Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding.
I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... It was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.
Thinking of visiting Oxford?
Allow me to be your guide... and discover the history of Oxford with an Oxford historian.
I offer a wide range of guided walks around the city and university. These can be a general introduction to the history and architecture or looking at specific themes and subjects.
I am a Catholic and a historian based in Oxford, where I am a member of Oriel College. My research, for a long delayed D.Phil., is a study of Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln in the second decade of the fifteenth century. I also work as a freelance tutor in History and as an independent tour guide.
I was received into the Church in 2005 and am a Brother of the External Oratory of St Philip Neri at the Oxford Oratory.
Today is the first of the December Ember days in the traditional practice of the Church, with their three seasonal Masses. A Mass with a similar introit and the same Gospel as that for today, Rorate, can be offered as a votive on other days at this time of year, and is devoted to the expectancy of Our Lady. It is celebrated by candlelight as dawn breaks. There is a background post here about the tradition.
In recent years the offering of this Extraordinary Form Mass has become a regular feature of the Advent calendar of the Oxford Oratory, and this year the Rorate Mass will be celebrated there at 7am on Saturday this week, December 17th. So if you are around Oxford and want a good start before the next bout of Christmas shopping you know where to go.
* Revised in the light of the first comment received - many thanks to the friend who put me right in this matter.