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.

Tuesday, 2 February 2021

The Ceremonies of Candlemas

Today is Candlemas and the New Liturgical Movement has a contribution from Peter Kwasniewski comparing, and indeed contrasting, the Candlemas ceremonies in the Traditional Roman Rite and those set out in the  Missal of Pope Paul VI. The illustrated post is a valuable contribution to the continuing discussion of these matters, and makes for thoughtful reading and reflection upon the liturgical changes made in the 1960s. It can be read at A Comparison of the Old and New Blessing of Candles on Candlemas

The Presentation in the Temple; Unknown; Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany; about 1030–1040; Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment; Leaf: 23.2 × 16 cm (9 1/8 × 6 5/16 in.); Ms. Ludwig VII 1 (83.MI.90), fol. 28; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. Ludwig VII 1, fol. 28; Rights Statement: No Copyright - United States
The Presentation in the Temple
Regensburg, 1030-40

Image: J Paul Getty Museum

Given the current circumstances it was very good ( until the signal failed...grrr ) to be able to watch live the EF Sung Mass from the FSSP in Warrington this lunchtime. Having read Dr Kwasniewski’s article yesterday and also recalling serving on at least one occasion here in Oxford at a traditional Candlemas liturgy, watching the Mass brought out the points he wrote about very well.

The Presentation in the Temple
Giovanni do Paulo ( 1398-1482 ) 1447
Siena Pinocoteca Nazionale 

Image: Oblates of St Joseph

Candlemas is a feast I have always enjoyed and when I came to Oxford I was to find two new and important reasons to observe the celebration. My college Oriel observes Candlemas as its patronal feast and it was doubtless for that reason that St John Henry Newman founded the English Oratorian community on this day in 1848. He had become an Oratorian as the character of St Philip’s foundation reminded him of his time as a Fellow of Oriel. This evening I had to watch the Oratory Mass for the feast online as the church is temporarily closed because of the coronavirus.

A happy Candlemas to you all.

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