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.