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.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

The Rood Loft and the Liturgical Gospel

Recently I came across a post on Allan Barton’s excellent Medieval Art blog about the use to which the Rood loft was put in English churches before the mid-sixteenth century liturgical revolution, or more specifically, the question as to whether or not the Gospel was sung or read from it at High Mass.

The instances he gives and the various possibilities and difficulties involved in such a practice are set out clearly, and, I must add, coincide with my thoughts on this matter as a result of visiting many medieval churches over many years.

As he indicates the answer is not clear as to a uniform practice - and probably never was in parish custom or usage.

His post has some fine illustrations of surviving screens and those seemingly so cramped stairs to the lofts, and it can be viewed at The Rood Loft and the Liturgical Gospel

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