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.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Usus Antiquior at Greyfriars

Last night I was at Greyfriars in Oxford for a High Mass in the Extraordinary Form.


The church from Iffley Road

Isisbridge photostream on Flickr

This was celebrated as part of the events to mark the centenary of the church, which was built in 1910-11 and blessed on July 15th 1911, with first Mass being celebrated there the following day. Built originally to replace the old mission church of St Ignatius by the Jesuits the church and parish was transferred to the Franciscans in 1928. This year also appears to be the four hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the Jesuit mission at Waterperry House in the southern part of the parish in 1611, from which the Oxford Catholic parish developed.

The interior of the church

Image from the Greyfriars website

The church is a handsome building in a romanesque style and has had considerable redecoration to mark the centenary, and great efforts had been made to enhance the church with flowers for the occasion. Those of us who had gone to help were made very welcome by the friars and the parish community.

The parish priest, Fr Ambrose, had been anxious to have a Mass celebrated as it would have been in 1911, and so last night there was a votive in the usus antiquior of St Edmund of Abingdon, who, together with St Frideswide, is the patron of the church. The celebrant was Fr Aldo Tapparo, parish priest of St Anthony of Padua in Headington. Music was provided by members of the Schola Abelis - one of whom remarked on seeing those of us who were assisting that the 'Traddy rentamob' were very much in evidence.

I was thurifer, as I was on the previous occasion this year in May when the usus antiquior was celebrated at the church, which I posted about in Pious exercises. Well, as I have been known to say, once a boy has a little black dress he can serve anywhere. One of the community was taking photographs of the Mass and I hope that, if I can find them, I can post some online.

Following the Mass there was a reception in the parish hall and a chance to meet up with old freinds both from Greyfriars and from the 'Traddy rentamob.'


Joseph Shaw said...
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Joseph Shaw said...

My photos of this great event are uploading right now: see here.

Once I Was A Clever Boy said...

Many thanks for the link, which I will publish on the blog.