1 April 2020

Modern Anglican Liturgy

The Christian Year: Calendar, Lectionary, and  Collects (Church House Publishing, 1997, ISBN 0 7151 3799 9) gave Anglicans a very fine text, authorised in Old Mother Damnable for use on today's festival of 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 examples of velox. None but a liturgical genius could have been so served by his own fine instincts as to produce such a masterpiece.

I feel sure that it must come 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. You might call him the Great Anglican Bugnini. Does any reader know whether he, too, belonged to 'The Craft'?

He had begun life as One of Us; opposed to disorders such as the 'ordination' of women. But something led him astray.  I remember to this day the moment when a dear episcopal friend of mine, Christopher Luxmoore, strode into the Senior Common Room during breakfast complaining "Have you heard? Stancliffe has ratted".

The postman, faithful soul, brought Bubbles his mitre the very next morning. 

[Perhaps I have condensed that narrative a trifle ... but notalot ...]

As a somewhat 'rigid' authority might have put it, "Verily I say unto you, he had his reward".

So many of those right reverend b*****ds did.

H/t to Joshua, Liturgiste Extraordinaire,  for his painstaking research.


Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

Ho ho! And with thy spirit.

william arthurs said...

I'm aware that April Fools day has been cancelled this year.

But that is not how I know this is NOT A JOKE !

Scribe said...

Congratulations, Father, on brightening a gloomy 1st of April! The collect reminded me of Fr Cyril Tomkinson, once vicar of All Saints, Margaret Street, who composed the following collect about the rather self-important 'spiritual adviser' John Briscoe:
"O God who hast given unto thy servant John Briscoe a proud look and a high stomach, mercifully grant that as we have been chastened by the rod of his correction, so we may be aided by his condescending intercessions." There was a lot of fun in the old-fashioned Anglo-Catholicism of those times, which produced some splendid eccentrics. Are there any such to be found in the Holy Roman Church since the sad demise of Fr Gilbey?

Colin Spinks said...

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ showed his compassion to the Samaritan woman at the well by his humorous rebuke of her lifestyle, we render thanks to thee for the inestimable gift of ribaldry and japes, especially the erudition of thy servant John Hunwicke. Grant that, through the intercession of All Fools, we may never take ourselves too seriously, but be ever eager to discern those who would make fools of us all; through...

Paul-A. Hardy said...

Father you've outdone yourself and all of you. Thanks for making my day a jolly one.

Sprouting Thomas said...

The stories about the C of E which come out of Fr. Hunwicke and everyone else on this blog are always so enjoyable. Is there some sort of book containing a lighthearted prosopography of the C of E in the 20th century, or even just a bumper book of anecdotes/memoirs, which those of us who are either too young or too distant to hear these stories ourselves can turn to? (It's not gossip if it's history...) Someone here must have an idea!

Father Wilson said...

For a taste of what it was like to be in the AngloCatholic wing of the CofE back in the day, there is the delightful memoir of Fr Colin Stephenson, "Merrily On High." It is a hoot. Fr Stephenson grew up CofE, embraced AngloCatholicism in his school days, was a parish priest, Naval chaplain, then the Warden of the Anglican Shrine at Walsingham. His memoir is just delightful and, Lo! it is in print! Canterbury Press of Norwich publishes it and "Walsingham Way," his history of the shrine. "It may be a trivial record," he writes, "but I hope it is illuminated by love, and I think I have made myself as ridiculous as anyone at whom I have poked fun." Indeed. Don't miss it! -Fr Wilson