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.

Friday, 17 September 2021

Kissing the Pax

Few things have been, ironically, more contentious with the man or woman in the pew in the Novus Ordo and its derivatives than the Sign of Peace. 

I recall in my heyday at Pusey House the then Sacristan produced a small but strategically situated poster outside the chapel based on a traffic sign with a pair of clasped hands enclosed in a red circle and cancelled with a diagonal red line .,,. this was a Peace Free Zone.

The medieval custom followed until relatively recently was that of the server offering the osculatorium for the lips of those present at the Peace. Shawn Tribe on the Liturgical Arts Journal has an article about these items, with a splendid series of pictures of examples. Unfortunately beyond their date he adds nothing about their origin or present location. Those who follow this blog or know me will not, I think, be surprised that far and away my favourite is the first one, from 1434.

The article can be viewed at The Pax (Osculatorium or Tabula Pacis)

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