Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Latin in Rottingdean

Rottingdean's Catholic and Anglican Churches both are very pretty.

I have been asked to celebrate a baptism in Extraordinary Form for a young Portugese couple ion January and today I have just celebrate my first Latin funeral for ages, in the ordinary form. Ron the deceased wanted a Latin Requiem. As it wasn't in my parish so I didn't suggest we could have faced east, used black rather than purple vestments, and used the traditional absolutions, things the parish priest would have been happy to have concurred with.

It was in the little village of Rottingdean, Catholics are buried in the ancient village cemetery, the Anglican Church's churchyard. So we walked a long the street in chasubles to meet the coffin at the lychgate, very cold the village pond which we had to pass was frozen, I am glad I brought my biretta.

Ron, being a music lover, only had a couple of hymns.


gemoftheocean said...

Sounds like Ron had a fine send off. I'm glad there was a priest around who had the Latin to do it.

I also learned something new today. I'd seen the British lychgate before, but I never knew it had a name. Given your weather it makes a lot of sense! Do modern burial grounds and church yards in the UK have them?

Anonymous said...

Can't we see you in your Biretta?

JARay said...

When my time comes, I want a Latin Requiem. Yes, black vestments, no eulogy and I'd like it sung. There is a chance. I have friends in the SSPX.

Fr Ray Blake said...

No modern burial grounds don't have them, I think they had a more significant role in the Sarum Rite than is suggested in the Wikepedia article.
Marriages were celebrated in them.
They were a transitional space between the secular and sacred world and used as the narthex might be elsewhere.

Anagnostis said...

Having several times negotiated a 40 ft bus past Rottingdean pond without giving anyone cause to don black vestments, I still regard as one of my life's achievements.

A de profundis for Ron.

gemoftheocean said...

Thanks for the information Fr. Ray. I really enjoy learning things like that. I'd seen them before in British movies and TV here and there, but never realized their full import. I had just thought "oh, how nice, they could be waiting for the horse and carriage to roll on up and have a nice sheltered spot!" Watch, now I'll go back and read things like Nine Taylors by Dorothy Sayers and find the word scattered like dew drops.
[Next to Gaudy Night, Nine Taylors is my favorite of hers. I think I find that one exceedingly English to the nth degree. Very clever plot device with the change ringing.]

Do English Catholic churches go in for change ringing? Or am I blissfully in the 1930s on that? I hope it's still practiced!

Fr Ray Blake said...

I can only think of two Catholic churches, that do change ringing, see Fr Tim on the baptism of his grand nephew.
In the 19th century, I think there used to be a law against Catholic Church's having more than one bell, or something like that. In the 20th century it was seen as an unnecessary expense and protestant. Having said that in this city there are about 20 Anglican Churches, most from 19th cent. none have sets of bells.

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