I have recently heard that the Seventh Sunday after Trinity is sometimes referred to as Sob Sunday. Why is this?
On the last Sunday of the academic year (in 2015, 19 July, Trinity 7) at Canterbury Cathedral’s sung mass, the cathedral says goodbye to the choir boys who are leaving (normally at the age of 13), the lay clerks and their deputies who are retiring, and, often, to the organ scholar, who is going to pastures new. As the Dean always says, “We sob to see these faithful servants go.” Hence, Sob Sunday. Maybe the questioner was present. I know of no other place that does likewise.
Rodney Wolfe Coe, Ashford, Kent
Every saint, seemingly, has his or her day. St John the Baptist has two (24 June and 29 August), while our Lady has several. How is it that St Peter — “the rock on which I build my Church” — shares 29 June with St Paul, whose Conversion is already observed on 25 January? [Answers, 7 August]
True, the feast has never been included in any English Prayer Book, and it was dropped from the Roman Calendar in 1962, but there are still about 15 churches in the UK dedicated to “St Peter ad Vincula” (the chains of St Peter), celebrated on 1 August. Stoke Minster, the historic church in the Potteries, is one of these. St Peter was duly celebrated here that weekend with the mass reading from Acts 12 and the singing of Wesley’s great hymn “And can it be”.
(The Revd) David Lingwood
St Peter does have a number of feasts to himself. The traditional Western Calendar has St Peter’s Chains at Rome on 18 January, hence the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which links both the great apostles. Some Anglican calendars have this day as the feast of St Peter’s Confession.
On 22 February, there is St Peter’s Chair at Antioch. Traditionally, 1 August, besides being Lammas Day, is the feast of St Peter ad Vincula (the chains again), which is the dedication of the Chapel Royal in the Tower. The Byzantine Calendar celebrates St Peter’s Chains on 16 January. Feasts of the Chains commemorate the placing of what were held to be the chains that held Peter prisoner in Jerusalem and Rome in churches in Constantinople and Rome respectively.
(The Revd) Ian Randall
Before the advent of theological colleges, was a degree from one of the ancient universities a sufficient qualification for ordination? A. H.
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