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 13 April 2011

Lenten array - a further observation

It occurred to me last night that in my researches on the Lenten array for my posts Passiontide veils and Lenten array and Vexilla regis prodeunt no-one appeared to make the point, which indeed had not fully dropped as a penny in my failing wits until then, that it is not just, as is argued, that the Lenten array is ashen in colour, but rather than unbleached linen is of such a texture and hue as to be reminiscent of sackcloth and of ashes, the ancient symbols of repentence. Thus it is not just a case of forswearing the use of silken hangings for the altar but of the church as a building as well as a community repenting in sackcloth and ashes during Lent and Passiontide.


The Lenten array at the Catholic church of St Birinus Dorchester on Thames

Image:Lawrence Lew on Flickr

Once the thought came to my mind I realised that I do not think I have seen the point made in print - though it doubtless has been - so I thought I would share it with anyone who might be interested.

1 comment:

Joseph Shaw said...

Wow John this pic must have been taken ages ago - before the Rood Screen was polychromed. You can see what the Rood Screen looks like now, with the Lenten Array pulled back, here.