5 June 2010

Its High Summer ...

...has at last hit the Oxford Trinity Term. Pam and I went to the Varsity Match in the Parks to see the University beat Cambridge in the 20/20. The trees were in their full glory, the Pimms tasted wonderful, there were some soaring sixes and some beautiful wickets. "The Sultan" led the University; goodness me, what would English and Oxford Cricket be if it weren't for the Honourable East India Company? The bumping races on the River ... a fortnight ago ... have been deftly infiltrated by the daughters of the New England plutocracy, delightful ever in the clarity of their diction; Cricket, on the other hand, seems impervious to the dollar. Vivat Imperium Britannicum.

And, it being high summer, I am wearing our best white chasuble and set. It is falling apart, but ... well, what is the point of just leaving it in some dark drawer? French eighteenth century; the crosses on stole and maniple just like the Cross of the Saint Esprit; flowers hand-emboidered on white silk; light as a feather. I once made a self-denying ordinance to wear it only four times a year, but I have broken that, and this year have the set out of the chest for the period between our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces and the Sacred Heart. How I wish it could tell its tale; of the artists who created it; of the priests who used it; of the people in whose churches it was worn.

Quorum animabus propitietur Cor Sacratissimum Iesu.

3 comments:

David said...

Over here in the colonies it is so hard to get Pimms No. 1. How I envy you!

So you are wearing out a fine old set of vestments. Tch! Tch! Father! You are breaking the rules. When a fine set of new vestments arrives they are to be put away for special occasions (which, of course, rarely occur). After a number of years of such preferred treatment at a mystical moment known only to the angels they become old and frail. Vestments which are old and frail can't stand up to normal wear so they are put away for special occasions (which, of course, rarely occur). They can have a long life this way unless the parish is visited by the Protestant reformation or by Vat II in either of which case they are destroyed or sold to an antique dealer.

Magister said...

Wendy KilBride, of Monmouthshire, is a superb restorer of ancient vestments. For contact details see http://www.mim.adventa.org.uk/content.php?nID=2&pID=76

Joshua said...

Ah, cricket!

I thought of you, Fr H., when I visited Bradman's birthplace last Tuesday...