This morning I was once again interviewed by James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk for the ‘Spooky Suffolk’ segment, this time on ‘the curse of St Edmund’. On the eve of St Edmund’s Day, I outlined some of the grisly fates that have befallen those who defy St Edmund or infringe the rights and liberties of Bury St Edmunds and its abbey. You can listen here (from time signature 1:15:00).
This morning I spoke on BBC Radio Essex about the origins of the belief that Friday 13th is an unlucky day, as well as other ‘superstitions’, including the belief that witches make use of eggshells to sink ships and the different views on the luckiness of unluckiness of black cats. You can listen again to my interview with Ben Fryer on BBC Essex’s Breakfast show here (from time signature 3:10:47).
Many of the great British institutions where the use of Latin is (or was, until very recently) commonplace in worship suffered enormous loss of life in the two World Wars, and it may well be that Acts of Remembrance were translated into Latin a long time ago for use in the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge and in some of the great public schools. However, I am not aware of any of these Latin versions of liturgies for Remembrance Day. In the interests of adding to the liturgy of the Church of England a Latin version of a liturgy that does not appear in the pages of the Liber Precum Publicarum (the Latin version of The Book of Common Prayer, last published before the Great War), but has become a key element of the Church’s year, I have translated into Latin the Act of Remembrance devised by the Church of England in 1968. This is the short Act of Remembrance which will be familiar to anyone who has attended a short Remembrance Day or Remembrance Sunday service at a war memorial. There were also earlier Acts of Remembrance dating back as far as 1918, which can be viewed here on the website of the Prayer Book Society.
My Latin translation of the Act of Remembrance can be downloaded here: Actus Commemorationis.