Thursday, September 03, 2015

Impelled by the news on the radio this a.m.

When something comes up and you need to pray, the old Roman Missal always comes through:
O God, Who didst break the chains of blessed Peter the Apostle, and didst restore him unscathed to liberty:  loose the chains of Thy handmaid now in captivity, and through the merits of the same Apostle, grant also to her to escape unscathed.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Votive collect #35, "For  Prisoners"
The Daily Missal and Liturgical Manual
(The Roman Missal, 1962)


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Tuesday, September 01, 2015

The Dead Voters' Society

If you are registered to vote in Franklin County, Illinois, there is an almost 50-50 chance you are dead. Or live somewhere else. 
The small county in the southern part of the state has nearly twice as many registered voters as voting-age adults, according to a report released last week by the Washington-based Public Interest Legal Foundation.

Lots more fun here.

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Friday, August 21, 2015

August 21 -- Our Lady of Knock


Today is the 136th anniversary of Our Lady's apparition in the little town of Knock in the County Mayo . . . and of St  Joseph and St John the Apostle,  too, for that matter.  The day merits the status of feast in Ireland but doesn't seem to get a look-in in this country.

There are a few pages on the net that tell the story, like this one and this one. The shrine itself has its own page here.  

As is often the case, you can click on the picture above to enlarge it and get a better view of the new shrine church.  (I would've preferred Gothic, but I wasn't asked.  What you see above is almost always the sort of thing that gets built in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.  Still, if you visit Knock the old parish church from 1879 is still there and Masses are still celebrated there.  It's a consolation.)

Our Lady of Knock, pray for Ireland and for us.



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Sunday, August 16, 2015

100º fahrenheit

Or thereabouts.  The weather thingamabob on my phone says it's actually only a balmy 94º.  But since it's warmer in here than it is outside (because as you learned long since in this space, the computer room is not air conditioned), I'm going to go with the 100º headline.

And that's why just a few notes for today.

98 years ago this day Fr Willie Doyle, S.J. was killed in France by an exploding shell.  The details of his death are related here.  There are more than a few posts about Fr Doyle in The Inn but this one probably has more about him than  most.

It's also St Joachim's day in the old calendar.  It used to be specially noted in the old Carmelite Rite also.  Here's a bit about Ss Joachim and Anne from St John Damascene:

O blessed couple Joachim and Anne, all creation is indebted to you, for through you we have been enabled to offer to the Creator a gift surpassing every other gift, namely that chaste Mother who alone was worthy of the Creator.  Rejoice Joachim, for of thy daughter a Son has been born to us and he is called the Angel of the great counsel, that is of the salvation of the whole world.  O blessed couple Joachim and Anne!  On a certain occasion Christ said:  " It is by their fruit that you will know them", and indeed it is by the fruit of our bodies that we recognize your own purity.  You ordered your lives in a manner such as was pleasing to God and worthy of her who was to be born of you.  By the chaste and holy fulfillment of your married state you produced the treasure of virginity.

And finally, although I mentioned it a couple of times on FB, I failed to let you know in time that the World Pipe Band Championship was being held last Friday and Saturday.  But all is not lost.  Even if you missed getting up in the middle of the night to hear the competition live-streamed in its entirety, the BBC has had mercy on us and recorded it all and put it on line in whole band segments.  You can find it here.  And -- IMHO, of course -- the production is really well done: outstanding colour, sound, and camera work.  And the piping isn't too shabby either.

And I am now off to the only room in the house with air conditioning, the one the pc is not in.


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Thursday, August 13, 2015

And speaking of August 13 . . . .

Friday the 13th comes on a Thursday this month.

All the usual precautions apply, i.e., no walking under black cats, etc.  It's bad luck to be superstitious.


And speaking of music . . . .


After something of a dry spell, I'm looking at two gigs in a row.  I had to do a bit of re-hemping maintenance yesterday that I've been putting off.  The blow stem joint, as is its wont, was getting a bit grotty.  And that reminded me that the drones hadn't been oiled in a while.  And that reminded me . . . and there went the afternoon.

The folks this afternoon only seem to want the inevitable Amazing G.   Pretty straightforward on paper. But we shall see what else is requested.  One hopes not too much.  A lot of Scottish wool is being worn for 90º heat.



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August 13 -- St Lelia



In the old calendar, St Lelia's day was kept only in the diocese of Kerry.  The new calendar she shares yesterday with Ss Muredach and Attracta.

There is more on St Lelia here, but alas, largely speculation.





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"A Regular and General Musical Education"

It would be a direct contribution to the children of the land, of a large mass of solid enjoyment, of an innocent character, and worth more to them than an ingot to each, massy as they could bear home, of Californian gold.

More here.

Of course, this was written in 1853 so he was writing of actual music and not electronic noise.  And so, as originally intended, a splendid idea.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August 12 -- St Ségéne

August 12 is the commemoration of the fifth abbot of Iona, Saint Ségéne. . . .  Saint Ségéne had a long and interesting reign as a successor to Saint Colum Cille of Iona. He was one of those related by blood to the founder and he featured prominently in the Paschal Dating Controversy. Abbot Ségéne was one of those implacably opposed to accepting the Roman computation for the date of Easter.

Always delighted to find another liturgical traditionalist.

Much more here.



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An Inquiry into the 'State of Popery'

‘These Masshouses are generally mean thatched cabins; many, or most of them, open at one end, and very few of them built since the first of King George the First.‘ 

These words are from the official return made to the Irish government in December 1731 by Henry Maule, Bishop of Cloyne in the Established Church (Church of Ireland). The Irish House of Lords had ordered an inquiry into the ‘State of Popery’ in Ireland and each bishop was required to submit detailed returns. The House of Lords wished to know how effective the Penal Laws enacted since 1693 had been in curtailing the practice of Catholicism.There were a number of restrictions imposed by these laws. Catholics couldn’t build a place of worship that looked like a church, it couldn’t be located in sight of a church or beside a main road, and it couldn’t have a bell or belfry.

More here.



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Thursday, August 06, 2015

Lions and Real Life

Did all those Americans signing petitions understand that lions actually kill people? That all the talk about Cecil being “beloved” or a “local favorite” was media hype? Did Jimmy Kimmel choke up because Cecil was murdered or because he confused him with Simba from “The Lion King”? 
In my village in Zimbabwe, surrounded by wildlife conservation areas, no lion has ever been beloved, or granted an affectionate nickname. They are objects of terror.

More from the Disney-Has-A-Lot-To-Answer-For Dept.





Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Why Does the Republican Party Exist?

 Is it just an arbitrary entity seeking a universal negative, designed to push back against Democratic policies and demand they be more something (efficient) or less something else (expensive)? Or does it have actual principles and priorities it seeks to make a reality? 
The Republican Party’s voters and supporters certainly seem to have such beliefs. But they rarely seem to make it through the process of synthesis that turns such beliefs into actual policy priorities. Being a negative force is not nothing, and blocking bad policy is worthwhile. But when given the opportunity to put good policy into place, or to take steps to make such policy more feasible in the future, where is the Republican Party to be found?

So why does the Republican Party exist?  This article does give an answer or two.  They're not good answers.  But they look pretty accurate to me.

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It's just an ad for a book. . . .

. . . . but, under the circumstances, it's rather . . . consoling.  It's pleasing to see it in print again.   The text from Raphael Cardinal Merry del Val can be found here.



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Monday, July 20, 2015

Prophecy?

But if I be asked what sign we may look for to show that the advance of the Faith is at hand, I would answer by a word the modern world has forgotten: Persecution.  When that shall once more be at work it will be morning.
-- Hilaire Belloc (1870 - 1953) Survivals and New Arrivals

Friday, July 17, 2015

17 July -- The Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne

On this day in 1794 all the nuns of the Carmelite monastery of Compiegne were guillotined by the revolutionary French republicans. They offered their lives for France and her liberation from the terror. They were the last executed under that regime and the terror soon ended. 

More here.

And even more here.

William Bush's  "To Quell the Terror" is probably the most complete treatment available.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

14 July

For those who enjoy terror, murder, rape, and general slaughter of the innocent, this is your holiday:  Bastille Day.

Jerry Pournelle reprints this little memorial every July 14 and when I remember in time, I have followed his lead.  I remembered today.  Just.

On July 14, 1789, the Paris mob aided by units of the National Guard stormed the Bastille Fortress which stood in what had been the Royal area of France before the Louvre and Tuilleries took over that function. The Bastille was a bit like the Tower of London, a fortress prison under direct control of the Monarchy. It was used to house unusual prisoners, all aristocrats, in rather comfortable durance. The garrison consisted of soldiers invalided out of service and some older soldiers who didn't want to retire; it was considered an honor to be posted there, and the garrison took turns acting as valets to the aristocratic prisoners kept there by Royal order (not convicted by any court). 
On July 14, 1789, the prisoner population consisted of four forgers, three madmen, and another. The forgers were aristocrats and were locked away in the Bastille rather than be sentenced by the regular courts. The madmen were kept in the Bastille in preference to the asylums: they were unmanageable at home, and needed to be locked away. The servants/warders were bribed to treat them well. The Bastille was stormed; the garrison was slaughtered to a man, some being stamped to death; their heads were displayed on pikes; and the prisoners were freed. The forgers vanished into the general population. The madmen were sent to the general madhouse. The last person freed was a young man who had challenged the best swordsman in Paris to a duel, and who had been locked up at his father's insistence lest he be killed. This worthy joined the mob and took on the name of Citizen Egalite. He was active in revolutionary politics until Robespierre had him beheaded in The Terror.

The link is here.  It's at the top of the page if you're clicking on July 14.  Any later and you'll have to scroll down.

Sort of an appropriate day for this story to come to light again, wouldn't you say?


Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Addenda

In the event you were wondering, we did survive the Glorious 4th intact and the ancestral manse remained unscathed by the bombs bursting in air.  The rockets and their red glare seem to have landed elsewhere also.  We spent the evening at the house of a friend who lives in a city which thankfully forbids even safe-and-sane explosive and incendiary devices.  We could see a professional show, or most of it, from his garden area.  A nearby golf course put it on,  so I'm told.

The ancestral manse itself did not go anywhere and survived by pure luck.

And holy water.


In the event you were also curious as to why in the post below I put  my own words in the quote feature and the quoted text outside the quote feature, the answer is I didn't.  Blogspot did that all by itself.  I have no explanation. Mysterious are the ways of Blogspot, its wonders to perform.


On Not Living in Fantasyland . . . unless you're a Disney character

I was reading The Remnant on-line this morning, and in particular, this article explaining what ought to be obvious but obviously isn't:  acknowledging reality is a good thing; ignoring it is not.  And someone else reminded me of Kipling, who also thought that one ignored reality at one's peril.  Although, here a somewhat different aspect of reality, to be sure.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The Gods of the Copybook Headings


AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I wonder if anyone still knows what copybook headings are?  Or were.  Or copybooks, if it comes to that.  iPads probably don't have headings.

And where did I see that reference to Kipling?   Was it your blog?  If it was let me know,  and I'll link to it.  The memory isn't what it used to be.  (In fact, it may never have been.)  The text of the poem came from the Kipling Society page, which is here.  But I looked that one up (and found it here).




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Friday, July 03, 2015

It's Only the 3d of July . . .

. . . and already the local cretinhood is making its presence felt detonating illegal explosive devices, rattling windows, setting off car alarms, and terrifying the Alpo out of assorted neighborhood dogs.  And a few cats, too.  There's at least one right now hiding out in the foliage in the back garden, all wide-eyed and apparently convinced that all the demons of hell are after him.

Conquered Again

The Conquered Banner

By Fr Abram Joseph Ryan
      (1838 - 1886)
   Poet-Priest of the South


FURL that Banner, for ’t is weary;
Round its staff ’t is drooping dreary:
    Furl it, fold it,—it is best;
For there ’s not a man to wave it,
And there ’s not a sword to save it,        5
And there ’s not one left to lave it
In the blood which heroes gave it,
And its foes now scorn and brave it:
    Furl it, hide it,—let it rest!

Take that Banner down! ’t is tattered;        10
Broken is its staff and shattered;
And the valiant hosts are scattered,
    Over whom it floated high.
Oh, ’t is hard for us to fold it,
Hard to think there ’s none to hold it,        15
Hard that those who once unrolled it
    Now must furl it with a sigh!

Furl that Banner—furl it sadly!
Once ten thousands hailed it gladly,
And ten thousands wildly, madly,        20
    Swore it should forever wave;
Swore that foeman’s sword should never
Hearts like theirs entwined dissever,
Till that flag should float forever
    O’er their freedom or their grave!        25

Furl it! for the hands that grasped it,
And the hearts that fondly clasped it,
    Cold and dead are lying low;
And that Banner—it is trailing,
While around it sounds the wailing        30
    Of its people in their woe.

For, though conquered, they adore it,—
Love the cold, dead hands that bore it,
Weep for those who fell before it,
Pardon those who trailed and tore it;        35
And oh, wildly they deplore it,
    Now to furl and fold it so!

Furl that Banner! True, ’t is gory,
Yet ’t is wreathed around with glory,
And ’t will live in song and story        40
    Though its folds are in the dust!
For its fame on brightest pages,
Penned by poets and by sages,
Shall go sounding down the ages—
    Furl its folds though now we must.        45

Furl that Banner, softly, slowly!
Treat it gently—it is holy,
    For it droops above the dead.
Touch it not—unfold it never;
Let it droop there, furled forever,—        50
    For its people’s hopes are fled!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

July 2 -- The Visitation of Our Lady to her Cousin Elizabeth


John Mason Neale's translation of O Gloriosa Virginum, the Lauds hymn for today's feast:

O GLORIOUS Virgin, throned in rest
Amidst the starry host above,
Who gavest nurture from thy breast
To God with pure maternal love: 
What we had lost through sinful Eve
The Blossom sprung from thee restores.
And granting bliss to souls that grieve.
Unbars the everlasting doors. 
O gate, through which hath passed the King:
O hall, whence light shone through the gloom;
The ransomed nations praise and sing,
Life given from the virgin womb. 
All honour, laud, and glory be,
O Jesu, Virgin-born, to Thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Hymns



The hymnody at our parish had a theme today.  Most --  perhaps all --  of us had last week's judicial legerdemain in mind and what it will mean for our church and our nation.  Our priest gave a thoughtful sermon on the subject. And our music director clearly had it in mind.  The London Philharmonic Choir in the video above only sings two verses.  We sang all four.

1 Once to ev'ry man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth and falsehood,
For the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision,
Off'ring each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever
'Twixt that darkness and that light.  
2 Then to side with truth is noble,
When we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit,
And 'tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses
While the coward stands aside.
Till the multitude make virtue
Of the faith they had denied.  
3 By the light of burning martyrs,
Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calv'ries ever
With the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties,
Ancient values test our youth;
They must upward still and onward,
Who would keep abreast of truth.  
4 Tho' the cause of evil prosper,
Yet the truth alone is strong;
Tho' her portion be the scaffold,
And upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future,
And, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow,
Keeping watch above His own.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Hacking . . . or something

When is hacking not hacking?  When it's subcontracting.

Do you remember the news story of a couple of weeks ago wherein it was revealed that the government data base giving the details of everyone who is or ever was a government employee or contractor had been hacked?  It seems it wasn't hacked.

Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity Dr. Andy Ozment testified that encryption would "not have helped in this case" because the attackers had gained valid user credentials to the systems that they attacked—likely through social engineering. And because of the lack of multifactor authentication on these systems, the attackers would have been able to use those credentials at will to access systems from within and potentially even from outside the network.

Lots more interesting -- not to say appalling -- stuff at Ars Technica here. Including this in the penultimate paragraph:

A consultant who did some work with a company contracted by OPM to manage personnel records for a number of agencies told Ars that he found the Unix systems administrator for the project "was in Argentina and his co-worker was physically located in the [People's Republic of China]. Both had direct access to every row of data in every database: they were root. Another team that worked with these databases had at its head two team members with PRC passports. I know that because I challenged them personally and revoked their privileges. From my perspective, OPM compromised this information more than three years ago and my take on the current breach is 'so what's new?'"

And what other security issues have been subcontracted to the People's Republic of China?

[Originally cited to this article by Jerry Pournelle's excellent site.  Alas, I don't see how to link to the precise paragraph in question.  So here's the page.  Start scrolling.]

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Thieves

An ancient altar stone was stolen the other day.  It has no intrinsic value,  no value at all outside of its original location.  Stolen just for the meanness of it.

The altar stone of Gougane-Barra.


Friday, May 29, 2015

The Twenty-Ninth of May . . . .

. . . . which day is Royal Oak Day or sometimes Oak-Apple Day.



The tune is an old English jig called "The 29th of May" and commemorates on this day the restoration of the Monarchy after the Cromwellian devastation.  The 29th of May was chosen as it was the birthday of King Charles II.


"Parliament had ordered the 29 of May, the King's birthday, to be for ever kept as a day of thanksgiving for our redemption from tyranny and the King's return to his Government, he entering London that day." 

Wikipedia explains here why "Royal Oak" day rather than restoration day.   Some of the customs surrounding the day which still remain in England are given here.  Those in the mood for a longer read might want to look at what Chambers has to say about today; you can find it here.

It's all to no end,
For the times will not mend
Till the king enjoys his own again.


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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Veiled



A very charming little video and worth a look.  

But.  

The emphasis on veils exclusively is in my experience misplaced.  When I was a boy, a very long time ago, to be sure, women did not wear veils in church.  They wore proper hats. School girls in the younger grades had little beanies (zuchetti?) that co-ordinated with their school uniforms.  But adult women wore hats.  There may have been a little round piece of lace no bigger than a saucer in the handbag for purposes of "making a visit".  But for Sunday Mass it was a hat and not a veil.

Perhaps the mantilla reigned south of the border but it didn't in my parish.


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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Rogation Sunday -- with a Marian Connection for May

Bl. John Henry Newman Catholic Church: Rogation Sunday Procession from Ordinary Time Productions on Vimeo.

The visual was our procession last Sunday . . . the audio, um, wasn't.  The videographers were kind enough to say that this was because  the audio equipment couldn't pick up the sound from where they were.

O.K.

On behalf of the schola, we are mollified.


Tuesday, May 05, 2015

The May Procession and the Queen of the May

There are still a few May processions about but not very many.  And I doubt there are many as well-populated as they used to be.  These were filmed in Inchicore in Ireland.  Alas they were filmed long ago and are silent.  So you might want to click on the final one first and listen to Canon Sydney McEwen while viewing the earlier.








[Addendum:  This link should've been here at the beginning but I lost track of it and only found it now, and rather by accident at that.  It'll give you a short history of the Inchicore May Day Procession.]

Studying Latin

Not just for the neo-Pelagian liturgically obsessive, it would seem.


5 May -- St Pius V

Today in the traditional Roman Rite: the feast of S Pius V, the  pope of Lepanto and Quo Primum . . . and also of that very unfortunate decree releasing English Catholics from their obedience to Queen Elizabeth I, which unleashed a wave of persecution and arguably brought no-one back to the Catholic faith. Although, almost half a millennium later, it does remind those who need reminding that even the best of popes can make serious errors of prudential judgement.

A collect and a hymn for Pope S Pius.



Friday, May 01, 2015

The Smallest Chapel in the British Isles

It's the Costello Memorial Chapel at 16 feet long by 12 feet wide.

 The Costello Memorial Chapel was erected by Edward Costello to mark his devotion to his wife, who died in 1877 at the age of 46. Mr Costello had been a substantial farmer at Dromore a few miles from Carrick, but had moved to the town during the early part of the 1800’s and set himself up in business. He was widely known as a man of great kindness and charity and was partly instrumental in bringing the Marist order of nuns to the town. 
On the death of his wife, Mary Josephine, he had work on the memorial Chapel started. It was to be both a monument to his love and a last resting place for his wife and himself. The little building was dedicated on April 22, 1879 and after the consecration ceremony, the body of Mrs Costello was placed in a sunken space to the left of the entrance, and covered over with a thick slab of specially made glass. The body, which was interred in a metal coffin, had been embalmed when Mrs Costello died, and had been cared for in the interim by the Marist nuns. Mr Costello himself died in March 1891, and his remains also in a metal coffin were placed in a sunken space to the right of the entrance. A thick glass lid was placed over this vault too, and today the inscriptions on both coffins can be read with the aid of a torch. Mass was celebrated in the chapel on every first Friday from the time of its consecration to Mr Costello’s death, but no religious service has taken place in it since.

More here.   And when you get there, do click on the link to photographs.



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An Lía Fáil


Genesis 28:x-xxii:
10 Meanwhile Jacob had left Bersabee, and was on his way to Haran. 11 There was a place he reached as nightfall overtook him, so that he must lie down and rest; so he took one of the stones that lay around him, to make a pillow of it, and went to sleep. 12 He dreamed that he saw a ladder standing on the earth, with its top reaching up into heaven; a stairway for the angels of God to go up and come down. 13 Over this ladder the Lord himself leaned down, and spoke to Jacob, I am the Lord, he said, the God of thy father Abraham, the God of Isaac; this ground on which thou liest sleeping is my gift to thee and to thy posterity. 14 Thy race shall be countless as the dust of the earth; to west and east, to north and south thou shalt overflow thy frontiers, till all the families on earth find a blessing in thee, and in this race of thine. 15 I myself will watch over thee wherever thou goest, and bring thee back to this land again; before I have done with thee, all my promises to thee shall be fulfilled.
16 When he awoke from his dream, Jacob said to himself, Why, this is the Lord’s dwelling-place, and I slept here unaware of it! 17 And he shuddered; What a fearsome place is this! said he. This can be nothing other than the house of God; this is the gate of Heaven. 18 So it was that, when he rose in the morning, Jacob took the stone which had been his pillow, and set it up there as a monument, and poured oil upon it; 19 and he called the place Bethel, the House of God, that was called Luza till then. 20 And there he took a vow; If God will be with me, he said, and watch over me on this journey of mine, and give me bread to eat and clothes to cover my back, 21 till at last I return safe to my father’s house, then the Lord shall be my God. 22 This stone, too, which I have set up as a monument, shall be called the House of God. And of all the gifts thou sendest me, a tenth part shall be the offering I make thee.
More, as the bards would have it.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Found While Looking for Something Else



All sorts of folks on Facebook and Twitter inform me every Thursday that it is "Throwback Thursday" and they then proceed to post something from their distant past.  Or somebody's distant past.

Reluctant as I am to participate in popular memes, that nevertheless seems as good an excuse as any to put up something from the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band's past:  from almost 3 decades ago, one of the most exciting pipe band tracks ever recorded.  The set consists of  The Fair Maid of Barra, The Gold Ring, and The Clumsy Lover.  The track is taken from the "Live in Ireland" album, which album you can still get from iTunes for less than I paid for the double LP album all those years ago.

(Yes, that is Richard Parkes in the picture.  The original poster used a picture of FMM rather than the 78ths.)



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First World Unintended Consequences

A more charitable man than I would probably be ashamed of himself for finding this as funny as I do.  Imagine, there's probably even some poor sod of a fanboy with "Apple" tattooed on his wrist.

And while we're on the subject, you might want to take a look at this.  A decade and a half old and truer than ever, which regression will be noted here.



Saturday, April 25, 2015

All Indications Are You Might as Well

Embedded image permalink

Found on this gentleman's Twitter feed:   @Stuart1927    The sign seems to be referring to the upcoming British elections on May 7.  We have another couple of years to go here in the Benighted States . . . so there should be plenty of time to have our copies printed up.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Distractions

Somehow -- I've even forgotten what I was originally looking for -- I arrived at this article in the Daily Mail.  If you click on it, you'll see a dozen or so photographs of a highly detailed and thoroughly fascinating scale model or diorama of the battle of Waterloo.  I loitered there for far too long;  loads of very detailed pictures.  But even so I need to go back and try to find some of the pipers.

And the 2d battalion the 44th regiment of foot was there.  An English regiment, so no pipers.  But since my great, great, great, grandfather was in that battalion at that time, I presume he was there, too. Haven't noticed any family resemblances amongst the model figures, though.   Yet.



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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pope Benedict XVI - His 88th Birthday Today



Die Familie-Rehm sings something Bavarian for the Holy Father's 85th birthday in this clip, showing mostly the father and the sehr schön Elisabeth, although there are glimpses of her mother and sister.

A very happy and blessed birthday to the Pope Emeritus and Dominus conservet eum et vivificet eum . . . .



Tuesday, April 07, 2015

From the Morning Paper

Blog posts should really include links to the referenced material.  I don't think it's statutory yet, but failure to do so seems to be synonymous with moral laxity.

Nevertheless, I will continue.  The reference is to an advertisement and they don't include print advertisements in the paper's web edition.  So you'll have to trust me.  The advertisement was for a mausoleum in, I think, Orange County.  I know; I should've paid attention to name and location.  But  I didn't.  I was so struck by the amenities in this establishment, for this "affordable prestige" mausoleum provided 24/7 "climate-controlled comfort".  Isn't that wonderful?   You or your loved one can decompose in perfect climate-controlled comfort for all eterni- . . . um, well, no I don't suppose for all eternity.  But for a very long time.  At least until the outfit goes belly-up and someone dumps you in a landfill and redevelops the property into luxury apartments.

I should've saved the advertisement.  Maybe they'll re-run it next week.


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Monday, March 23, 2015

Found While Looking for Something Else

The Lord says this: "Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery." [Luke 16:18] 
You, however, divorce your wife as if you had every right to do so and you are not afraid of doing her an injury.  You believe it is permissible because the natural law does not forbid it. 
But the law of God does forbid it!  And you, without being disobedient to human law, ought also to fear God.  Listen to his law:  "What God has joined together, let no man put asunder." [Matt. 19:6] 
It is not of any great importance whether you commit adultery openly or under the guise of 'marriage'.  There is one difference only:  the fault committed on the pretext of principle is more serious than that which is committed secretly. 
-- St Ambrose
On the Gospel of St Luke, 8, 2 (PL15, 1765)

Found in Drinking from  the Hidden Fountain: A Patristic Breviary, Ancient Wisdom for Today's World,  by Thomas Spidlik, Cistercian Publications, 1993.



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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Culture of Death Advances Apace


One despairs of influencing the Sacramento Home for the Criminally Insane for good.  But I suppose it does behoove us to let them know that not everyone in this state thinks killing someone is the solution to every problem.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rummaging Through the Tune Archive.



I did a funeral this afternoon and re-discovered an old favourite tune.   At this service all the family wanted from the pipes was to lead the procession from the mortuary chapel to the gravesite.  I don't do that very often and the last couple of times the family specifically wanted Amazing Grace, which I can do, but it isn't much of a processional.

So I paged through a couple of tune books and there in my big, black binder full of xeroxes and hand-scribbled scores was Lord Lovat's Lament, which I haven't done since, oh, maybe Clan Donnachaidh Band days, i.e., back in the late '80s or early '90s.  And it's a great little tune, very melodic.  It works well both as a very slow air and as a proper quick step.  I probably played it somewhere in between.  (You can't slow march a congregation of civilian mourners, now can you.  Not with a motorized hearse on your tail, anyway.)  The tempo was indeed slower than the folks in the video above, although I really like the tempo they've chosen.

What a beautiful little tune that is.  That has to go back into the standard repertoire.

(Hmm.  I wonder how it works on the  melodeon.)


[ADDENDUM: It works a treat on the melodeon; at least it does on my C/G]

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