Sunday, 29 May 2011

Oak Apple Day

In another place (the Anglo Catholic Blog) I have reminded readers of the significance of today, Oak Apple Day. Until the reign of Victoria, this day had been kept as a memorial of 'the King's Restauration'. That is, the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660. Oak Apple, because Charles hid in an oak tree (The Boscobel Oak) fleeing from the Commonwealth troops. Perhaps our dear Saxe-Coburg Gotha Queen did not want her subjects to be reminded of Charles Stuart - though her Hanoverian predecessors had put up with it. Yet in a few places, notably Great Wishford near Salisbury, it is still celebrated with enthusiasm.

The Propers for the day are terribly long-winded. In the Anglo-Catholic blog I have printed out the two collects to be said at Morning Prayer. There are others, though, for the Communion Service, replacing the customary Collect of the King, and the Collect of the day. Here is the second, a model for those preparing a liturgy of the Ordinariate:

O Lord God of Our Salvation, who hast been exceedingly gracious unto this land, and by thy miraculous Providence didst deliver us out of our miserable Confusions, by restoring to us, and to his own just and undoubted Rights, our own most gracious sovereign Lord, thy Servant King Charles the Second (notwithstanding all the power and malice of his enemies) and by placing him in the Throne of these kingdoms; thereby restoring also unto us the publick and free profession of thy true Religion and Worship, together with our former Peace and Prosperity, to the great comfort and joy of our hearts: We are here now before thee, with all due thankfulness to acknowledge thine unspekable goodness herein, as upon this day, shewed unto us, and to offer up our sacrifice of Praise for the same, unto thy great and glorious Name; bumbly beseeching thee to accept this our unfeigned, though unworthy, Oblation of ourselves; vowing all holy obedience in though, word, and work, unto thy Divine Majesty; and promising in thee and for thee all loyal and dutiful Allegiance to thine Anointed Servant now set over us, and to his Heirs after him;who we beseech thee to bless with all increase of grace, honour and happiness in this world, and to crown him with Immortality and Glory in the world to come, for Jesus Christ his sake, our only Lord and Saviour. Amen.

Today, Oak Apple Day, is the fiftieth anniversary of my first celebration of Holy Communion in the Church of England... but I was not permitted at that eucharist to resurrect the service in Thanksgiving for the King's Restauration - which is probably a mercy. [There is an even longer Collect ordered to follow the Prayer for the Whole Estate of Christ's Church]. But don't you just love the parenthesis (notwithstanding all the power and malice of his enemies)?

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