Sunday, September 07, 2008

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
  • Suffering, courage and theological conflict: learning from the Cappadocians.
  • New to the old Mass? Propers and commentary in a blog. From The Inn.
  • Thanks again, Dr Tighe! He just sent me English Reformations by Christopher Haigh. The story of the resisters and the losers, and those who just watched it all happen. Like Eamon Duffy’s well-known book. (More.)

    In the 1530s Melford church’s interior
    had been dominated by the great rood or crucifix, standing high in the rood-loft between nave and chancel, and flanked by images of the Virgin Mary and St John the Evangelist... On the front of the loft, facing the congregation, the twelve apostles were painted and the roof above was decorated with gilded stars.

    ... there were eleven Mass books and twenty-seven antiphonals, graduals and processionals for liturgical singing... monstrances and banners... at Corpus Christi there were processions round the green with the consecrated sacrament, bell-ringing and singing...

    In Rogation week there were great celebrations... bonfires and ale on Midsummer eve... ‘some of the friends and more civil poor neighbours were called in’ to dine
    with Roger Martyn’s grandfather as a taper burned before the image of St John the Baptist in the hall.
    The other side: Some of Long Melford’s
    poorer workers had joined an anti-tax rebellion in 1525...
    The rector was
    William Newton, a Cambridge graduate and pluralist... responsible for providing sacraments and pastoral care, though he usually did so through a curate as deputy.
    The ‘Reformation’ didn’t change the business of holding one or more benefices and living off the income but farming out the work to poor curates; it lasted for many years.

    Parson Newton (as I think such priests were called) got
    a 10 per cent tax on his parishioners’ incomes paid in cash or kind.
    And as Arturo says about romanticising, Catholic cultures are also scary because people are scary. As old friend Mark Bonocore (like Arturo from a Latin culture) said, great holiness and great evil duking it out in the open and not a settling towards the middle as in Protestant societies.
    It was... an idyllic picture, no doubt... overdone, a merry Melford in the past, where merriness is always to be found. For when Roger Martyn wrote it had almost all gone.
  • An Anglo-Papalist in the time of King James II? From Fr Hunwicke.
  • How can we create an ‘authentic’ American Catholic culture that isn’t a retreat back to the immigrant ghettos, but doesn’t involve guitars or liturgical dance? Catching up with a com-box thread at Arturo’s. Why not 1950sish American Anglo-Catholic culture as a model? Some are using just that: there aren’t that many Continuing Churches people but most of them were never Episcopalians! Of course I see the problem with ‘re-enactments’ (this blog is part memory and part principle not historical fantasy, and please, not more denominations) and Arturo might argue that ‘create’ is the wrong approach. This religious culture evolves and is something you’re born into or naturally fall into.
  • An Orthodox looks at RC traditionalism. My comment.
  • And a look at real people today in a real traditionalist church. Say hello to Svetlana in Serbia. Melford may not have been as merry as in old Roger Martyn’s memory but this is a real-life update of that worldview.
  • Tolkien on the ‘early church’ game. Want to do early church? Fine — have the sexes stand separately in church like in Orthodox countries, public confession of sins and five-year penances without Communion until they’re done. (Sound of crickets chirping.)

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