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, 14 September 2021

The Care Cloth

Peter Kwasniewski has an interesting article on the New LiturgicalMovement about the “Care Cloth”. This now little known piece of liturgical paraphanalia was, I will admit, new to me but for many centuries it had its special, and significant, place in the liturgy of the Nuptial Mass. 

Dr Kwasniewski explains the history of this cloth held over the newly married couple, or, if in Spanish speaking lands and in the Sarum Use, draped over the head of the bride and the shoulders of the groom at the time of the Nuptial blessing. He also provides a link to a second excellent article on the Canticum Salomonis website which gives more of the history of this practice and some splendid illustrations.

The article and its links can be accessed at The Return of the “Care Cloth” at the Traditional Nuptial Mass

A decade ago I was thurifer at the wedding of two friends who were married according to the forms of the 1962 Missal. Not only was this a happy occasion - and the beginning of a happy and fruitful marriage - but, as I understand, the video of it became something of a liturgical guide and exemplar for those wishing to use that Rite. I thought we had most things that day - not least a superfuity of servers in the sanctuary as well as clergy and the happy couple - but we did miss out on the “Care Cloth”.

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