Who is Oscar Late?

Fr. Oscar Late

This question keeps popping up in church circles these days. Several friends have asked me whether I have any clue who this is. He (or she — it’s apparently a pseudonym) has started a blog titled “Acknowledge & Bewail” and I have to say it’s quite a hoot. Fr. Late appears to be a somewhat cranky Anglo-Catholic with lots of opinions on liturgy, vestments, and even bad stained glass windows. In other words the “Christian Troll” for catholic-minded Anglicans.

Through a touch of detective work (ie. reading the initial blog post) I’ve surmised that his name is a play on the verb “to osculate.” The celebrant osculates when he/she kisses the altar — this usually happens at the offertory just before the eucharistic prayer. How’s that for liturgical minutia?

Fr. Late is on Facebook (he friended me and I accepted a few days ago) and Twitter and even obliquely mocked my appearance in a Nightline segment on the U2charist that took place several years ago. I incurred his “wrath” for not wearing a chasuble on that (one!) occasion.

He lists his employer as “God” and his position as “Cardinal Rector” and has made reference to having various curates. Recent status updates have included “Oscar Late is done for the day, having sung compline in his home oratory” and “I have prayed the Office and am now awaiting my junior curate to fetch me my third cup of coffee. Where is the young lad?”

Fr. Late seems to be the “Deep Throat” of the Episcopal Church. Perhaps his/her identity will one day be revealed but in the meantime I, for one, am enjoying the ecclesiastical grandeur and pomposity.

5 Comments on “Who is Oscar Late?”

  1. FrSean says:

    I have no idea who Fr. Oscar Late could be. I tweeted and asked him if he was a part of the SCP discussion about osculation. He said the emails were forwarded to him by a friend. I find the whole thing amusing.

  2. Ooo! I simply adore “ecclesiastical grandeur and pomposity.” I shall have to read his blog. I must say that I find his call for coffee a bit suspect. One would assume Fr. Late would call for tea. Or shooting sherry.

  3. Tim Lewis says:

    Surely osculation is performed at the beginning of mass. The procession reaches the altar which is reverenced (and censed in some churches) before the priest either descends to his stall or stays “up there” and begins the liturgy.

    Not that it matters. Fr Oscar late is superb!

  4. Fr Trey says:

    Father, perhaps you’ve forgotten the real osculatorium? Hence – passing the “Peace (board”?

    I’ve enjoyed your blog.

    Pax et bonum,

  5. The Rt. Rev. Msgr. Michael P. O'Donnell says:

    Dear Father Tim+:

    Since I haven’t as of yet found another way to contact The Rev. Fr. Oscar+ Late and through reading some of his blogs consider him somewhat of an aficionado of fine incense, I was wondering whether you have any insight to his type and supplier of holy smoke? I, unfortunately made the grave error culminating to a climax in 2010 of accepting anyone who requested to be friends on Facebook, which resulted in several thousand friends. I have since ceased opening it because of the barrage of email and IM requests every time I attempted to connect and, although I appreciated all of the good will of my fellow facebookers, I simply didn’t have the time to remain online chat after chat.

    Many thanks for your time in reading my request.

    Peace and blessings,

    The Rt. Rev. Msgr. Michael P. O’Donnell, P.A., FCM

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