The Macbride Sermon is Hertford College’s annual University Sermon, named after John Macbride, Principal of Magdalen Hall. It is a service of Choral Matins, and the preacher is The Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro.
John Macbride was Principal of Magdalen Hall and Professor of Arabic. He moved Magdalen Hall into the derelict Hertford College site on Catte Street over the years 1820–22. It was his Vice-Principal and successor as Principal, Richard Michell, who campaigned for Magdalen Hall to become a full college of the University, taking up the old name of Hertford College in 1874.
The Macbride Sermon is given on the second Sunday of Hilary Term each year, on the subject of ‘messianic prophecy’. Some preachers choose to refute the assumptions behind the subject. By statute, madeira wine is served after the Macbride Sermon. Probably because John Macbride sounds a wee bit Scottish, whisky is now also served.
The service is Choral Matins (like Choral Evensong, but it’s in the morning). The music will include:
• Responses: Smith
• Canticles: Stanford in C
• Anthem: Handel, Hallelujah Chorus from The Messiah
As this is a University Sermon, the procession will include the Principal of Hertford College, a Pro-Vice-Chancellor, the Proctors, and the four Bedels. Gowns, tudor bonnets and silver sticks abound!
The Macbride Sermon is open to the public and all are very welcome.