Use of Sarum in Oxford

David Llewellyn Dodds posted a comment about an upcoming event in Oxford. I have deleted the comment because it was off-topic in the thread in question, but of sufficient interest to turn it into a new posting.

Fr. John Hunwicke has posted

I gather that, this coming Saturday, October 20, there is a free Conference in the Queen’s College about the Sarum rite, and particularly the Lady Mass. Coffee 10.15; Opening 10.50.

“3-4.30: a performance of the Lady Mass (including Nicholas Ludford’s Saturday Lady Mass). The publicity does not make clear whether this is an actual Eucharistic celebration; nor, if it is, what the status of the ‘celebrant’ is!

“Those planning to attend should have emailed by last Saturday, but I expect…

Commenters there have more information and links, e.g., “Their website says

“Please note that the Mass is open to all and you don’t have to register for the full study day in order to attend.”

Some of the comments on Fr Hunwicke’s posting give links to the study day and the Mass, which will certainly be celebrated by a Church of England priest.

I’m afraid I will not be in England this weekend. Had I been, I would have had to give higher priority to the People’s Vote demonstration in London. All the same, there it is, and it is good to see interest in the Use of Sarum continuing in Oxford.

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13 Responses to Use of Sarum in Oxford

  1. warwickensis says:

    Glad to know that something orthodox and proper is happening in Oxford.
    Contrast this wonderful event with

    • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

      “Certainly this is not the education that you will receive in Oxford!” Or, perhaps, this is not certainly the education that you will receive in Oxford. In my day (as English Faculty student) I was grateful for the Patristics lectures I could freely attend by Dr. Ware and Dr, Louth, for example. I’m sadly out of touch, now. And I did not attend that many University Sermons, then (though I remember sometimes attending with Dr. Winch, who would go to hear a given preacher and discreetly pray the Office, as not participating in a C of E service of Holy Communion). I would very much like to read a history of the University Sermon, though (especially in the Twentieth- and Twenty-First-centuries)! And something in general about preaching in the Diocese of Oxford, too. For example, how do Christian lay members of the University (e.g., C.S. Lewis, in his day) come to preach in Chapels and Churches? Are they somehow ‘clerics’ as members?

      Your and Adrian Hilton’s posts make me keener than ever to read more of the works of St. Paul of Antioch, Bishop of Synod (and those who followed up his work in the years thereafter) – oh, for easy access to a really good library!

  2. Caedmon says:

    Does anyone know if services from the Latin Prayer Book of 1559 are ever held in Oxford or Cambridge?

    • William Tighe says:

      Fr. Hunwicke would know, since he once preached the (annual?) Latin sermon at Oxford. However, I have the impression that the 1560 Liber Precum Publicarum which cobntained many deviations from the English 1552/59 Prayer Books (some of them “1549-ish” and, IIRC, the absolution from the 1548 Order of Communion”) was later superseded by a more literal Latin translation of the Prayer Book.

      • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

        In Oxford, in my day, there was, as far as I recall, a termly Latin BCP service of Holy Communion, which I now kick myself for never attempting to attend – but I can’t remember if it was clearly posted which Latin translation was used.

  3. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    It being over by now, it suddenly occurs to me to wonder if anyone has recorded/filmed it, for posting online?

    I find there is a “Nicholas Ludford – Topic” YouTube account including recordings of (parts of) various Mass settings, among which a ‘Missa Dominica’ – but I have not yet looked further afield to see if I can tell if that is the same ‘Saturday Lady Mass’ as sung at Queen’s.

  4. William Tighe says:

    According to a comment on Fr. Hunwicke’s blog, this Sarum “Lady Mass” was “celebrated” by a priestess. Had I been present at it, I would have walked out as soon as I perceived it:

    Jacob Hicks said…

    The celebrant will be the chaplain, M(o)th(e)r Katherine Price.
    20 October, 2018

    • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

      Yes, that would also make the experience of a film or, unless she has a very manly voice, even audio recording, discombobulating.

      What would a proper solemn celebration with Ludford setting as sung in a Sixteenth-century convent sound like? Priest and Deacon chanting alternating with nuns in choir singing the Ordinary as set by Ludford?

    • Dale says:

      Unfortunately, this does not surprise me.

    • As I said, had I travelled to the UK yesterday, it would have been to go to Westminster for the People’s Vote demonstration. In short, it is a good idea to find out about things before going to them.

  5. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    The more I think about it, the more I wonder if we can contrast two ways of attempting to make the Use of Sarum something living (not just ‘demo’ attempted historical reconstructions – as interested and moving as those can be: e.g., the Taverner Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas CD by Andrew Parrott and the Taverner Choir) – yours and, e.g., the whilom attempt in Oxford on the one hand, and this as an emphatically ‘WO up-to-date’ C of E undertaking.

    • This is something I have been concerned about for years: celebrating Sarum in exactly the same spirit in which a Dominican celebrates in his rite or a Milanese priest celebrates the Ambrosian rite Mass in a church in that part of Italy. Sarum is not copying everything from the early 16th century, but bringing it into a later historical context. Compare it with the Norman usages. Fr Montgomery understood this very well.

      • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

        And now Fr. John Hunwicke reports on the day, including, “Above all, to have female voices chanting fifteenth century presbyteral and diaconal texts is historically and, surely, musically inauthentic”:

        And Mark in the comments gives a further detail: “the pax board being an icon” (!)

        I have been in more than one mixed choir where some of the women were most comfortable singing tenor, but nothing like that, here, apparently. (It gets me wondering about the lore of ‘Pope Joan’ – into which I have never looked very far – and any possible attention there to such liturgical details.)

        He also in fact raises the intriguing question as to what people have done historically when encountering abbreviations or monograms, aloud or inside themselves: use what they ‘stand for’ or the names of the letters? There’s probably a monography of the matter, but I wonder where one would look? (E.g., the online Vulgate I usually consult has “alpha et omega” in Apocalypsis Ioannis 1:8, but the Nestle NT I have nearest to hand (Editio decima,1930) gives the Greek minuscules in the Vulgate, but the Greek has ‘alpha’ spelt out but the minuscule of omega – with majuscule omega and ‘telos’ spelt out (!) as variants in the apparatus.)

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