Ship of Fools: Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire, England


imageShip of Fools: Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire, England

A long queue experiences Sarum Advent by candlelight

Read the full Mystery Worshipper report here


Comments

  • Interesting picture taken from the West gallery (not by me). The blue glass was suddenly lit (electrically) from outside when all the candles had been lit. A mistake, I thought, but it makes a good photo.
  • I suspect that this sort of service (so well done in Cathedrals, and certain other churches) is a fairly recent (19th-20thC) revival of various mediaeval practices.

    Much of the Advent music we use today is quite old, but I don't know if it would have been sung in a separate service, or as part of a Mass - which, in any case, would not have been held in the evening (AIUI).
  • Thanks. I suspected that too. It certainly harks back to the Church in (rather than of) England. The Sarum Rite is genuinely mediaeval though isn't it? And genuinely peculiar to Salisbury?
  • Up to a point - it seems that 'Sarum Use' was quite common, at least in southern England in the later Middle Ages, but there were other 'Uses'.

    Percy Dearmer (The Parson's Handbook) made a great thing about Sarum Use being the genuine English product, so to speak, and I'm told that many English cathedrals do these days use a modernised form of Sarum.
  • Just ordered The Parson's Handbook. I had a friend who was a friend of Percy Dearmer and remembered meeting him in a night club, where he was writing a hymn.
  • Urganda wrote: »
    Just ordered The Parson's Handbook. I had a friend who was a friend of Percy Dearmer and remembered meeting him in a night club, where he was writing a hymn.

    As you do!
    :flushed:

    It's an interesting book, if rather old-fashioned, but Dearmer's advice to do liturgy well, however simple it may have to be, is valid today.

    My copy is falling apart, so I may hie myself off to Mr eBay's emporium to see if I can acquire another one...
  • Not sure that the Use of Sarum would have sung the O antiphons this early in Advent. In the Tridentine Breviary they are sung on successive days immediately before Christmas. RC liturgy planners steer people away from O come, O come Emmanuel until Advent 4 for that reason.
  • They don't claim that this service is unchanged since the middle ages. The introduction in the service sheet says:' Tonight's service is part of a long and very special tradition of Advent services in this place'. They do explain when the O antiphons were used.
  • Urganda wrote: »
    They don't claim that this service is unchanged since the middle ages. The introduction in the service sheet says:' Tonight's service is part of a long and very special tradition of Advent services in this place'. They do explain when the O antiphons were used.

    I was replying to comments about it harking back to the Use of Sarum. Quite right about the evening - the O's are Magnificat antiphons for vespers.
  • Sounds like a brilliant Advent event - thanks for your report
  • doubtlikethomasdoubtlikethomas Shipmate Posts: 1
    Having been involved in Darkness to Light (I've probably been in around 25 now) for some years, I'm so glad to read that this was enjoyed by you. It was always great to be pulled aside afterwards and hear the genuine abundance of thanks from many who had traveled from far and wide (one year, I spoke to an American lady who had seen the usual centrefold picture in one of the Sunday papers and had traveled specifically for D2L).

    It is my understanding the the current service was the work of the former(by two) Precentor, Canon Jeremy Davies. I forget, but I vaguely recall being told that he built on what was being done there and created this beautiful service sometime in the 90's.

    Worth noting that Sarum Use was pretty much the standard 'English' use at the reformation and then ended up being the basis for the Book of Common Prayer.
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