Weekend 490.0

(1) Becket’s bones return to Canterbury Cathedral (ACNS)

(2) St Edmund Pennies by Peter E. Lewis

(3) A quote from Tiny Churches by Dixe Wills:

“It doesn’t help that he [Edwold] was not even the only saint in his family. His older brother St Edmund found greater fame as the East Anglican king who was captured by the Danes after a battle at Thetford in 869 and executed, reportedly by being tied to a tree and shot trough with arrows, then beheaded. As a consequence, Edwold was asked by the East Angles to take his brother’s place on the throne. Perhaps understandably he declared himself less than keen. He left East Anglia ‘hating the world because hard fortune had took him and his brother’. The next time anything is heard of him he is in Cerne in Dorset, home of the famous chalk giant. Edwold apparently established himself as a hermit next to a spring called the Silver Well, a place said to have been visited two centuries earlier by St Augustine.”

(4) Quote from The Stripping of the Altars by Eamon Duffy:

The fonts are common in areas where Lollardy had been particularly strong in the generation prior to their appearance, as at Martham in Norfolk, the home of the redoubtable Margery Baxter, and it has been plausibly suggested by Professor Ann Nichols, the leading authority on the subject, that they represent a considered response to the Lollard attack on the sacramental teaching of the Church, and mark the understanding and acceptance of that teaching by the most influential laity of East Anglia. Certainly the iconography of the sacraments on the fonts is extraordinarily precise and “correct”. In many continental and some English representations of the sacraments in other media they are represented by some peripheral part of the ritual, such as the anointings in baptism, or the handing over of the chalice in ordination, the tying of the chrisom-cloth in confirmation, or the blessing of the ring in marriage. On these fonts, by contrast, the scene depicted is almost always of that of the action held by theologians to be constitutive of the sacrament – the sacring at Mass, the actual immersion of the child in baptism, the laying on of hands in ordination, the hand-fastening of bride and groom in the presence of witnesses in token of the vow which constitutes the sacrament of matrimony. Often the priest or bishop in these panels has a book open before him, on which the key words of the ritual might be painted. The carvings therefore represent an extremely precise and full form of catechetical teaching, perhaps designed to counteract heresy. At an rate the very large number commissioned in the later fifteenth century bear witness to lay interest in and enthusiasm for the teachings they enshrine. After the Reformation, Protestant activists recognized in the iconography of these fonts a rallying point for Catholic belief and a means of propagating it, and attacked them accordingly.”

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