Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Second hand bookshops

can be full of surprises. Hay-on-Wye is just close enough to worry the bank balance...
Over the years it's been possible to pick up neglected classics of Anglican / Anglo-Catholic theology - written by those Fr Aidan Nichols has referred to as being recognisably "..'separated doctors' of the Catholic Church" - which are now highly unfashionable and largely out of print, and which have been definitely excluded from the curriculum as far as most centres of Anglican "ministry" training are concerned.
[For that catastrophic development see previous posts. One can't help thinking that this isn't wholly unwelcome in some quarters; the less those training for Anglican ministry actually know about the Christian tradition - as opposed, say, to modern trends in psychology and the sociology of religion - the less likelihood there is of the current theological consensus ever being seriously challenged.]

But as well as what seems to be a privately-bound early 1900s copy of Thomas Traherne's Centuries of Meditations for a couple of pounds, I recently picked up a curious modern (1992) reprint by the Ebury Press of  the Book of Common Prayer.
I'm  almost convinced the project was the work of an ironic Anglo-Catholic (perhaps a successor of the wicked person who came up with the idea of the Latimer and Ridley votive candlestands for the Society of SS. Peter and Paul in the 1920s), as it is illustrated throughout with some quite good quality images of medieval and later illuminations taken from manuscripts at the Bodleian.
I particularly like the depictions of the Mass complete with elevations of the host and use of the houseling cloth, and of the Burial Rite, with candles, pall and the celebration of a Requiem Mass (pictured below)
To say the illustrations have a distinct tendency to subvert the intentions of those who originally compiled the 1552 text, doesn't do it justice by a long way. I'll regard it as a view of how things should have been and should be still & leave it at that............
But probably worth the fifty pence I paid for it.


  1. Boring! Everybody, but everybody's got a copy of that.

  2. Thanks! Perhaps I should stick to this:


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