Saturday, September 04, 2010

Westminster Cathedral Exhibition

This morning I went to the Westminster 'Cathedral Treasures' exhibition, which I see is now described as 'permanent'. There are some lovely things there, and I recommend it.
It is interesting to note how the extent of the organisers' unfamiliarity with the Church's liturgical traditions has hampered them. As Fr Anthony Symondson remarks in a review in the current Catholic Herald, it must be ignorance of liturgies celebrated ad orientem which prompted them to display vestments with their richly decorates backs against the wall. Another example is the candlesticks for funerals being displayed with bleached, not unbleached, candles in them.
There is also an astonishing mistranslation of Latin. Cardinal Manning's motto, embroidered on his cope, is 'Malo mori quam foedari'; this is translated 'I prefer death to compromise'. But 'foedari'' means 'to be dishonoured' not 'to compromise (the fact that it is a passive infinitive should be a clue). John Hunwicke, Anglo-Catholic vicar and former Latin teacher, expostulates here.
Perhaps they should have had a trad advisor: all the stuff here was intended for the Traditional Mass and asociated ceremonies.

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