26 June 2018

Pugin and Sarum

A kind friend has given me a small but perfectly formed book on Pugin: Beyond 'Puginism' by Gerard J Hyland (Spire Books and the Pugin Society).

Hyland demonstrates that, during his 'middle period' when he was much influenced by Dr Rock, Pugin deliberately built his churches in the hope that they would be used for the celebration of the Sarum Rite (Pugin's Pre-Rock and post-Rock inclinations differed: read the book for yourselves!). Thus: at Cheadle, he provided an Easter Sepulchre and sedilia designed to be occupied in the Sarum way with the Priest higher up and to the East of the Deacon (Tridentine custom is to have the Celebrant between the Deacon and the Subdeacon). How do we know Pugin intended this? - because he had a carved chalice and paten over the priest's seat and the Gospel Book carved over the deacon's.

Hyland gives reasons for thinking that Dr Rock celebrated the Sarum Rite at Alton Towers; and that it had been used during Holy Week at Oscott. I am more doubtful about the second claim, since it would mean that Nicholas Wiseman had taken leave of his usual Romanita

I have seen suggestions that Sarum was used in the reign of James II, but without evidence. I regard the possibility as real, since, although we tend to think of His Majesty as the King who sacrificed his throne because of his pro-papal convictions, in fact James' understanding of Monarchy vis-a-vis Papacy seems to have been rather Gallican. And ... again without chapter and verse ... I have heard it claimed that, when Westminster Cathedral was mooted, the possibility of restoring 'Sarum' was urged.

More recently, I believe a Pastor in valle Adurni did Sarum in Merton College Chapel until it was suggested to him that he should, er, stop. And, even more recently than that, a complete rendering of the Sarum Ordo Missae in Cranmerian pastiche was put together for use in the Ordinariates ... but the plan failed since the Americans and the Australians were unkeen.

(Personally, I think the methodology which led to the current Ordinariate Mass was correct.)


Anonymous said...

Does anyone have access to the text of the purported Sarum Ordo for the Ordinariates & if so would they be willing to share it?

Chris said...

The other giveaway in the Cheadle sedilia, surely, is the rake - designing for the Roman use one would not seat the Deacon at a higher level than the Celebrant, but rearrange the chancel floor to keep the sedilia flat.

Matt said...

Ah that pastor was my pastor - he is now pastor in monte! I didn't know he was asked to stop celebrating the Sarum rite. Why would anyone want it stopped? Modernists policing the practice of the faith to make sure no-one is offended?

E sapelion said...

I think I read an extract from a letter by Pugin in the book God's Architect, which showed that Pugin thought (or had been told) that Dr Wiseman had celebrated in the Sarum Rite.

E sapelion said...

I believe that somewhere in the ICEL archives there may be a proposal for including in the church's official repertoire various elements of the Sarum age marriage blessings. Up to and including the blessing of the nuptial bed. Although explored by ICEL it was never put to the Vatican authorities.

E sapelion said...

To correct what I have recently commented:
Rosemary Hill in her biography of Pugin, God's Architect, asserts on p.264 that in 1842 -
"... When Pugin was at Oscott for Easter he observed that Wiseman was using the Sarum Rite, aware of its appeal to Young England and the Oxford men,especially Sibthorp, who had now been ordained as a Catholic priest. ..."
No source for this is cited, but she had access to Pugin's surviving diaries.

1569 Rising said...


Maybe people more erudite than I could answer a question....

On November 30, 1569, the culmination of the events surrounding the Rising of the North, a Solemn High Mass was celebrated in Durham Cathedral where the principal celebrant, Fr Pearson, absolved the people of the Bishopric from schism. The Cathedral was packed, with crowds outside unable to gain entry. The Missals, fonts, altar stone, statues were brought to the Cathedral from their hiding places all over the city.

My question is - would the Mass have been the Sarum Rite, or would an alternative Rite, that of Durham or York?

Jhayes said...

The seats at Cheadle can be seen here: http://www.victorianweb.org/art/architecture/pugin/4l.jpg

More photographs of the interior here http://www.victorianweb.org/art/architecture/pugin/4.html

Ian said...

The track record of generals turned politicians is mixed. Arthur Wellesley saw distinguished service in both capacities, Philippe P├ętain less so.

Jhayes said...

In the Transactions of the Thoroton Society I found this description of the ritual related to the Easter Sepulchre. Pugin's Easter Sepulchre at Cheadle can be seen in this photograph:


"In the Society of Antiquaries’ Archaeologia, of 12th March, 1868, Vol. XLII, page 263, there is an exhaustive account of the Ritual by Alfred Heales, F.S.A. from which much of the following is culled.
Shortly the original ceremony was, in Saxon times, the deposit, in a hollow place with a curtain or door, of the Cross, wrapped in a cloth, on Maundy Thursday, to be kept there until Easter Eve, when “two or more Bretheren remove it singing Psalms.”

In subsequent times three Hosts were consecrated on Maundy Thursday according to the Sarum use, which was the practice most likely to have been followed throughout England and Scotland with some slight variations of ritual. The Office of Rome prescribed two Hosts, which was apparently the custom on the continent of Europe. One Host was then deposited, with the Cross, in the Easter Sepulchre. These were restored to the Altar on Good Friday when, after the Mass of the pre-sanctified, followed by Vespers, they were returned to the Easter Sepulchre, which was thereupon watched with lighted candles until Easter morning. On that day, before Mass and before the ringing of the bells, the Host was carried back to the Altar. “Then they take the Cross out of the Sepulchre and the chief of them begins Christus resurgens and they proceed in procession to the Presbytery,” and the Cross is put once again in its usual place. In the Hereford use, before deposit in the sepulchre, the Cross was laid down before the door and washed with wine and water and then covered with a linen cloth.

This Easter Sepulchre custom was kept up until after the Reformation, as appears by the Visitation Articles of Archbishop Cranmer, 2 Edward VI.

The Easter Sepulchre itself was usually in the north wall of the presbytery, or sanctuary, near the Altar.


Dr Paul Scott said...

I suspect that the biggest giveaway in the Cheadle sedilia is the fact that each seat has an inscription under the seat reading from left to right: Sacerdos, Diaconus, S.Diaconus...