14 February 2014
Reply to Joshua
I had better make it clear that I am far to busy and important a man to chase up euchological formulae for other people, but occasionally a cry for help from the colonies touches a chord in my heart, or whatever the cliche is. So, in circumstances in which I would normally refer an enquirer to The Christian Year: Calendar, Lectionary, and Collects (Church House Publishing, 1997, ISBN 0 7151 3799 9) I will ... just on this one occasion ... assist a Tasmanian. Here is the Collect authorised in Old Mother Damnable for use on the festival of Blessed Priscilla Proudie, Educationalist and Worker for Women's Rights.
Almighty and Everlasting God, who raised up Priscilla Proudie from the low estate of the niece of a Scottish Earl, and made her equally adverse to impropriety of every description: grant us so to benefit from the example of her meekness and humility; that we may ever practise perfect abstinence from any cheering employment upon the Sabbath.
This collect is a perfect composition. Those learned in such matters will recognise the natural grace of the rhythmic cursus with which it is composed: one trispondaicus, and two velox. None but a liturgical genius could have been so served by his own fine instincts as to produce such a masterpiece. And I will reveal that it comes from the pen of 'Bubbles' Stancliffe himself, quondam Bishop of Salisbury, whose deft and skilful hand guided the Church of England through the minefields of Liturgical Revision. He began life as One of Us; indeed, I remember to this day the moment when an episcopal friend said to me "Have you heard? Stancliffe has ratted". The postman brought Bubbles his mitre the very next morning. He is not yet a member of the Ordinariate. But who can tell what Grace may achieve? What a catch he would be!