On liturgical minutiae

The previous two posts – and in fact all discussions of liturgical minutiae – remind me of this exchange, which I first heard on a BBC radio adaptation of P. G. Wodehouse decades ago now.

The speakers in the scene are a bishop (‘Boko’ Bickerton) and vicar (university boxing champion, the Rev. Stanley ‘Pieface’ Brandon), both of whom went to the same school.

Thus the tension:

The vicar, his hands behind his coat-tails, was striding up and down the carpet, while the bishop, his back to the fireplace, glared defiance at him from the hearth-rug.

” Who ever told you you were an authority on chasubles ? ” demanded the vicar.

” That’s all right who told me,” rejoined the bishop.

” I don’t believe you know what a chasuble is.”

” Is that so ?”

” Well, what is it, then ? ”

” It’s a circular cloak hanging from the shoulders, elaborately embroidered with a pattern and with orphreys. And you can
argue as much as you like, young Pieface, but you can’t get away from the fact that there are too many orphreys on yours. And what I’m telling you is that you’ve jolly well got to switch off a few of those orphreys or you’ll get it in the neck.”

P. G. Wodehouse, “Mulliner’s Buck-U-Uppo,” Meet Mr Mulliner


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