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.

Monday, 12 October 2020

Of Sacraments and Sacramentals

The FSSP has come up once more with an excellent Minute Missive, this time on sacraments and, more central to the article, sacramentals.

The author, Fr Rock, shows the difference between the two, but in doing so shows that sacramental dare not “second class” means of grace, and indeed may be very rich sources of it. They have been created by the Church - which one holds to be of Divine origin - to sanctify many aspects of life, from the means used to accompany the sacraments as in chrismation and in the anointing of monarchs* down to the blessing of a humble rosary.

It is a valuable and elegant exposition and can be seen at Sacraments and Sacramentals

* The Council of Trent defined as such only the traditional Seven Sacraments, thus excluding it.  In contrast the French referred to their coronation rite as the ‘Eighth Sacrament’, Le Sacre, and I can see that the anointing of Old Testament Kings such as Saul, David and Solomon could be interpreted as a direct Divine command to Samuel and to Zadok.

In the Investiture Contest Popes and Papal propagandists denied sacramentality to regal consecration, seeing it as being a sacramental.