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, 6 January 2017

Surge illuminare

" Surge illuminare"  - Rise your light has come [Isaiah 60 v.1] - is a text traditionally used at the feast of the Epiphany and provided the text for the first sermon preached by Richard Fleming as a member of the English delegation before the Council of Constance on this day seven centuries ago in 1417.

council of constance

Meeting of scholars, bishops, cardinals and Pope John XXIII (antipope) in the cathedral of Constance i.e. before John's deposition in May 1415.

Image:indianapublicmedia.org/Fb78 (wikipedia)

Chronicle of the Council of Constance [1414-1418] by Ulrich Riechental, Fol. 007r, c.1470s

A procession of clergy and religious at the Council of Constance
From the Chronicle of Ulrich von Reichental ( MS of c.1470)

Image: Pinterest

At that stage in the Council celebrating the liturgy and listening to sermons whilst they manoevered behind the scenes appears to have been th emain occupation of the Council Fathers. For Fleming this was his first, but by no means his last as a preacher in the cathedral. 

There is an account of the building in which the Council met and of its subsequent development and history at Konstanz Minster

The romanesque nave with its pillars of the basilica was built between 1052 and 1089, is the core  of the cathedral. Over the centuries the cathedral was altered and enhanced. In 1435, the side aisles of the nave were vaulted, followed by the main nave in 1680. In the baroque era, the middle choir was plastered and gilded. In 1856 the western Gothic tower pyramid was built.


 The interior of the cathedral today


The west front of Constance Cathedral before the restoration of 1856

Image: Godzdogz 


The cathedral today

Image: Wikipedia

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