Saturday, 21 June 2014

But who may abide...

Emma Kirkby sings of God's Judgement in part I of Handel's Messiah. Enjoy!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Of The Lord's Supper...

Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.
The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.
From the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion.

I assent thereunto with the usual "but." While I unequivocally reject the Romish dogma of Transubstantiation, and consider the Lateran Synod of 1215 the Rubicon in Rome's departure from Orthodoxy, the Eucharist remains the very Body and Blood of Christ. Hoc est corpus meum cannot mean anything else. Transubstantiation, however, has been a demonstrably divisive and dangerous innovation, having brought low the solemn and serious rites of Holy Week by the mingling of superstition with tradition, destroyed the Divine Office by the multiplication of low Masses and caused universal scandal in the anti-Evangelical prominence given to the Body at the expense of the Blood, and the subsequent denial of the Chalice to the laity for hundreds of years.

This is as much a message to all you renegades, being Romish schismatics, as to the Papists: if you use Romish liturgical books and elevate the Sacrament after the so-called "words of institution," ye are a generation of vipers and sorcerers and you practice witchcraft at Christ's altar. Therefore, think twice before you lift up that wafer before the altar cross, lest your soul be impaled upon it!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

A Garden Party...

This is me, on Saturday 18th May (31st May New Kalendar), in my old "spot" in the Heythrop Theology Library. I was glancing through an encyclopaedia of the Papacy.

I went to the Heythrop College alumnus party yesterday. Only one familiar face was in attendance, my tutor Professor Price, but it was very moving to be at the college again. It's startling how much has changed in the five short years since I was there last. They now have a lift for crippled people opposite the Rahner Room (where Fundamental Theology lectures were held) and the old Student Common Room has been refurbished. I spent virtually no time there during my student days, being rather reclusive, but I always preferred the dingy old carpet to what is there now. I went into the Theology Library. This has now been filled with laptop computers but the stacks remain a treasure trove of knowledge. I spent a good hour perusing the works of Tyrrell, Rahner (in the original German) and old Missals. Unfortunately, due to the weekend, I was asked to leave at five o'clock. As a student, I spent many happy hours in that library, going over the Corpus Christianorum, the Loeb Classical Library and many tomes beside. I became very well acquainted with Catullus during my Heythrop days.

I went into the college chapel before I left. I went up to the sanctuary steps and remembered asking the Principal, then Dr John McDade SJ, for a "Tridentine Mass" to be celebrated once a week in 2007. He politely refused, in hindsight not a bad decision. The chapel remains as nice a brick gothic shrine as one could want in the West End of London. You just have to ignore the kitchen table in the nave.

The garden remains as beautiful (the Lourdes shrine notwithstanding) as ever. Sr Muriel of the Loreto Sisters used to maintain it, though she has since retired. I was filled with nostalgia all the while I was there. My Undergraduate days, though I was unaware of it at the time, were the best years of my life. Would that I could live them again!