This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Friday, 21 June 2013

Novus Ordo Cricket

With apologies to non-Cricketians who may worship the ball that is base, or even subscribe to one of the many cults of the ball called foot.

Following the 1960s Vatican II reforms, the Cricketic Church introduced a Novus Ordo form of its service, which upset many traditionalist worshippers.

Novus Ordo cricket

Novus Ordo cricket. Note the unusual liturgical vestments.

In the Tridentine form of the service (named after the Council of Trent Bridge), worship was often not deemed to be completed until a "testing" period of 5 days of prayer (or Quinquena) had elapsed.

Fr Shepherd

Father Shepherd knew the correct liturgical gestures.

Typically, the prayers varied over the five days, perhaps along the following lines:

Day 1: Australia batting well. A prayer that the Lord may aid 
his servants Anderson, Swann, and the other bowlers. 
Day 2: Australia declares: Ite. Inningus est, and England bats.
A prayer that the Lord may sustain Cook, Trott, and the
other batsmen.
Day 3: England batting collapses (this is traditional). Readings 
from the book of Job.
Day 4: Australia bats again. A prayer for rain.
Day 5: England, set 947 to win, manage 111 all out. A requiem 
mass for English cricket, including the burning of bails. Ashes 
to ashes...
sacred relics

The veneration of relics is an important part of the Tridentine game.

However, in the Novus Ordo service, some of the dignity and reverence shown in the Tridentine form simply disappeared. The wise theological advice, dig thou in, lad, just stay there for a few days, don't try to score any runs, found in the Gospel of St Geoffrey of Boycott, was replaced by an undignified scramble, as the whole service was rushed through in a matter of hours.

liturgical dancing

Liturgical dancing - what next?

Still there are hopeful signs for the future, as the Tridentine form of the game is still permitted, and a new generation of worshippers is favouring it. Curiously, some of the Latin terminology used in the older form of the game persists, and even the Novus Ordo service includes phrases such as Howzat? (Latin for "Hath he not transgressed?")

Lord's pavilion

The Lord's temple - pavilioned in splendour and girded with praise.

Finally, whether or not they prefer the Ordinary Form or the Extraordinary Form of the game, Cricketics everywhere will treasure the words of Ezekiel 41:24: And in the two doors on both sides were two little doors, which were folded within each other: for there were two wickets on both sides of the doors.

St Geoffrey of Boycott

St Geoffrey of Boycott smites the ungodly.


  1. Apparently this idea is not new. Well, you can't win em all.

  2. OK I have another one which is earlier and EF equalling five day matches, and NO like one day matches--still trying to find it..this one is from 2011

    Supertradmum says:
    2 April 2011 at 8:02 pm
    Cricket is to sport what Catholicism is to religion.

    Firstly, it is universal.
    Secondly, it is disciplined, with rules and regulations which need to be studied only in prayer and contemplation in order to understand such concepts as LBWs.
    Thirdly, all men are treated alike, either as batsman, bowlers or fielders, in true sportsmenship and gentlemanly behavior before God and humankind.
    Fourthly, the umpire, like the hierarchy has the last word in the play and all must obey him. Only heretics follow the instant reply in test matches.
    Fiftly, those who are initiated must go through a period of faith and hope, until knowledge supplants waiting for understanding. Usually this takes either one year of limited overs, or three five day test matches. Then, one may read Wisden’s and learn more in a period of deep meditation.
    Six, Cricket is a culture, not merely a game. It inspires one to higher goals, such as breaking Tendulkar’s records, or eating strawberries and cream with champange in 40 degree weather, wearing summer clothes and not admitting to being cold.
    Seven, Cricket inspires duty, as waiting for your partner batsman to settle in instead of being a “hotdog” and trying for runs. The virtue of Patience is learned early on and inspires other virtues, such as not cursing, clapping for the opposition, and obeying the umpire (see above).
    Eight, the culture of Cricket is passed on in the home. Parents inspire their children to duty and grace through the summer game, allowing these children to explore their own God-given talents of either score-keeper, batsmen, bowler, or fielder, without prejudice.
    Nine, the culture of Cricket demands that one accept the Tridentine white garb or the test matches, as well as the Novus Ordo pajama wear of the world cups or limited overs games. If respectfully done, even the pajama Cricket inspires hope and peace. However, one hopes that some day the International Cricket Cricket admits that the only true Cricket is played in whites.
    Ten, the sacred books must be read and passed on. The traditions surrounding the game are manifold and demand duty based on love.
    Eleven, Those who love Cricket will be changed into martys for the game, including sitting until the umpire decides if decreased light has stopped play ( a game which can only be played in the light and not in the darkness is truly sublime) and waiting for the rain to stop so that a few more innings may be accomplished. Again, faith , hope and love become daily habits of virtue.
    Twelve, the game is surrounded by many traditions, too many to list here, which enables the initiate to become more enculturated over a period of time. Such things as listening to the commentators as they discuss birds flying over buses on the St. John’s Road, or discuss the ties of the Out for a Duck Club, or the contents of a luncheon box in India, all contribute to this enculturation, which determines one view of life.
    Lastly, the center of Cricket activity is Lord’s. Baseball has nothing like the religious contents of Cricket.

    1. This is far too long to read. And there are no pictures.

  3. read Council instead of second Cricket in number Nine-respectfully the ICC--and another comment-- I love cricket and have seen the great Imran Khan and David Gower in my match-going days. Ah, the sound of the ball centered on bat….I should have included that in a religious rubrics section.

  4. Excuse typos; your blog deserves better

  5. "Father Shepherd knew the correct liturgical gestures." (see Photo)

    Was this the origin of the Traditional Terminology "A Left-Footer" ?

  6. The Extraordinary Form is held at The Lord's cricket Ground in London. The modern very ordinary service is held at the NOval.

    1. Should that be Lourdes Cricket Ground?

    2. yes Eccles...rain stopped play!