Category Archives: Anglo-Catholicism

Parsons in Petticoats (1865)

TRUE to the interests of an important but somewhat declining branch of steel manufacture, we have much pleasure in extending the publicity of the subjoined statement derived from the Edinburgh Courant:—

Warning to Clergymen:—A Clergyman of the City of Durham, and a gentleman extreme High Church proclivities, has lately excited the wonder of the citizens by the peculiarity of his clerical costume. A few days ago, the reverend gentleman had the misfortune to tread on the skirts of his coat and fall, receiving such injuries as have since confined him to his apartments.

In this interesting little narrative there is probably an error of the press. For “coat,” most likely, we ought to read petticoat. Reverend gentlemen of “extreme High Church proclivities” are very fond of dressing like ladies. They are much addicted to wearing vestments diversified with smart and gay colors, and variously trimmed and embroidered. There is the chasuble, and cope, and stole, and dalmatic, besides, the alb, which they are accustomed to deck themselves out à la Romaine, and moreover there may be, for aught we know, the casaque, and the burnous, and the visite, and the capote, and the fichu, and the pardessus. If they have taken to go about the streets in their petticoats, they have adopted the best possible plan to get a large following. At any rate they will be sure of having no end of a tail of street-boys for acolytes. But let them take heed lest they stumble. If they will wear long dresses, they should loop them up. Hoops are going out; but the sansflectum crinoline is still advertised in the Morning Post. Let them don the steel cage under the muslin; or alpaca, or tarlatane, or poult de soie, or satin, or whatever it is that their robes are made of. By this careful and cleanly contrivance, they will be enabled not only to preserve themselves from being tripped up by their own skirts, but also to lift their trains out of the mire, and keep them from sweeping the pavement clear of orange peel and other things. At the same time if they affect the Ignatius chaussure, they will enjoy then advantage of showing their sandals, or, in case they prefer the more modern style of embellishment for the foot and ancle in association with crinoline, of making an edifying exhibition of their Balmoral boots.

Punch, June 10, 1865, p. 239.

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Bishop Jenner (the retired Bishop of Dunedin) in accordance with an arrangement made last year has visited Père Hyacinthe Loyson’s Catholic Gallican Church recently, and officiated there several times. On Sunday, the 27th ult., after celebrating the Holy Communion in English, at 8:30 A.M., he presided at the ceremony of First Communion, which, as practiced in the Roman Catholic Church, has been retained by Père Hyacinthe. The church was decorated as on high festivals, and at 10 A.M. the folding doors at the western entrance were opened, and a procession advanced up the centre of the edifice. First came four young female candidates, all in white, wearing long veils of white muslin, with wreaths of white roses on their heads: five boys followed, each wearing a white badge on the right arm; five acolytes came next; then followed singly the two vicaires, the Rev. Messrs. Lartigan and Goul; next the rector, Père Hyacinthe, wearing a chasuble; and lastly. Bishop Jenner, vested in purple soutane, lace rochet, purple mozette and embroidered stole, and wearing a white silk mitre embroidered with gold brocade, of the ancient form. He also carried a handsome pastoral staff. The large congregation, in which were several English and Americans, stood, on the entrance of the procession, which having reached the altar-rails, the girls occupied the front chairs on the right, the boys being seated on the left.

Père Hyacinthe began the Eucharistic Service, and after the Gospel he addressed the bishop by name, and thanked him for having crossed the sea and come once more to preside over the Catholic Gallican Church. He then turned to the young candidates, and thanking them far their diligent attendance and attention to the careful instructions of the first vicar, exhorted them to prepare their souls by fervent prayer and earnest resolutions for their first reception of the precious Body and Blood of Christ their Saviour, and to adore Him by simple faith, as truly and really, though invisibly, present. Dwelling on the true doctrine of the Eucharist, M. Loyson explained that in the reform of the Roman Catholic Church, in which he, in common with the Old Catholics elsewhere, were ingaged, they had retained all the primitive Catholic doctrines and ritual, rejecting nothing but errors and superstitious abuses. They had taken warning from the mistakes of certain Protestant reformers in the sixteenth century, who, in their hesitating and doubting faith, had not sufficiently and clearly retained the true Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, from whence had arisen divisions and differing schools of thought. Consequently, in the reform of the Church in the nineteenth century, which was ardently to be desired, M. Loyson considered that a firm belief in the doctrine of the Real Presence, and the adoration of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, must be among the chief points to be established.

The mass having been celebrated, the priests and acolytes communicated, and an acte de foi was then recited by one of the young girls in the name of the rest, after which Holy Communion in both kinds was administered to each. Several members of the congregation then communicated. The Nunc Dimittis concluded the service.

At vespers the candidates were confirmed, the congregation being even larger than in the morning. The confirmation office is taken entirely from the “Fonctions, Pontificales Romaines.” The bishop having made an address, and offered up certain suffrages and prayers, seated himself in his chair before the altar rails, and two candidates, one boy and one girl, knelt before him. The name of each candidate was then mentioned to the bishop, who, taking a little of the sacred oil with his thumb, marked the sign of the Cross on the forehead of each, repeating these words: “Je te marque du signe de la Croix et je te confirme avec le Chrême du Salut, au nom du Père, et du Fils, et du Saint Esprit. Amen.” The rest of the confirmation office was then said.

In the new edition of the Liturgy of the Catholic Gallican Church, as revised by Bishop Jenner, prayer is offered in the opening supplication of the “Canon” for the “Pope of Rome, the Patriarch of Constantinople, and the Archbishop of Canterbury”—to which this note is appended:—“We pray here for the three bishops who preside over the three principal branches of Catholic Christianity, and we pray to God for the union of the Churches at present divided.”

From The Churchman (New York), June 30, 1883, p. 704.

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High Mass at St. Ignatius, or A Little Kiss Each Morning

From The Chronicle (Poughkeepsie).

ON Thanksgiving Day we remembered that we had many things for which to be thankful, so we set out for our parish church downtown in New York to attend Divine Service and to render thanks. We were unfortunately, however, tied up in the subway, and realising that we should not reach church in time, we decided to attend the service at St. Ignatius’ Church which is uptown. Approaching the edifice we observed the sign hanging before the church which gave the hours for Mass, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and Confessions. A casual observer would have thought this a Roman Catholic Church, but we are not a casual observer, and we knew it was the Protestant Episcopal Church of St. Ignatius’. We entered. A pretty if somewhat elaborately embellished church, it was perhaps two-thirds filled. The high altar was vested in festival hangings, and flowers and candles lent their colour and light to make it attractive. Statues of the Sacred Heart, the Blessed Virgin, and St. Ignatius’ of Antioch were adorned with flowers, and tapers flickered before them. There was a slight odour of incense in the air, and the light was dim. At eleven o’clock precisely the procession of altar boys and the three priests entered to strains of some march played in a stately fashion on the organ. The Introit being finished the Gloria in Excelsis was begun. Do not gasp, dear reader, for even if the Book of Common Prayer directs that the Gloria come at the end of the service, they don’t worry themselves over little matters like that at St. Ignatius’. Anyone with a grain of sense knows that the Gloria belongs at the beginning of the Mass. If you want proof look at the Mass according to the Roman rite. Verbum sap!

During the Gloria the three priests retired to their stalls. The celebrant, who sits between the deacon and the sub-deacon, is seated first, the deacon and the sub-deacon making a profound reverence as he sits down. Being seated, the deacon hands the celebrant his biretta. Before the celebrant takes it, however, the deacon kisses the pom-pon of the biretta, and also the finger tips of the celebrant’s hand as it is stretched forth to receive the headgear. This is an important matter. Much hangs upon it. An otherwise perfect service can be ruined if this is not properly carried out. Those who wish to be on the up and up of ritual will remember this.

The Gloria drawing to a close, the three priests stand, the deacon and the sub-deacon making their reverences. The celebrant hands his biretta to the deacon who repeats the kissing ceremony. The three of them proceed to the altar, and the service continues through the singing of the Epistle by the sub-deacon, and the Gospel by the deacon.

Then the Credo is sung. The three priests having said theirs to themselves, retire once again to the stalls, and the biretta ceremony is again performed neatly. At the conclusion of the Credo the priests return to the altar, and while the alms are gathered the censing is done. This, dear reader, merely means that some one swings a thurible filled with smoking incense at some one else. Censing anyone makes that person pure. Purity is essential. In this day and age when twenty people have an automobile to every seven who have a bath tub this censing is a godly and purifying thing and is to be highly valued.

The alms being presented, the service continues as per the Book of Common Prayer. But not very far. The Exhortation and the Confession and the Absolution are dispensed with. This is all right, though, because no one but the celebrant receives the Holy Communion. The congregation rises when the celebrant sings: “Lift up your hearts”, and stands until the silver tinkle of a bell announces the Sanctus, when everyone again kneels. Follow the Consecration, Oblation and Invocation.

And now, dear and patient reader, you have doubtless been wondering why we have sub-titled this “A Little Kiss Each Morning”. We are not surprised that you have wondered about this, and we shall keep you in suspense no longer. It is very true that this is not a presentation of Mr. Valee’s Vagabond Lover, but we think the title appropriate. As soon as the celebrant has received Holy Communion in both kinds, as the Book of Common Prayer so directs, the deacon, who has been kneeling on the top step of the altar, rises and goes up and stands beside the celebrant. The celebrant is not at all surprised to see him, but turns to him affectionately, and placing a hand on each shoulder, gives him a kiss. The deacon, overjoyed at this, descends the altar to the lowest step where the sub-deacon stands, and repeats the kiss to him. The sub-deacon, thrilled with this manifestation of goodwill, hastens to the side of the altar and kisses the master of ceremonies. He, in turn, is not selfish, but thinks of the servers, and therewith proceeds to embrace server primus. Although server primus is a youngish fellow, he has been well trained in the ritual of the Holy Catholic Faith, and he turns to server secundus, and kisses him. We, being of an unusually affectionate nature, had been observing all these expressions of love, and were eager for our kiss, too. Alas! we were keenly disappointed that no one descended to the congregation to give us one. We thought, at least, the last server kissed might have come to the entrance of the altar rails and thrown us a kiss or two. The thurifer comes there at the proper time of censing and throws incense at us. Why can’t kisses be thrown to the congregation as well as incense? We are going to suggest this to the genial rector of St. Ignatius’ sometime. He is not an illiterate man, being the possessor of a doctorate from Yale, and we feel certain he will consider our plea for kisses. It is really an entrancing thing to see all these kisses being bestowed in the sanctuary of a Sunday morning. No matter how much the rector may hate the curate during the week (or vice versa) everything on Sunday is love and kisses.

Love having been dispensed throughout the sanctuary, the Book of Common Prayer is again resorted to, and the blessing fellows. The procession forms and marches out. We kneel and say our final prayer …. “Pardon, O Father, the imperfections of our prayers and praises, our wandering looks and lack of devotion ….” On our way to the subway we passed a fruit store and saw some ruddy apples inside. And then we remembered a verse from the Scriptures that we hadn’t recalled in years—“Comfort me with apples for I am sick of love.” We went in the store and bought one. Eating it we were comforted.

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A Bibliographic Discovery, Unfortunately Apophatic

In connection with an upcoming paper and presentation on Charles Chapman Grafton (1830-1912) and his introduction of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament to the United States, I have been working in some detail with a small volume called Meditations of a Bishop. Its title page has no identifying information for an author or publisher, and just the date 1916. It is similar in font and general style to contemporary publications of the Young Churchman Company, based in Milwaukee, and associated in the Episcopal Church with decades of Anglo-Catholic literature. Bookseller catalogues identify it as an anonymous publication of Bishop Grafton, given the similarity of the chalice and host design on the cover and spine to a similar decoration on the covers of one edition of the collected works of Grafton.

Meditations of a Bishop is present in just three North American libraries: the former Seabury-Western Library, now at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois; the University of Virginia Library; and the Cardinal Stafford Library at Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, Colorado. Grafton’s contemporary James Otis Sargent Huntington (1854-1923) reviewed the book favorably just after its publication, but did not himself at that time identify the anonymous author as Grafton. Nevertheless, I have been keen to work with the plausible assumption that Grafton was this work’s author, and that the anonymous nature of the publication may have had to do with his advancement of what were still at the time of his death considered “extreme” and “advanced” eucharistic positions for North American Anglicans.

I’ve discovered this week to my dismay that Meditations of a Bishop is definitely not by Bishop Grafton, but rather the work of a Roman Catholic coadjutor bishop of Bordeaux named François-Alexandre Roullet de la Bouillerie (1810-1882). It is in fact identical in all but a few respects to a much earlier publication by a priest of the Church of England, which was itself a translation of this Roman Catholic devotional work:

Meditations on the Eucharist (Oxford: A. R. Mowbray & Co.; London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co.; J. Masters & Co., 1870)

This work went through at least four editions in its Mowbrays version, and it had also been printed previously in English under Roman Catholic auspices as

Hours before the Altar; or, Meditations on the Holy Eucharist (London: Richardson and Son, 1858).

The only differences between the 1916 anonymous publication and the nineteenth-century English editions are the omission of textual citations from the Vulgate, and the absence of any prefatory material.

Meditations on the Eucharist was translated into English by a Church of England priest who signed himself “R.H.N.B.” His very slight adaptation of the text to Anglican doctrine was the omission of a final chapter on Mary and the Eucharist. R.H.N.B. is Robert Henry Nisbett Browne, author of at least one published sermon and a succession of typological commentaries on the Old Testament:

Confession and Absolution: A Sermon Preached in the Parish Church of St. Edward, Romford, on the Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity, September 26, 1858 (London: J. Masters, 1858).

Christ in Genesis; or, Types and Shadows of the Cross (London: J. Masters, 1870).

Christ in Exodus; or, Foreshadowings of the Gospel (London: J. Masters, 1871).

Christ in Leviticus: The One Sacrifice for Sin.  (London: J. Masters, 1871).

Christ in Numbers; or, The Church in the Wilderness (London: J. Masters, 1872).

Christ in the Prophets (London: J. Masters, 1873).

Following his translation of Roullet de la Boullerie’s Meditations, he also published a translation of the same author’s Holy Teachings in Nature (Oxford and London: A.R. Mowbray, 1885). I have been unable to learn much about Browne’s biography, but he was a sometime curate at St. Edward the Confessor, Romford, in the Diocese of Chelmsford. He was a signatory of the large 1871 protest by Ritualist-sympathizing clergy against the Purchas judgment; a correspondent on liturgical matters in the columns of Notes and Queries in 1859 and 1861; an elected member of the Royal Institution of Great Britain from 1875; and a member of the Natal Guild of the Church of England. His addresses in periodical correspondence point to a likely connection with the Church of St. Matthias, Stoke Newington, which was a strong center of Ritualism in north London in a building designed by William Butterfield.

Academic take-away: it’s as important to identify what was not written by one’s subject as it is important to identify what was written by one’s subject. By assuming the association of Grafton with Meditations of a Bishop (1916), I would have written a very different paper on Charles Chapman Grafton and the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament than I should or would have otherwise.

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Christ Church, New Haven cookbook

Off and on for a good decade, I’ve been digitizing historical material connected with Christ Church, New Haven, a parish I’ve enjoyed attending occasionally for about the same about of time.

This month, I thought I would work on one of the more delightful pieces of Anglo-Catholic parish history I could ever imagine, The True and Tried Cook Book, Published by the Ladies of Christ Church, New Haven (1887).

After losing an attempt to purchase it on eBay, I placed an ILL order through the Yale Divinity Library. To my amazement, the Connecticut State Library digitized it almost immediately for free, and it’s now available for anyone to view and download: behold!

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