Sunday, October 4, 2015

Bishop Neill on the Character of the Anglican Liturgical Tradition

'By 1552, the main lines of the Anglican liturgical tradition have become plainly apparent. It is Biblical. For steady and systematic Bible-reading on the large scale, no other Church in the world can compare with the Anglican. It is intellectual; the Anglican Prayer Book is not intended for the intellectually idle; it demands that those who use it should exercise themselves to understand, and it will give little of its riches to those who merely acquiesce. It is sober; it never aims at awaking immediate and facile emotion; it relies on the development of deep currents of feeling through the patient contemplation of the mysteries of the Gospel. It is ethical. Perhaps the profound sense of sin reawakened in Reformation times by the renewed study of the Scriptures weighs a little too heavy on it. It is characteristic of the whole book that the Exhortation of Morning and Evening Prayer bids us approach God with an humble, penitent, lowly and obedient heart. But it is part of the strength of the Anglican tradition that it has never allowed it to be supposed that worship can exist in separation from conduct, or that emotion can usurp the function of conscience.' --- Stephen Neill, 'The Anglican Tradition in Liturgy and Devotion' published in The Churchman

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Feast of St Michael and All Angels

St Michael Vanquishing Satan
Gustave Moreau (1826-98)

'And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.'
--- Revelation 8:4

'Thou wert seen in the Temple of God,
A censer of gold in thy hands,
And the smoke of it fragrant with spices
Rose up till it came before God.'
--- Alcuin,  from Sequence for St Michael

'Yet we beseche thee to accepte thys our bounden duetie and service, and commaunde these our prayers and supplicacions, by the Ministery of thy holy Angels, to be brought up into thy holy Tabernacle before the syght of thy dyvine majestie; not waiyng our merites, but pardonyng our offences, through Christe our Lorde.'
--- 1549 Book of Common Prayer, from the Prayer of Consecration

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Above the Stars My Saviour Dwells

'[Thomas] Tomkins' career exemplifies the maintenance of the great tradition of English church music throughout the early Stuart period, without any remarkable innovations: it is complex, accomplished, wonderfully responsive to the words of the Book of Common Prayer.' --- Graham Parry

Above the stars my Saviour dwells;
I love, I care for nothing else.

There, there he sits and fills a place
for the glorious heirs of grace. 

Dear Saviour, raise my duller eyne;
let me but see thy beams divine.

Ravish my soul with wonder and desire;
ere I enjoy, let me thy joys admire.

And wond'ring let me say,
come, Lord Jesu, come away.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Jesu Auctor Clementiae

Jesus, source of mercy,
our hope of all joy,
spring of sweetness and grace,
true delight of the heart.

Jesus, glory of the angels,
sweet song in the ear,
wonderful honey in the mouth,
heavenly nectar in the heart.

Jesus, flower of a virgin mother,
honeycomb of marvellous sweetness,
ornament of the human race,
bestow the brightness of the true light.

Allegory of the Eucharist
Juan Correa, 1690

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bishop Sheepshanks

'Zeal for the conversion of the heathen is the thermometer of love for Christ.'

John Sheepshanks (1834-1910) was ordained in 1857 and held posts in Leeds and as a chaplain in Colombia. He was made bishop of Norwich in 1893 and recorded his travels- including several years in the Canadian wilderness- in a book titled A Bishop In The Rough (1908). He also produced several ecclesiastically inclined works including Confirmation and Unction of the Sick (1889). He is here photographed wearing the cope and morse designed by Ninian Comper for the coronation of Edward VII in 1902.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Salvate Christi Vulnera

Salvate Christi Vulnera is the Office Hymn for Lauds on the Feast of the Precious Blood.

The Five Holy Wounds
from the Loftie Hours
mid-15th century
Use of Utrecht

Hail, holy Wounds of Jesus, hail,
Sweet pledges of the saving Rood,
Whence flow the streams that never fail,
The purple streams of His dear Blood.

Brighter than brightest stars ye show,
Than sweetest rose your scent more rare,
No Indian gem may match your glow,
No honey’s taste with yours compare.

Portals ye are to that dear home
Wherein our wearied souls may hide,
Whereto no angry foe can come,
The Heart of Jesus crucified.

What countless stripes our Jesus bore,
All naked left in Pilate’s hall!
From His torn flesh how red a shower
Did round His sacred person fall!

His beauteous brow, oh, shame and grief,
By the sharp thorny crown is riven;
Through hands and feet, without relief,
The cruel nails are rudely driven.

But when for our poor sakes He died,
A willing Priest by love subdued,
The soldier’s lance transfixed His side,
Forth flowed the Water and the Blood.

In full atonement of our guilt,
Careless of self, the Saviour trod—
E’en till His Heart’s best Blood was spilt—
The wine-press of the wrath of God.

Come, bathe you in the healing flood,
All ye who mourn, by sin opprest;
Your only hope is Jesus’ Blood,
His Sacred Heart your only rest.

All praise to Him, the Eternal Son,
At God’s right hand enthroned above,
Whose Blood our full redemption won,
Whose Spirit seals the gift of love.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

east windows, Bury St Edmunds Cathedral

For the newly-designed quire of Bury St Edmunds
Cathedral, S.E. Dykes-Bower rearranged
extant Victorian glass by C.E. Kempe
in such a manner that it seems medieval.