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.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

O radiosum lilium

Yesterday evening I went to the Mass for the feast of St Thomas Aquinas at Blackfriars here in Oxford - it seemed an appropriate homage to the Angelic Doctor.

The liturgy was the combination of Mass and Vespers they use on such feastdays- sometimes it is referred to as "Masspers".

Although I would not personally combine Mass and Office in such a way this was a dignified celebration, with Fr Richard Conrad OP as celebrant and preacher, and had an enhanced liturgical solemnity to commemorate the Order's greatest theologian.

The occasion was prayerful and reflective, inviting the congregation to ponder the philosophical and theological achievements as well as the mystical and Eucharistic insights of the saint described in the Alleluia as the Radiant Lily.

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