18 July 2023

I bet the NLM, for all its many virtues and excellences, ...

  ... has never dealt with this question (from Merrily by Colin Stephenson):

" Bishop Roscow Shedden ... had been Bishop of Nassau and ... even in old age was a wonderfiul sight in pontifical vestments. ... he loved the music of St. Mary Magdalen's [in Oxford] and when pontificating would get himself settled on the fald stool, his golden mitre on his head, take a large pinch of snuff with purple-gloved fingers, and then sit back with with his eyes closed and a look of beatific contentment on his face."

And I bet those wonderful old Vicars Apostolic, the Challoners ...  took snuff ... and those blue-soutaned Gallican bishops of temp Ludovici XIV ... but I can't find snuff in the index of O'Connell.


The Saint Bede Studio said...

It is said that S. Pius X took snuff ... but it may be a legend.

Zephyrinus said...

Dear Fr. Hunwicke.

“ . . . but I can't find snuff in the index of O'Connell.”

May I, respectfully, suggest that it may be found under “Pontifical Vespers” ?


at a Pinch,

a Greater-Double ?

Gregory DiPippo said...

Indeed, Father, we have never published an article about taking snuff during the liturgy, but I have personally witnessed it during a solemn Mass of Corpus Christi at which I was the MC. In that case it was the subdeacon, once he had settled into his place for the celebrant's reading of the Sequence. I cannot say I was best pleased by the sight of it, but one of the many virtues of worshipping ad orientem is that the faithful were spared.

Inutilissimus Servus said...

"It was the constant practice at Ely to burn incense at the altar in the Cathedral, till Dr. Thos. Green, one of the Prebendaries, and now (1779) Dean of Salisbury, a finical man, who is always taking snuff up his nose, objected to it, under the pretence that it made his head to ache." (Percy Dearmer, "The Parson's Handbook," 1902, p. 31, footnote 3)

PM said...

I cannot help with the question of snuff, I regret to say. But I can offer the NLM and its readers some help in evading Roche's persecutions. If your conscience permits, simply announce that you have become a member of the Chinese Communist Party and the present regime in Rome will give you whatever you want.

Matthew F Kluk said...

Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!

Arthur Gallagher said...

Happy serendipity.
I have been looking at a small box of snuff that I bought at JJ Fox during coronation week,
wondering if I should have a pinch. This is something that I have been doing since I was about 12 years old. I do not think that I have ever finished even the smallest tin of snuff, but every 6 or 7 years, I put a snuffbox in my vest pocket, and a handkerchief up my sleeve, and engage in histrionic tobacco use for comic effect, to the amusement of my cronies in the bar library. Alas, we have all gone virtual now, and there is nobody to get a rise out of. I spend my days alone, waiting for the next remote deposition, or oral argument via zoom. There are no colleagues to argue with about the Lindbergh case, or the best brand of gin, or what we think of Michael Collins, Mayor Walker, or Alfred E. Smith, or to reminisce about dead judges and old time lawyers. But, your post has reminded me that I have an old copy of that book by John Henry Newman, and I am going to read it.

Bede's comment reminds me of what Pius XII is supposed to have thought of Pius X's canonization: that the congregation had better take a closer look at the late pontiff's cause, because Sarto was not only a regular after dinner smoker, but also because he never bought a pack of smokes during his entire reign. Apparently, popes can save money on cigarettes by bumming them off members of the Swiss Guard.

Oliver Nicholson said...

Snuff has not been the same since the closing of Fribourg and Treyer in the High. I particularly enjoyed their √Čtrenne, flavoured apparently with the musk of North African carnations, though the Black Rappee was rather more stimulating.
As to incense at Ely, IIRC Canon Ollard's Dictionary of English Church History records that at one time a footman would perambulate the corridors of Windsor Castle with a censer prior to events and receptions.

Joshua said...

I recall that the sacred ministers at High Mass could take snuff at the sedilia until the end of the Gloria in excelsis, though where on earth I learnt that detail I have no idea. I remember some Dominicans talking of the days when they or their late confreres took snuff, which led to some pretty gross stains on their scapulars.

Joshua said...

As to the comment about what Pius XII made of Pius X's canonization, I can only repeat the Roman joke: Pius X was a saint, and he knew it; Benedict XV was a saint, but he didn't know it; Pius XI wasn't a saint, and he knew it; Pius XII wasn't a saint, but he didn't know it!

Gregory DiPippo said...

Optime Josue, the standard version (which is much more consonant with their respective characters) is as follows:

- Pius X was a saint, but didn't realize that he was a saint.
- Benedict XV was not a saint, and was perfectly well aware of the fact that he was not a saint.
- Pius XI was also not a saint, but didn't realize that he was not a saint.
- Pius XII was a saint, and was perfectly well aware of the fact that he was a saint.

Adrian said...

Dale-Baldeschi notes under 'Rules to be observed by Ecclesiastics in Choir' (Cap 1 art II n 10): "The clergy should comport themselves in choir ... abstaining from everything that would indicate frivolity or irreverence, such as reading letters, talking, giving snuff to each other ...", which seems to suggest that taking snuff during services is not actually prohibited, but that you should keep it to yourself.