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, 9 April 2020

Tenebrae in Warrington 

Normally in Holy Week I attend Tenebrae on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday at Blackfriars. This year that is obviously not happening and, following the suggestion of a friend, I signed up to the FSSP app iMass ( for the princely sum of £1.99 ) and was able to virtually attend Tenebrae at their Shrine of St Mary in Warrington this morning.

I only know this clearly very impressive church from photographs or now from livestreaming and I would very much like to visit it. The Office was sung with appropriate gravity in what is a beautiful setting, and provided a fine introduction to the Triduum.

As I remarked earlier today in an e-Mail to a friend livestream coverage has meant that I have been able to virtually attend Mass at the Oratories in Oxford, York and Bournemouth, Vespers and Benediction in Oxford, Benediction the other Sunday and an excellent Penance Service in Bournemouth yesterday and today Tenebrae in Warrington. I added that I feel a bit like St John Henry Newman’s hymn about St Philip Neri n’er leaving his cell in Rome and yet how he journeyed and journeyed on, and now at last he’s here.

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