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.

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Finishing touches to the new altar at the Oxford Oratory

The Oxford Oratory website has more pictures about the furnishing of the new altar in the Sacred Heart Chapel which was consecrated last week. The following text and images are from the website.

Finishing touches: our new Sacred Heart Altar contains a tabernacle for occasional use when a bishop says Mass at the High Altar or as the Altar of Repose during the Easter Triduum. Olga Watkin (@filaurum) has been working away at a beautiful new tabernacle veil that will let us know when Our Lord is present.

“Almighty everliving God, we humbly entreat your majesty to consecrate with your blessing this tabernacle made to contain the body of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; through Christ our Lord. Amen.” 

After the consecration the new altar is a mess of water, ash, salt, wine, chrism, incense and melted wax! A cloth soaked in wax is put down first to protect the upper cloths from stains, then three linen cloths are used to dress the altar. Continuing the idea that the altar with its five crosses represents Christ’s body with five wounds, these remind us of the three linen cloths used to wrap Our Lord’s body in the tomb. The top cloth has been newly made by Ann Bailey to ensure a perfect fit.

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