5 December 2008

Am I a Calvinist?

I haven't been inside Oxford's 'Reform Evangelical' church, S Ebbe's, since as an undergraduate, I went to mass there out of curiosity as an undergraduate; but I went there today to a Memorial service. Some nice medieval glass (our blessed Lady; and their great patron S Ebbe) and, in Victorian glass, an anonymous bishop wearing full pontifical Mass vestments and a pallium. How true it is that the Divine Light ejected by the reformers so often sidles (how spelt?) back in through the windows. Homily by a Fr Peter Wilkinson; thoroughly out of kilter with the ethos of the Church of England in that he obviously believed in the Resurrection. What slightly disconcerted me was that he didn't say much about Grace. It was as if his Jesus was the fairy on top of the Christmas tree but not the root and fount of all good and the One who sets all his people free from Adam's trangression. There is always the risk that people who do not explicitly believe in the Immaculate Conception will fall into this mistake.

I found myself wondering whether the shades of Father Calvin would have approved slightly more of my theology than of Fr Peter's. And whether there is much cultus nowadays of S Ebbe. S Ebbe's, since my visit 50 years ago, has lost its Altar (drums instead, framed by the old reredos with its Decalogue), but we could always use S Thomas's, where we still hang on to our altars, for an Extraordinary Form Mass on her feast day (when's that?).

4 comments:

johnreuben said...

According to Alan Thacker's entry in ODNB, Æbbe's feast day is 25 August, but occurs only in some post-conquest calendars, including one from Durham, to which it was added in a thirteenth-century hand. I should also add that it occurs in the calendar of the Aberdeen Breviary (early 16th-c.) on 23 August, and there is a feast of the translation on 2 November.

rev'd up said...

God forbid!

Nebuly said...

'Father Calvin?'

Surely the Genevan was never ordained?

Fr.Ogs said...

... 'he only does it to annoy/ Because he knows it teases!'