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.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Conferring the Diaconate

This morning Bishop Alan Hopes will ordain 21 former Anglican clergy to the Diaconate for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in Westminster Cathedral. Amongst them is my good friend John Hunwicke.

To mark the occasion I am posting a painting by the Catalan artist Jaume Huguet (1412-92) from his Retaule de Sant Vicenç de Sarrià‎, of 1455-60 which is now in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona.

In this panel St Vincent is ordained as deacon by his Bishop, St Valerius of Saragossa:



As with contemporary late medieval Netherlandish and German art I delight in the details of liturgy and contemporary life and costume such paintings record. As a painting it is a splendid representation of the beauty of medieval ritual and practice.

 As with the great Lisbon panels depicting St Vincent, themselves of the 1460s, the use of a red pileus is shown - is this, I wonder, an indication of membership of the episcopal familia and the equivalent of a Monseigneurial or canonical biretta today?

May St Stephen, St Lawrence and St Vincent join us in praying for these new Deacons.

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