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.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Conclusion of the Forty Hours at the Oxford Oratory

The Oxford Oratory website now has a splendid series of photographs of the conclusion of the Forty Hours yesterday. I think it worthwhile reproducing the series, with congratulations to the photographers for taking such excellent pictures unobtrusively, and with a few additional comments of my own.

"So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
                  To see your strength and your glory"  (Ps 62)

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The Forty Hours' prayer before the Blessed Sacrament concluded yesterday evening with Solemn Vespers, sung antiphonally by the clergy and the choir as well as the congregation, a procession around the church and Benediction.

The congregation was sizeable, but I do feel sorry that more people do not come along to join in such a wonderful series of acts of devotion and to celebrate their Faith.

Solemn Vespers of the Blessed Sacrament:

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The Officiant was the Provost Fr Daniel, the Cantors Fr Dominic and Br Oliver.

The Procession took the Blessed Sacrament, the clergy and congregation round the interior of the church - which tends to feel too small on these occasions:

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Br. Gregory Davies O.Praem., a Canon Regular of Prémontré, from St Philip's Priory in Chelmsford, who is studying in Oxford and Br Adam  Fairbairn C.O., from the Oratory at St Wilfrid's in York, established by the Oxford Oratory


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Images: Oxford Oratory

This was a beautiful and moving conclusion to the Forty Hours, the effect of the whole weekend being a reinvigoration of one's sense of devotion to Our Lord in His Sacramental Presence.

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