22 November 2021

S Andrew is Imminent. But I am puzzled.

 I gather Eamon Duffy has published yet another volume of his Collected Papers, including one which refers to the "rebellions" under poor Bessy Tudor. Time to visit Blackwells, find a comfy chair, and read it! I love the little detail that it was on S Andrew's Day that the "rebels" restored the Catholic Religion to Durham Cathedral. Will Duffy mention that?

S Andrew may be the Patron of Scotland, but his cultus was an enormous part of the Augustinian Mission to Anglia. He is a very popular Dedication in England; the Leofric Missal, which probably began life as a Canterbury pontifical, even includes a special Secret and Preface of S Andrew for use in the Consecration of Churches. Here is the Preface, for those of you who are interested in such things.

VD ... Obsecrantes ut haec atria tuis initianda sacramentis propitius semper aspitias et implorantibus opem tuam misericors largiaris praecipue cum huius basilice presul adscitus venerabilis andreas oblator existat. Qui beati petri principis apostolice dignitatis et felicibus uitae primordiis et caelestis honore collegii et magnifico permanet fine germanus.

"Praying that thou wilt ever look upon these courts which are to be hallowed for [or by?] thy sacraments, and, merciful, wilt grant thy help to those who ask it, particularly since worshipful Andrew adopted as the bishop [Patron?] of this basilica is offerer. Who remains the brother of blessed Peter Prince of Apostolic dignity both in the happy beginnings of life and in the honor of the heavenly college and in their magnificent end."

This stumblingly literal rendering will reveal how many points there are at which I am not really sure what precisely the author is getting at. But the last sentence, in my view, is a lovely piece of Latin, which makes me feel that it is worth the effort to try to suss out the rest.

For example ... I was tempted to emend oblator to orator. But oblator does exist in ecclesiastical Latin from Tertullian onwards.

So I invite the competent ... put away the Times crossword ... drop your Sudoku ... do it now ... here are some worthy puzzles.





William Tighe said...

"Will Duffy mention that?"

Yes, he does.

William said...

I think you are referring to this passage in Professor Duffy’s ‘A People’s Tragedy’:

‘The moving spirit in Durham itself seems to have been Cuthbert Neville, assisted by the priest William Holmes, who orchestrated a campaign of re-Catholicization from their base in the castle on Palace Green. None of the local clergy were, of course, able to celebrate Mass, since all were excommunicate schismatics. The St Andrew’s day Mass in the cathedral was celebrated by Robert Pearson, one of four clergy in the earl’s entourage who between them seem to have presided at all the cathedral Masses.’

Stephen v.B. said...

Although 'bishop' is the more usual ecclesiastical sense of the word pr(a)esul, 'patron' (or 'protector') is surely right in this context. And I *think* tuis ... sacramentis is a dative here ('... consecrated to thy mysteries', indirect object, not a dative of agent).

The choice of oblator is interesting. I take it this alludes to the motif of offerimus/offerunt in the Te igitur, which is taken up by Quam oblationem. St Andrew is, of course, mentioned right in between, in the Communicantes.

As I read it, this Preface emphasizes that - as one of the saints 'in communion with whom' the Sacrifice is offered - St Andrew forms part of the 'offerers', which should reasonably make the offering even more acceptable in the eyes of God.

Mike Sheil said...

Dear Fr. Hunwicke,

I have been looking at online photos of the text in the Leofric Missal, and the only thing I am able to see which might have some bearing on this is that there was a correction made in the text to give the word 'oblator'. The initial 'o' appears to have begun life as an 'a'. Additionally, between the bowl of the 'b' (and touching it on the right-hand side) and the 'l', there seems to have been a now-erased upright. The scribe seems to have written 'adlator' first. When it was corrected to 'oblator', whether it was minutes or years later, I have no clue. I realise that this change would add no additional clarity (the meaning being essentially the same, I think), and I may be mistaken entirely. I thought it worth mentioning, though, if you had not noticed it yourself.
In case you have not looked at the manuscript closely, here is a link:


The text is at the top of fol. 283v, if the link does not take you there immediately.

Finally, since this is all conjecture on my part and may not not be anything worthwhile, I prefer that this comment not be published.

Thank you,

Michael Sheil

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Michael: if you permit, I would prefer to enable your comment, for which I thank you very much. At least, it is clear that the text was obscure! The HBS edition makes no reference to the rasura.

Mike Sheil said...

Dear Father,
Yes, you have my permission to publish my earlier comment.
I mentioned this preface to one of my lecturers when I was in her office this afternoon. She turned and pulled the HBS edition off her shelf! We also saw that there was no mention of the rasura.
I am delighted that you would like to publish it.
Thank you,