Fr Finnegan can be read here, and Fr Hunwicke's response is here.
Monday, 31 January 2011
Fr Finnegan can be read here, and Fr Hunwicke's response is here.
It was from Fr Hunwicke's blog that I first read about the decision of the Archbishop of Liverpool to return to the apparently historic practice of conferring Confirmation before First Communion. The report on which he based it can be seen in this week's Catholic Herald.
Talking with a friend last night we began to see that this is really quite a complex issue. There is a discussion from 2003 of the issues surrounding First Communion and Confirmation on this Irish website. Last year the present Pope reaffirmed the wisdom in St Pius X's 1910 Quam Singulari Chrustus Amore which ruled in favour of communion at the age of reason, assumed to be at about seven years. Last year also Cardinal Cañizares Llovera was reported as arguing the case for an even earlier age for reception of the Eucharist. His comments are available here.
My initial reaction had been to be in favour of what is proposed in Liverpool, largely on the basis that it represents what I thought to be the historic tradition and is indeed something closer to the practice I knew when I was an Anglican, of baptism, then confirmation, followed by reception of Holy Communion. I was given to understand that it is what St Pius X still envisaged when he encouraged First Communion at a younger age. Of course I know that Eastern practice is different and I have attended an Orthodox baptism where the infant was communicated. That also has an impressive logic. Reflecting on the question makes me less certain as to what I think appropriate.
Sometimes it appears that First Communion becomes Last Communion for a very long time, and the Sacrament of Confirmation is downgraded. As the Irish article I refer to above points out the celebrations around First Communion tend to overshadow those at Confirmation. That was something that in my Anglican upbringing was avoided by making reception of the Eucharist follow on from Confirmation. Maybe the Anglican Patrimony can assist the wider Church here in terms of how growth in the sacramental life can be presented to and accepted by the faithful.
If it is in conformity not only with established traditional practice but the implication of the Acts of the Apostles, that Confirmation completes the Rites of Initiation with its gift of the Holy Spirit, then that can be seen as a prerequisite for First Communion, or it can be seen as something quite independent, and requiring more than the age of reason, but that of discretion. In that case it is indeed a rite of passage, the equipping of the prepared Christian for a mature Christian life. So not just an occasion for a rite-of-passage celebration but an acceptance of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to equip the individual for the life ahead, enabled to make right judgements.
These days there is less of Confirmation being perceived as a social stepping stone for adolescents than it once was, but the sense of it as a dynamic, enabling gift is, I suspect, not strong with many.
Given that situation assembling the confirmands in the cathedral of a diocese for the Ordinary to administer the sacrament stresses its significance and importance. The emphasis is not on it being a Passing-out Parade so much as receiving one's Commission.
Sunday, 30 January 2011
Titles and arms of the Prince of Asturias
Since the proclamation of his father as King in 1975. In 1977, Felipe became Prince of Asturias, the title normally held by the heir to the Spanish throne.
On 21 April 1990, Felipe became the first Bourbon to hold the Aragonese title of Prince of Girona. Formerly no other Bourbon had ever used or even held this title. He is also titled Prince of Viana, Duke of Montblanc, Count of Cervera and Lord of Balaguer.
Titles and honours
- His Royal Highness The Infante Felipe of Spain (1968–1977)
- His Royal Highness The Prince of Asturias (1977–present)
Image: Wakefield MDC Museums
A shilling struck in the castle in the name of King Charles II
Triple portrait of King Charles I by Sir Antony van Dyke 1636
Today is, of course, the anniversary of the beheading of King Charles I in 1649.
His real stature appeared in adversity, above all in his trial and death. Single-handed he stood for the rule of law and the traditional institutions of his kingdom against a revolutionary body whose sole claim to authority was force. Pride's purge had robbed the remaining Commons of real moral or legal authority.
I wonder what will happen with the development of the Ordinariate to the Society of King Charles the Martyr. This society has always drawn upon the Anglo-Catholic community and it will be interesting to see how many members move into communion with Rome. I see nothing inimical in honouring a King who died defending a vision of the Church of England not unrelated to a Catholic position, and who received the loyal support of his Catholic subjects. Several of its patrons are Catholics. Some members of SKCM however may consider that the Martyr King represents an exclusively Anglican tradition with which they will find it hard to break.
Saturday, 29 January 2011
He began by making the point that although there are a considerable number of records of the navy at the time they have not received the attention given to the land armies of the war.
Amongst the many points he illuminated were the problems caused by frequent impressment of vessels, which with consequent losses of ships and to trade meant a gradual decline in the number of ships available. The consequential decline of Great Yarmouth as a port was highlighted. There was the necessity of not disrupting the late summer wine fleet from Bordeaux, vital to Gascon trade and taxes and to English palates. There was the sheer difficulty of knowing where the enemy was so as to fight them - the two fleets, in effect, made an appointment so to do near a harbour - or indeed for the government to know where its own fleet was once it had put to sea.
He dealt with the logistics of transporting men and horses, with provisions, the distances involved, and the contrasting utility of the deep sea English vessels and the more manoeuverable but vulnerable oared galleys of the French and Castillians, or hired in from the Italian maritime republics of Genoa, Venice and, later, Florence.
He also pointed out that Calais, prized possession that it was, and landbridge to the enemy was not necessarily in the best strategic position for land campaigns, or where an invading army might wish to commence activities. For that the Breton ports might be more useful, and hence the English interest there in the fourteenth century civil wars over succession to the Duchy.
The lecture addressed the fourteenth century rather more than the fifteenth, but there was a reference to King Henry V's ship building programme, including the Grace Dieu.
A reconstruction of King Henry V's ship Grace Dieu
Photo: Southampton University
A most enjoyable and elegant lecture was followed by a convivial drinks party in the room of the Society's President - a good way to spend Friday evening stimulating the historical and vineous tastebuds.
In this lecture Prof. Lake looked at the way in which the "secret histories" about Mary Queen of Scots were used to form or shape public opinion and how they came to be used in the trial of the Duke of Norfolk in 1572 and in the discussions in Parliament about his fate and that of the Scottish Queen in that year.
He argued that two of these secret histories were promoted. The first, deriving from Buchanan, depicted Mary as the murderess of her husband, a woman depraved by passion, with Bothwell as her amoral Machiavellian ally, and determined to exercise a tyranny in Scotland, from which her realm had been rescued by the Lords.
The second, deriving from Leslie, met these charges full on, using them to shape the response, but proposing the cynical amoral villain to be the Earl of Moray, determined to seize his legitimate sister's crown, and from whom Scorthetland was delivered by an assassin's bullet.
The former arguments entered into the attack on Norfolk, who was presented as being willing to marry in pursuit of his own ambition the murderess Mary, whom he despised as worth less in income as Queen than he had as Duke. If he was guilty then so was Mary and this could be used to exclude her from the English succession.
The debates in Parliament saw these arguments advanced by the Cecil government, who had a pamphleteer such as Thomas Norton amongst their supporing MPs and those who sought to argue otherwise presented as being crypo-papist. The destruction or maginalisation of the conservative, Catholic-inclined, traditional lords who favoured a Spanish alliance and who had made significant progress politically in the 1560s was very much part of the ruling group's agenda. Excluding Mary of Scots from the succession had been part of their policy since 1562 and was to be a central part of their programme
The Treatise of Treason appeared shortly after, in 1573, and argued that it was Cecil and Lord Keeper Nicholas Bacon who were the villains of the piece, seen as base-born time servers and politiques and coming to the defence of Queen Mary and the by now beheaded Norfolk. In that year the young Christopher Hatton received a letter from a certain TG enclosing an abstract of the Treatise, which the author wanted Hatton to give to Queen Elizabeth. The assumption was that she did not know what was going on in her name, and would not approve of it.
Prof. Lake's lectures are proving a very interesting series and open up the political infighting and use of propaganda in the period.
Friday, 28 January 2011
Fr Blake in Brighton has a judicious and insightful posting about Anglican Orders and how the need for fresh Ordination should be understood. It is written with characteristic humanity, and has generated a number of comments. His article can be read here.
Wimborne Minster is a church of great historic and architectural interest, which I have visited on several occasions since I was a small boy, and for which I have great affection.
John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset KG (+1444) and Margaret, Duchess of Somerset (+1482) Wimborne Minster. Tomb c.1450?
Photo: Roelipilami on Flickr
John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset, born in 1404, was captured at the battle of Bauge in 1421 and remained in captivity in France until 1439. He was created Duke of Somerset and lieutenant of Aquitaine in 1443, and commanded the abortive English invasion of Normandy the same year. He died the following year at St Margaret's Hospital, Wimborne, near his ducal manor at Kingston Lacy. His duchess, Margaret Beauchamp, died in 1482. Their only child, Lady Margaret Beaufort, was the mother of King Henry VII.
The alabaster effigies depict the couple holding right hands, a device more typical of English effigies dating from a hundred years earlier. The two figures are carved from separate slabs (and different stone types) with no obvious join for the hands. The Duke's figure is shown in armour of the 1440s, while style of the Duchess's robes date from the 1480s. This is the likely date of the commission, either by the Duchess or by their daughter.This in turn raises the question: If both effigies were comissioned around 1480 would the the sculptor would have depicted earlier armour on purpose?
However if the two effigies are of different stone types, could they have been made seperately, Duke John first, immediately after his death, and his widow around 1482?
It is not clear when the Duke's effigy was commissioned. A time interval of more than thirty years after his death is a long time, even by fifteenth century standards. Looked at on its own, the male figure could be contemporary with the time of the Duke's death. But both hands couldn't be changed, and it was always intended to hold the image of someone who died later; in this case almost 40 years later. Duffy suggests that it is possible that the male effigy was carved 'in retrospect' using an old suit of armour, old effigy designs. To this the photographer responds that being carved in retrospect was very rare during the fifteenth century, and cannot cite any dated example.
The clasped hands of the Duke and Duchess.
The join between the two effigy slabs can be seen.
Photo: Roelipilami on Flickr
At Framlingham in Suffolk the second and third wives of the fourth Duke of Norfolk lie with a gap between them - he, being beheaded in 1572, never got to join them, and the tomb is a rare example of one that has never been completed. Similarly, in a later age, when the effigy of Prince Albert was carved and installed in the Mausoleum at Frogmore after 1861 one was prepared for Queen Victoria, but not installed until after her death in 1901. When that occurred the effigy had been mislaid at Windsor and was found after a search walled up in the castle. So delay in installation ( or even loss of an effigy) is not inconceivable.
Carving an effigy in the dress of a generation earlier would, I think, be very unusual, although in the fourteenth century sculptors were, apparently, often a generation behind in what they carved - thus actual armour was more advanced than that depicted on effigies. This emerged at a conference I attended in 1993 on Yorkshire figures.
The tomb would have required several stages to assemble. The base is Purbeck marble, so local to the area, but the effigies are of alabaster which would presumablymean they originated in either the Derbyshire-Nottinghamshire area, or have been produced in London and transported to Wimborne.
The choice of the motif of the clasped right hands, chosen, it is clear when the Duke died, or at least his effigy commissioned, may only be a convention, but is, as is pointed out above, one associated with an earlier period - such as the Arundel tomb in Chichester Cathedral from the 1370s. Perhaps we should give the Duke and Duchess the benefit of the doubt and assume there was genuine affection which they wished to embody in stone.
Thursday, 27 January 2011
My first choice was a joint study of those two great matriarchs of the earlier Tudor period, who were also formidable as women in their own right - Lady Margaret Beaufort and Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury.
The tomb effigy of Lady Margaret Beaufort in Westminster Abbey.
Photo: Westminster Abbey
Her friend and confessor Bishop Fisher, who preached her funeral sermon at her month’s mind, said of her “Every one that knew her loved her, and everything that she said or did became her.”
The ODNB biography of Lady Margaret is here. The authors Michael Jones and Malcolm Underwood have written the standard biography The King's Mother (Cambridge 1992) . There is also one on Wikipedia, with links, here.
There is a website about her from the school she founded in Wimborne Minster here; it is of particular interest in that it includes a useful map of her estates, which gives an indication of her political and social influence. The Westminster Abbey website has an article concentrating on her tomb and funeral here.
here. It is by Hazel Pierce who has written a full length life - the first for a long time. The Wikipedia account, again with links, is here.
What struck me was how very similar the two ladies were in so many aspects of their upbringing and personality, and in many, but not all, of their lives. Most notably, of course, Lady Margaret died full of years and honours, the grandmother of the new King and esteemed as a benefactress, whereas Margaret Pole died particularly horribly at the hands of the headsman an attainted traitor - but in reality the victim of Henry VIII's vindictiveness.
Her violent end is a reminder of the extent to which both women lived all their lives in the shadow of violence. Thus Margaret Beaufort lost her uncle, two fathers-in-law, her step father, three male Beaufort cousins, their half brother and a cousin by marriage, two more cousins and finally a brother-in-law on the battlefield or scaffold between 1455 and 1495. Margaret Pole lost both grandfathers, a great uncle, father, two uncles, five cousins, her brother and her eldest son in similar fashions between 1460 and 1539, before she herself suffered in 1541.
As landowners they are proof that aristocratic women (and those of fewer resources than these two exceptional figures) could and did manage great estates and exercise local influence. Under Henry VII Margaret Beaufort was a very substantial landholder and executive presence in the eastern counties. Both enjoyed exceptional status - Lady Margaret as the King's Mother and transmitter of his dynastic claim, signing herself "Margaret R", Margaret Pole, with her restored hereditary Salisbury title as one of only two women in the sixteenth century who did not have a titled husband - the other was the creation of Anne Boleyn as Marquess/Marchioness of Pembroke in 1532. In terms of income she ranked fifth amongst the peerage.
Both were devout women - examples of the aristocratic piety of the age, which included Cicely Duchess of York, grandmother of Countess Margaret, and later on Queen Catherine of Aragon and Queen Mary I. Both were patrons of the Church and learning. In John Fisher, as Lady Margaret's confessor and counsellor, and Reginald Pole, Countess Margaret's son, they had contact with two of the leading English churchmen of the age, both of whom were to become Cardinals.
Margaret Pole was beatified as a martyr in 1886, and it is perhaps surprising that no-one appears to have sought the beatification of Lady Margaret - being Henry VIII's grandmother should not be held against her. I strongly suspect that she would disapprove very strongly of his actions, and given the opportunity in the afterlife to tell him so would not hesitate so to do.
The vault of the chantry chapel the Countess of Salisbury built for herself in Christchurch Priory in Hampshire in 1529. She was actually buried in St Peter ad Vincula in the Tower of London.
Wednesday, 26 January 2011
This gives me an opportunity to share some other sources about the Order. There is an illustrated Wikipedia article about it here.
The Badge of the Order is a gold, ball-tipped Maltese Cross, enameled in white and green, with a gold fleur-de-lys between each arm. In the center is St. Michael crushing Lucifer. The badge hangs from a sky blue riband worn over the right shoulder.
The comments above are from my source Laudem Gloriae (November 2008). I think what is shown is the reverse of the sash badge, whose obverse had the Holy Dove on it. It clearly refers to the linked Order of St Michael
In the Hermitage in St Petersburg is the mantle and costume worn by Emperor Alexander I in 1815.
Costume of the Order of the Saint Esprit (Holy Spirit) for the Ceremony of InitiationOn 25 August 1815 three sovereigns of countries belonging to the anti-Napoleonic coalition - Emperor Alexander I of Russia, King Frederick William III of Prussia and Emperor Francis I of Austria - were initiated into the Order. The costume that Alexander I wore for the ceremony retained traditional features dating back to the 16th century. The colours of the costume had a symbolic significance: green stood for "honour, love and gallantry"; orange represented the sun and gold. The decorative edging of the black velvet mantle has a pattern incorporating a motif of tongues of flame, trophies, fleur-de-lis and the letter H (for Henri III) framed by crowns. The largest motif - the trophy - is appliquè work made up of solid metal plates, flat pieces of foil, sequins, silver and gold threads. The brocade doublet and hose are decorated with silver thread embroidery and sequins.
Emperor Alexander I's embroidered breast star and riband
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
An investiture of the Order in the Chapel Royal at Versailles c.1724
by Nicolas Lancret
Tuesday, 25 January 2011
According to his episcopal register Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln, died at about two hours after noon on January 25th 1431 in his castle at Sleaford in Lincolnshire. He was about 45, and had suffered a stroke.
As he is the subject of my thesis research I always commemorate Bishop Fleming on his anniversary.
Virtually nothing now remains of Sleaford castle other than earthworks and one piece of stonework on the site, which lies on the south western edge of the town.
All that now remains of Sleaford castle is one small, toppled portion of a wall in the north-east corner of the inner bailey.
There are articles about the castle and its history here, and here, and here.
I have taken this reconstruction drawing from amongst the illustrations on the last of these sites:
Following his death the bishop's body was buried in his cathedral in Lincoln, where his cadaver or transi tomb can still be seen.
Photo by Gordon Plumb on Flickr
I believe that I have shown in my research that not only has the appearance of the tomb been changed in more recent centuries but also that as a result its place in the history of English, and European funerary monuments has been misunderstood.
I gather my face conveyed my shock and disapproval of the fact that he did not always receive on the tongue. Our other friend enquired of him why he thought priest's hands were anointed if not to signify the sacredness of the eucharistic species.
Having found my voice I quoted Bl. Teresa of Calcutta:
"Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receiving Communion in the hand."
As it happens I was recently pointed to a website called, slightly misleadingly, Communion in the Hand which explains why one should not receive in that manner.
I moved to reception on the tongue back in 1997 whilst I was still an Anglican precisely because I accepted the Catholic arguments about the Eucharist. Theology, tradition and practicality are all in favour of that mode of receiving. I get the impression that it is very much a generational thing, and also, I think, gender related. I am not suggesting we all start look as to who receives how, but some people might be encouraged to think at a higher level than that of contemporary kitchen hygene.
Monday, 24 January 2011
Examples of the black mantles embroidered with flames worn by knights of the Order on ceremonial occasions can be seen in the Louvre. In Bernard Fay's biography Louis XVI there is a reproduction of a painting of the knights paying homage to the King. It was in his reign, in 1778, that the bicentenary of the Order was celebrated and a commemorative medallion in silver produced by P.A.F. Tardieu.
King Louis XVI in 1786
portrait he is wearing with it the French Military Order of St Louis, founded in 1693. The red riband of that order was copied for the Napoloeonic and later Legion d'Honneur.
The chivalric orders of the monarchy were abolished by the revolution, but restored by King Louis XVIII. Amongst the recipients in those years were Britons such as King George IV and the Duke of Wellington. After 1830 the historic Orders were not retained under the Orleanist monarchy, although ocasionally worn and bestowed by the heirs of King Charles X.
In recent decades the Order has been revived, worn and bestowed by the Dukes of Anjou in respect of their claim through descent from King Philip V of Spain. In the photograph below, which shows him and his wife the present Duke of Anjou of that line, Louis Alphonse, who would claim to be King Louis XX can be seen wearing the riband and star of the Order, as well as a collar of the Order of Malta.