Friday 29 June 2012


Please read this and vote against the legalisation of assisted dying!

From "The Hermeneutic of Continuity". Follow the links. The poll is at The Telegraph and the pro-death people appear to be out in front.

Sunday 24 June 2012

Scenes from the life of St John the Baptist

From the choir screen of Amiens Cathedral.
The relic of the reputed head of St John the Baptist appears to have been acquired in the Sack of Constantinople in 1204 and arrived in Amiens in1206.

Saturday 23 June 2012

St John Baptist

From the Cathedral of Amiens in northern France which I visited during my summer holidays last year. 
Top: view into shrine with reliquary holding part of the skull, it is thought, of St John the Baptist. 
Bottom: Detail of iron choir screen with motif of the head of St John the Baptist.

Thursday 21 June 2012

More of St Alban's

While visiting St Albans in May I also managed to snap some of the remains of the medieval paintings on the piers of the nave. Since the Crucifixion features prominently on each of these west facing sides it seems not unlikely that  there were altars below them originally. Before Vatican 2 concelebration was extremely rare and a multiplicity of altars enabled several priests to celebrate mass more or less simultaneously- an important consideration in a monastery where many of the monks would be priests.
On the subject of concelebration: I'm not against it as such- it just seems a waste of priests when by each celebrating individually the numbers of masses could be increased and the opportunities for us laity to attend mass similarly multiplied.

Wednesday 20 June 2012

St Alban

Here is a snap of the shrine of our first martyr, St Alban, which I visited early last month. It is in the former abbey church of St Alban's in Hertfordshire, temporarily an Anglican cathedral.. St Alban was martyred during one of the Roman persecutions, having been apprehended protecting a fugitive priest- an interesting turn of events, given the nature of the Tudor and Stuart persecutions which were to follow more than a millennium later.

Friday 15 June 2012

The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

For today's feast I am posting one of the favourite hymns of my youth- with its peerless tune by Sir Richard Terry!

Sunday 3 June 2012

Domine Salvam fac Reginam Nostram...

In honour of HM Queen's Diamond Jubilee I am posting the only example I could find online of the prayer for the Queen which we sang after Sunday Mass in years gone by. I think it got dropped when the Bidding Prayers were introduced c1965. Initially we prayed for the Queen and the government but in most places the prayers became more "woolly" and generalised. The last priest I recall mentioning the sovereign by name died about ten years ago. Small wonder, then, that she has not yet converted. To be fair, she has a bit of a problem in having sworn to uphold the Protestant faith at her coronation. We should start praying for her again so that at her deathbed- which I sincerely hope is a very long way off- she may, like some of her illustrious ancestors, be received into full communion with Christ's Church.