Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding.

I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop...
It was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Usus Antiquior Mass for the Annunciation at the Oxford Oratory


Yesterday evening the 6pm Mass for the Annunciation at the Oxford Oratory was a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form. This has been established as the practice on this particular feast day at the Oratory in recent years. 

The congregation was a good one in numerical terms - not just those who particularly favour the Usus antiquior, but many others drawn from the regular congregation, and considerably more than would usually be present for either the usual 6pm Mass or a celebration in the EF at 12.15 on a feast day. 

This must be a good sign that people are once more getting used to the Extraordinary Form, and the argument that it "puts people off", if it ever had any validity, is shown to be more than ever invalid or a piece of special pleading.


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