Saturday, 21 January 2012

Old Sarum...

I have lost all interest in religion lately, and especially that propounded to us in most 'blogs. However Fr Chadwick has started a new 'blog, dedicated to the Sarum Use and other Northern liturgical patrimony - a supreme contribution to England, and the memory of which (and practice thereof, in isolated places of orthopraxis) is a remnant of our truly Christian past. It reminds me of the relationship of the Ents to the Elves, and how they became estranged. The Elves had taught the Ents to speak far back in the deeps of time, and the Ents cannot forget it; but the two kindreds had grown far apart as the Ages of the Sun went by, and all about the lands the influence of Sauron grew, and dark things crept back into the Wild.

Historia is a magnificent lady, much like Natura, especially when she narrates to us the story of churches, laden with so much regret, showing up the various grotesqueries of human nature for us all to see, in all frankness. I think this is why Tolkien appeals to me so much - for historical reasons. Fair enough, it's all legendary, but he doesn't beat about the bush. Bad things happen, ends come, people die, many fair things that might have come to everlasting fruition perish from this world. So it is with the Church, and the churches. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it. Or as Galadriel said of the Springtime of Lothlórien, that it ''will never be seen again, save in memory.'' Perhaps the more venerable liturgical customs of England, now entirely obsolete (except in such places as Westminster Abbey, where they are watered down and mingled with such things as priestesses), are that much dearer because we know nothing else? Tolkien said once that the beauty of the Eldar was enriched by sorrow and wisdom, and even to Melkor was it said: ''And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined.''

What am I trying to say, exactly? That we ought to be content with things as they are? Presently I haven't a hope left in the world. I am no longer interested in even being right, let alone doing right. Religion just fills me with wrath. Finis.

Do go over and pay a visit to Fr Chadwick's new 'blog. Actually he is desirous of articles by others who have an interest in the matter of Sarum and all that, so do let him know. I would ask also that you pray God for his health, since he is recovering from a hernia operation. Jesu mercy, Mary pray!


  1. Things great and wonderful are lost because of fallen human nature. That which was liturgically great in the West has been lost because the West cut itself off from the Church. And, like sap running out of a great limb severed from the trunk, liturgical life in the West slowly ran out over the past thousand years.

    Traditionalist Catholics - and not all of these are hyper-papists - are loathe to consider this consequence of the Western unconditional embrace of the filioque. Hence their impulse to discount the entire filioque controversy, and inability to consider that the same Papal machinery which severed the West from the Church in the 11th century is that which has been turned on them with all the modern western liturgical reforms in the 20th and 21st. It is impossible to engage Catholics in a rational discourse on this topic, perhaps because they know the corner they paint themselves in.

    1. My friend, it is better that you continue praying the divine office privately, Sarum form cerainly if you like, any form, rather that give up too much on religion. Do whatever you can, but continue praying to God for help. Even if you feel uncomfortable attending the holy sacfrice of the eucharist more than once a year. do something rather than nothing. I know you will be blessed if you do. You're not atheist mate ! keep up the good work.

    2. Stephen, by the way you have a good point. This is why the Western rite of the Orthodox Church is very important. The lack of qualified candidates to the priesthood also made many very ignorant people make up the priests we have today, sorry to say. This makes inroads in orthodox approaches to the faith qutie challenging. The ordination of married men is at least a partial solution to that problem which has been a great asset to the eastern church communions (even if it means a few priests do have more stress and occasional divorce! ). Everything is a sacrifice somehow to make us better.

  2. I suppose the fundamental question to be asked is whether a recovery in the West of Western rite orthopraxis is possible, or is it a case, to use a euphemism, off 'pi**ing against Niagara'?