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.

Thursday, 8 September 2022

The battle over the Liturgy

For a considerable while now I have largely refrained from commenting on this site about the conflicts over liturgy in the Catholic Church. This is not because I am not interested - I am - or concerned - I am. The reason is much more that in the torrent of words generated by these liturgy wars I feel just adding more is only very occasionally going to be useful or constructive. Silence may be the better option.

Regular readers will doubtless be aware that I was a keen supporter of Summorum Pontificum and that I much prefer the traditional form of Mass, but do not dispute the validity of the Ordinary Form. That position has consolidated over the period of lockdown and upon reflection, and with increased attendance at the Usus Antiquior. 

With that said I would urge readers to look at a very good article from the Catholic Herald. It is by Dom Hugh Somerville Knapman OSB of Douai Abbey and in a concise and informed way sets out the current situation clearly and magisterially. 

Dom Hugh’s essay can be read at The Emperor’s New-Rite Clothes

1 comment:

John R Ramsden said...

Sometimes I think it would be rather evocative to start a catholic service of baptism in Latin and then, from a key point, break into English or the native language. Conversely, start a funeral service in native language, and at a similar key point towards the end, perhaps where the phrase "earth to earth" is reached, turn to Latin thereafter.

Because more people these days are not very familiar with Latin, this would in a manner of speaking linguistically symbolise the mystery of the creation and start of life and after its end, by contrast with the familiar notion of the lifetime shared with others in between. (Perhaps I haven't explained that very well, but I trust it gives you a rough idea of its intended meaning!)

The C of E, of which I am a nominal member, may no longer have any dispute over the language of its services. But there is still the issue of which prayer book to use. As a traditionalist (or snob, an uncharitable person might call it!), I very much prefer the 1662 prayer book, rather than the recent new-fangled banal replacement(s?), and I know I'm far from alone in that.

John R Ramsden