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Ascension Day 2018

Choir singing from Main Quad windows on Ascension Day 2018Yesterday, 10 May was Ascension Day, which marked the end of the season of Easter.

Univ’s day started with members of the Chapel Choir singing in Main Quad, with parishioners of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin later visiting College for the traditional “Beating of the Bounds”.

This is an ancient tradition that sees members of the community walking the parish boundary to remind all of where these lay and to pray for blessings. At the latest this dates from Anglo-Saxon times (it’s mentioned in Laws of Alfred the Great – who definitely didn’t found Univ), but may actually derive from the Roman Terminalia, which honoured Terminus, god of landmarks.

Univ Ascension Day 2018Close to 80 parishioners, along with members of the Univ community, attended the chalking (and subsequent beating with canes) of the boundary mark in Main Quad before singing in the Master’s Garden and the traditional three cheers to Univ. Lady Crewe, the Master’s wife, then distributed coins and sweets to the gathered children from the upper window of the Lodgings, another tradition associated with Ascension Day. Although accounts vary, it is suggested that originally the distributed coins would have been red hot – more a warning of the perils of avarice than an act of charity. We can assure you the coins thrown by Lady Crewe were perfectly in line with modern health and safety standards…

To complete the Ascension Day celebrations, members and staff of Univ were invited to a communion service in the University Church of St Mary the Virgin.

We hope you enjoy this short video of images, which captures some of what made Ascension Day so special at Univ.

Published: 11 May 2018

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