28 January 2008

NOTES AND QUERIES

1. St Alfred the Great ... have you ever met him? Liturgy and Worship(1932), commenting on the abortive 1928 Anglican Prayer Book, says 'No precedent for including in a Calendar of Saints ... The proposed insertion of Alfred may be ... showing a desire for (quasi-)canonisation on the part of the post-Reformation Church of England'. Common Worship now authorises him on October 26. I was therefore amazed to find this 'saint' also accorded an optional memorial on October 26 by the local calendar (2002) of the Roman Catholic diocese of Northampton. Comments?!? Implications?


2. We are told that the Holy Father is going to revise the Good Friday prayer for the Jews in the 1962 Missal. Since a pope wrote that prayer, it can hardly (whatever SSPX may say) be beyond the competence of a pope to rewrite it. And because of ecumenical tactfulness the term 'blindness' (obcaecatione) has long been regarded with suspicion. But there do seem to me to be big questions here. It is definitely the teaching of the NT that Jews who do not accept Christ are blinded (Romans 11:25; Ephesians 4:18(caecitatem); and see 2 Corinthians 3:7-18). Do critics of traditional liturgy dislike it because, as they sometimes seem to say, it is insufficiently biblical, or because it is too biblical? I think we should be told.


3. My post on liturgical confusions ... last night I went to the very decent Evensong they do at the Oxford Oratory ... all from the old breviary; so that, for example, it being Sexagesima, we did not say alleluia after the opening versicles. But the celebrant wore green! And did I do very wrong to celebrate in S Thomas's on Monday morning an extraordinary form Mass ... but of S Thomas Aquinas? Is the question of Calendar for birituals not a priority for the Ecclesia Dei Commission?



4. My post on the Mystery of Faith ... yes, I know I should not make unilateral changes in the Mass. My rather unconvincing plea can only be that there is currently a lot of confusion about what the priest says before the Acclamation in the Church of England, for the reasons I explained, and going for what Rome has said will be in its new translation seemed one way of cutting a Gordian knot. But ...



5. Gregory of Langres knows he's got it wrong (http://massinformation.blogspot.com/). It is wearing a maniple that kills kittens. A pity Alcuin Reid forgot to mention this in his revision of The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite. I am redrafting the Latin vesting prayer said while donning the maniple so that all will be clear for future generations of neo-ordinati.

5 comments:

Orielensis said...

If my memory serves me aright King Henry VI sought the canonisation of King Alfred in a petition to the Pope. Although the process made little progress it does point to a concern to get formal; recognition of Alfred as a Saint. I am unsure as to whether there was a cult of Alfred at his tomb at Hyde Abbey - if there was it appear to have made less impact on the historical record than that of some other later medieval cults of deceased rulers and rebels. However this would suggest that there is some precedent for the diocese of Northampton in this respect, however slight.
I would agree that this is very much a case of the diocese creating its own saints - perhaps not inappropriate in the ninth century, but certainly less so today in the light of certain subsequent canonistic developments.
One might ask "Why Northampton?" as its diocesan territory does not include Alfred's effective realm - more likely candidates would be dioceses such as Portsmouth, Clifton and Plymouth, which include the heartland of Wessex. Perhaps the Northampton inclusion refers to Alfred's treaty with Guthrum and the conversion of the Danish leader to Christianity, with Alfred acting as his godfather. Guthrum's territory of the Danelaw does include the modern diocese of Northampton.

Gregory of Langres said...

If only, Father!

Athanasius of Alexandria said...

1. How odd. Perhaps they confused him with Albert the Great (who may not have been Great at all, but rather surnamed de Groot: Mr Big, if you like). Were there any miracles associated with Alfred?

3. I think the calendrical difficulties, as well as those potentially associated with canon law (what is a subdeacon? who may be an acolyte?) will have to be addressed.

4. It is, at least, a logical working-out of a difficult question.

5. Gregory of Langres simply needs to be convinced about the necessity of the symbolism and use of maniples. I'm sure this is possible...

Pierre BĂ©langer said...

Since a pope wrote that prayer, it can hardly (whatever SSPX may say) be beyond the competence of a pope to rewrite it.


SSPX do not contest the jurisdiction of the Pope in this matter. They might object that the change is unwise, unnecessary, unbiblical, uncharitable, but not that it's illicit.

Gordo the Byzantine said...

" It is definitely the teaching of the NT that Jews who do not accept Christ are blinded (Romans 11:25; Ephesians 4:18(caecitatem); and see 2 Corinthians 3:7-18). Do critics of traditional liturgy dislike it because, as they sometimes seem to say, it is insufficiently biblical, or because it is too biblical? I think we should be told."

Father,

One wonders, though, if the reference to the blindness of the Jews when the New Testament were written applies to every age in the same sense. It is one thing to ascribe blindness (including a moral blindness) to the generation that rejected the Messiah at His manifestation to Israel. But I am not sure that the same thing should be said in the same way regarding subsequent generations nursed on anti-Christian bias in their Synagogues.

Just a thought...

In ICXC,

Gordo