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, 3 February 2012

A move in the right direction

Yesterday evening at the Solemn Mass at the Oxford Oratory for Candlemas the Fathers re -instituted the practice of the celebrant and sacred ministers facing ad Dominum - one cannot say ad orientem as the church, due to its site, is arranged facing westwards; perhaps ad occidentum? - at such celebrations of the Novus ordo liturgy. The practice will be followed at the 11 am Solemn Mass on Sundays amd other similar celebrations in the Novus ordo, but the Sunday 9.30 and 6.30 as well as weekday Masses will continue to be ad populum.

We have had occasional celebrations beforehand in this manner - the Masses at the Forty Hours Devotion or in preparation for days of Exposition in Lent for example when the altar is arranged for the monstrance - but this is a significant move. It is one which I very much welcome, and, trite as this may appear as a statement, it looked and seemed right - indeed dignum et justus est.

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