20 February 2008


From Liturgical Notes
Fr John Hunwicke SSC writes ...

The Oxford Newman Society's colloquium on blogging was great fun; indeed, what a splendid body that society is. How fortunate the Catholic Chaplaincy is to have such a strong, intelligent group with praiseworthy views on everything; one of two bright beacons (the Pusey House congregation is of course the other) in the University (or am I being unfair to leave out the Oratory and Blackfriars?). And how fortunate Oxford is to be so rich in Catholic blogs. I learn a lot from that highly literate and engaging blog, massinformation, run by three Catholic Anglican seminarians. And, of course, there is the New Liturgical Movement to keep us updated on everything truly progressive in liturgical matters; and that's not all. Those with an interest in Dominican liturgy and/or the Anglican Book of Common Prayer can this week hear the great chant Media Vita , sung during Lenten Compline in the Dominican and Sarum (medieval English) rites and incorporated by Dr Cranmer into the Anglican funeral service (it is to be sung by the clerks, or else said, while the body is made ready to be laid into the earth). It can be heard on another great blog, Godzdogz. I wonder if anybody has ever thought of using this Dominican version and melody at Anglican funerals? It would make a lovely change from that nonsense from Scott-Holland about how Death is Nothing, which so many of the bereaved have heard at other funerals that the officiating priest is repeatedly persuaded into allowing it again ... thereby compounding the problem.

It was good to hear Fr Zed; knowledgeable about the Inside liturgical history of the last couple of decades and with his fingers on many pulses internationally. He left us with a strong sense of the grip Pope Benedict has on the cultural life of the Church: in the last year we really have turned a corner. As an Anglican, I found myself thinking: in the late 1960s and thereafter, as the RC Church lurched in the wrong direction in so many areas but especially the liturgical, Anglicans, and not least Catholic Anglicans, deemed it the proper thing slavishly to adopt each newly minted absurdity. Now that things are getting back on the rails in Rome, will the Anglican faith-community follow healthy leadership as readily as then it did the unhealthy? Many of our younger Catholic Anglican clergy are already doing so; but what about the dominant gerontocracy?

A jolly good supper, too, cooked by Mr President Yaqoub himself.

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