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A Passionate Humility : Frederick Oakeley and the Oxford Movement / Peter Galloway
[9780852445068]

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If Frederick Oakeley is known for nothing else, he will be remembered every Christmas for giving western Christendom one of the abiding classics of Christian hymnody - O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem - which he provided in 1840 for the congregation of his chapel in Margaret Street in the west end of London. Frederick Oakeley was received into the Roman Catholic Church in 1845, and his chapel was demolished in 1850, but for six years it was the heart and centre of the Oxford Movement in London. Nearly half a century after Oakeley's departure for Rome, R. W. Church, Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, still vividly remembered Oakeley's work and the profound impression it made upon him. "Mr Oakeley was, perhaps, the first to realise the capacities of the Anglican ritual for impressive devotional use, and his services, in spite of the disadvantages of time, and also of his chapel, are still remembered by some as having realised for them in a way never since surpassed, the secrets and consolations of the worship of the Church".

Oakeley was the principal figure in the second generation of the Oxford Movement, and had a public reputation that centred on his perfectionist love of exquisitely-performed liturgy and music. When Newman published his Apologia pro vita sua in 1864, he spoke of "a new school of thought arising in the Oxford Movement during the period 1839-41, which swept aside the original party of the movement, and took its place. The most prominent person in it was a man of elegant genius, of classical mind, of rare talent in literary composition - Mr Oakeley".

This book is the first biography of the elegance, classicism and literary talent that was Frederick Oakeley. 



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