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.

Friday, 23 December 2011

O Virgo Virginum

The additional Sarum antiphon for today is:
O Virgo virginum, quomodo fiet istud?
Quia nec primam similem visa es nec habere sequentem.
Filiae Jerusalem, quid me admiramini?
Divinum est mysterium hoc quod cernitis.
O Virgin of virgins, how shall this be?
For neither before thee was any like thee, nor shall there be after.
Daughters of Jerusalem, why marvel ye at me?
The thing which ye behold is a divine mystery.
The first line appears to refer to Our Lady's response to the Archangel at the Annunciation in Luke 1:34, whilst the reference to the Daughters of Jerusalem links to the repeated references to them in the Song of Songs.

1 comment:

Fr. Rupert o.praem. said...

This antiphon is also sung in the Premonstratensian usage / rite. Happy Christmas John, from all of us here.