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.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

The Epiphany of Our Lord

Today is the Epiphany of Our Lord according to the traditional use of the Church.

As I have posted on this day in recent years I, and I think many others, would wish to see a return to the traditional date of January 6th for its observance in the Ordinary Form in England and Wales - and indeed in other countries as well - rather tham transferring it to the Sunday. I do very much hope that the Bishops will resolve to petition ther Holy See for a restoration of the customary dates for Epiphany, Ascension and Corpus Christi in the near future. It is surely not unreasonable to expect the faithful - if such they really are - to go to Mass on a day other than Sunday on three occasions during the year, or if they are in a parochial unit with several churches but only one priest to travel a slight distance - it will certainly not be as far as the Magi travelled.

I was quite happy to observe an anticipated Mass and Vespers of Epiphany in the Ordinary Form last Sunday, though otherwise I said the Office for the Second Sunday after Christmas, but, thanks to the rules governing the Extraordinary Form, I am able to observe this wonderful feast on its proper day, that is today. So, as in previous years, and as I described in my post Epiphanylast year, I am saying the Office for Epiphany, will go to the EF Low Mass at the Oxford Oratory at 12.15 and then, this evening, attend the Sung Mass at SS Gregory and Augustine at 6. Those possibilities do, I realise, make Catholic life in Oxford both richer and easier in practical terms than in many other places, and thanks be to God for that fact.

Adoration of the Magi by Gentile da Fabriano

The Adoration of the Magi

This work in tempera on wood, also called Pala Strozzi, was painted in 1423 by Gentile da Fabriano, and is one of the best known images of the Epiphany. It was commissioned by the wealthy banker and intellectual Palla Strozzi for the family chapel in the church of Santa Trinita.

 Image: uffizi.org

A Happy and Joyful Epiphany to you all.

1 comment:

Ttony said...

Why would the Bishops need to petition Rome? Rome celebrates these feats on their proper days. The Bishops in England in Wales disposed to change the calendar and can quite simply change their minds, as they did with Friday abstinence.