecce sponsus venit? Or, as one of my family suggested, might the Ten have been girls who had previously enjoyed the addresses of the numphios? So that as he looked down the church at the Entry, he would have to meet the eyes of each of them, and remember? Another of my family, who has perhaps read too much of Sir J G Frazer, Robert Graves, and poor gullible Margaret Mead, wondered if, in the nox nuptialis, it might be deemed the duty of the numphios to favour each of the ten girls before approaching his Bride, so that it would be a tribute to her hyperaphroditic excellences if she still had the power to move his sated and enervated capacities. Like Heracles and the Forty Nine Daughters of Thespios, sort of, as you might say, or up to a point.
And ... perhaps there are other amusing weirdnesses in up-to-the-minute rapidly-evolving post-Christian Anglican liturgical praxis which Anglican readers could reveal for our delectation? Go on! Spill the beans!
I think I got out just in time. Call me a rat if you like; but the ship was undoubtedly sinking pretty fast, leaving behind it just the flotsam and the jetsam. The Ordinariate, although smaller than the creaky, leaky old Tudor warship, is a very trim and attractive little craft. And we have a lot of fun.