So, when the great Oxonian Cardinal is beatified (that's gone a bit quiet, hasn't it?), I shall be able to say in eadem qua Beatus Iohannes Henricus ara et ego litavi; I've said Mass at Bl J H Newman's Altar. Because yours truly kicked off the University Term in the University Church last Thursday morning by celebrating in Latin the 1662 rite (in the very same church in which its author made his last academic appearance before his final appointment outside Balliol in the Broad Street). And what strange Latin. I think the rite was compiled in 1706; it attempts to translate Cranmer's English without very much regard for his Latin originals. The 'standard' latin BCP as used by latinate Anglo-Catholics had more than an eye to Sarum: Vere dignum et iustum est, aequum et salutare. But 'Oxford' has Vere dignum et iustum est, quodque iure debemus. Standard: Simili modo posteaquam coenatum est Oxford: Similiter ... And Standard retains the enim which a Latin dislike of asyndeton inserts into the Words of Dominical Institution; Oxford omits it. Servet instead of custodiat in the Words of Administration seems just plain contrariness.
The stalls at which the congregation knelt had houselling cloths; I wonder if this (like the custom of this Latin Mass itself, about which I wrote an earlier post) is a Tractarian innovation, or a genuine medieval survival.
The Bedell of Medicine led in the Senior ProProctor and the ProViceChancellor; you might deem that a bit of a come-down since the days when the whole majesty of an Anglican University, represented by Proctors and ViceChancellor, was present, but I think it was jolly nice of them to come. And Fr Muddiman, the Assessor. And one of our Oxford subdeacons, Mr Daniel LLoyd, who kindly served, having fished a very nice lacey cotta out of his Gamarelli's carrier-bag. And a congregation very thin on crusty old dons and consisting mostly of keen sensible young people who Know What's Right. I think I spotted the Godmother of Oxford Anglican Catholicism, Miss Alex Vinall, correctly covered by a correct (women's) academic square.
Gummed into the front of the service book was a typed sheet with the vestry prayers, and as I read the one the end of Mass, I realised: it was a Latin translation of the 1928 Prayer Book's Corpus Christi collect. Which, in turn, was an English translation of S Thomas Aquinas' Latin collect.
Anglicanism does have its quaint side. But I venerated with a kiss before Mass the engravings in the vestry of JHN ... and Bl Charles Stuart.