The College Graces of Oxford and Cambridge

Compiled by Reginald H. Adams

The College Graces of Oxford and Cambridge

Compiled by Reginald H. Adams

Distributed for Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

96 pages | 5 x 7 4/5 | © 2013
Paper $20.00 ISBN: 9781851240838 Published November 2013 For sale in North America only
The custom of formal dining at Oxford and Cambridge dates back to the earliest days of college life. Before each dinner, according to ancient statutes, grace must be said in Latin, and, although the text and nature of grace for each college has changed over the years, the tradition itself remains current to this day.

Following a historical introduction, The College Graces of Oxford and Cambridge reproduces in chronological order the full Latin texts of all the graces alongside facing English-language translations. Also included are the special graces reserved for feast days, as well as an explanation of some of the traditions that accompany them, including the trumpeters that summon students to dinner to the use of the Sconce Cup and the Rose Bowl.

From the twelfth-century monastic texts and the two-word graces of the nineteenth century to the new graces written for the modern age, this meticulous collection reveals how the tradition of the Latin grace has survived and evolved over the centuries and offers a rare glimpse inside the private halls of Oxford and Cambridge.


Foreword to the First Edition

Deo Gratias Agamus

                Gratiarum Actio              

                Gratiae ante Cibum

                Gratiae post cibum et festales

The Graces

The Two-Word Grace

Associated Customs at Dinner


                Reading from the scriptures


                Withdrawal from the hall


Colleges and Halls

Where a Grace is Said in Latin

Review Quotes
Sewanee Review
“Almost every college of Oxford and Cambridge has at least one Latin grace—some have two, others have as many as four—and all of them have been collected with translations by Adams in this slender volume published by Oxford’s Bodleian Library.”
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