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, 1 September 2022

The Funeral of Metropolitan Kallistos

At lunchtime today I watched online the funeral liturgy for Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia - Timothy Ware - which was held at the Oxford Oratory. This ecumenical gesture was doubtless because the Orthodox churches in the city were not large enough to accommodate the great number who would wish to attend to pay their respects and pray for him.

To a westerner, Catholic, the Orthodox tradition of a funeral liturgy that is just an Office rather than a Mass, seems a little strange, but that is their tradition, and obviously to be respected.

The recording of the funeral liturgy can be seen on YouTube at Funeral of Metropolitan Kallistos

I was never actually introduced to him, but he was a familiar sight about OxfordMore than that he was something of a living legend, a status acquired by some, but by no means all Oxford academics of the old school.

I heard him preach on two occasions at Pusey House when I worshipped there. His measured and mellifluous delivery included his mastery of the delivery of the punch lines of the gentle and humerous stories he used, with great elegance, to illustrate his narrative. 

I also heard him speak about Catholic-Orthodox dialogue on one occasion. The difficulties therein were tactfully outlined. He would also appear at talks at Pusey in more recent years on Orthodox topics by speakers such as Fr Andrew Louth from Durham. He was also invited along by the present Archbishop of Birmingham to join in the blessing of the renovated Parish Centre - the Orthodox prayers seemed much longer than the Catholic ones …

Fr Hunwicke recalls Metropolitan Kallistos in his recent post on his blog at Timothy [Metropolitan Kallistos] WARE

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