Thursday, August 09, 2018

Another Point of View

Another kind of lawful slaying belongs to the civil authorities, to whom is entrusted power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent.  The just use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this Commandment which prohibits murder.  The end of the Commandment is the preservation and security of human life.  Now the punishments inflicted by the civil authority which is the legitimate avenger of crime naturally tend to this end, since they give security to life by repressing outrage and violence.  Hence these words of David:  "In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land, that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord."  -Ps 100:8
from the Catechism of the Council of Trent, the section of the fifth commandment.  Translated into English by John A. McHugh, O.P., S.T.M., Litt.D. and Charles J. Callan, O.P., S.T.M., Litt.D.


"[T]he legitimate avenger of crime".  Interesting turn of phrase, that.


(Personally, I'm not sure I would object to the abolition of capital punishment as a practical matter.   As the late Joe Sobran pointed out, one has only to note who makes these life-or-death decisions. . . .)



My World is Tottering

The How-to Geek newsletter, to which I cannot link because this bit only seems to be in the email and not on-line, has startling news in it this morning.  It changes one's whole view of reality. 

I quote:

Despite what cartoons have taught us, the coyote can run up to 43 miles per hour while the roadrunner can only run up to 32 miles per hour.

Further research is clearly called for.   But if true, then what to make of all those catastrophic accidents?    Hmm.  It appears the Acme Corporation would be wise to lawyer-up, sooner rather than later.



"Not a Drinking Game" it says at the bottom. . . .

. . . . but it could be.   Easily.

Go here and play Bishop Press Release Bingo.

(Tip of the balmoral to the good Hilary for putting this cite on her twitter feed, from which I appropriated it.)


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Wednesday, August 01, 2018

The Dress Act of 1746




The Dress Act 1746 was part of the Act of Proscription which came into force on 1 August 174[7] and made wearing "the Highland Dress" including tartan or a kilt illegal in Scotland as well as reiterating the Disarming Act. The Jacobite Risings between 1689 and 1746 found their most effective support amongst the Scottish clans, and this act was part of a series of measures attempting to bring the warrior clans under government control. An exemption allowed the kilt to be worn in the army, continuing the tradition established by the Black Watch regiment. The law was repealed in 1782.
From the always interesting Vintage Tartan FB page. The direct link to the piece is here.

The Scottish Tartan Authority has more on the Dress Act of 1746 here.

The tartan shown above is the St Ninian tartan commissioned by the Scottish parliament for the visit of Pope Benedict to Scotland.   More here.


Lammas Day



Today, the first of August, is indeed Lammas Day.


Lammas Day (Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas, "loaf-mass"), is a holiday celebrated in some English-speaking countries in the Northern Hemisphere, usually between 1 August and 1 September. It is a festival to mark the annual wheat harvest, and is the first harvest festival of the year. On this day it was customary to bring to church a loaf made from the new crop, which began to be harvested at Lammastide, which falls at the halfway point between the summer Solstice and Autumn September Equinox.
So sayeth Wikipedia here, along with much else.

Even though today is actually Lammas Day, the Ould Lammas Fair actually occurs at the end of August.  Go figure.



Gastro-oeconomia

Does one need to explain that Dr Kirk isn't always to be taken literally?

No, surely not.

So it should be safe to link here without undue repercussions.

And even here.

(Oops.  Link should be fixed now.)

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Monday, July 23, 2018

From the Mail

Sometimes you have to ramble through the internet underbrush to find the oddities.  Sometimes you just have to open your email software.  This from a daily service that is supposed to guide one through the mysteries of new technologies (and does a pretty good job of it, too):

In 2015, Godzilla received honorary Japanese citizenship and is listed as officially residing in the Shinjuku ward of Tokyo.

Interesting to see Japan liberalizing its treatment of illegal aliens.

Monday, July 16, 2018

16 July: In Commemoratione Solemni Beatæ Mariæ Virginis de Monte Carmelo, Titularis et Patronæ totius Ordinis Carmelitarum

Today is the titular feast of the Carmelite Order in all of its branches.

The old 2d nocturn as Englished by the Anglican Breviary.

Fr Pius Parsch's piece on the feast from "The Church's Liturgical Year".

Since the Sabbatine  Privilege comes up for discussion every year at this time, this is worth mentioning again:

From the July/August 1980 number of The Maryfaithful: 
POPE PAUL V and the SABBATINE PRIVILEGE 
When certain Portuguese questioned the genuineness of the Sabbatine Privilege in the year 1609, the matter was thoroughly investigated by the Holy Office in Rome, and at the end of three years, on January 20, 1613, Pope Paul V approved the following: "It is lawful for the Carmelites to preach that the faithful may reverently believe...that the Blessed Virgin will assist by her continued intercession, by her pious suffrage and merits, and also by her special protection after their death, particularly on Saturday (which day has been dedicated to the most holy Virgin by the Church), the souls of those Brethren and members of the Confraternity who depart this life in charity, and who whilst living on earth have worn the Habit, have observed chastity according to their state of life, and have recited the Little Office, or, if they know not how to read, have observed the fasts of the Church and have abstained from flesh meats on Wednesdays and Saturdays (unless the feast of Christmas falls on either of these days.)"


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Saturday, July 14, 2018

And on the subject of kings . . .





. . . 211 years ago yesterday, the 13th of July, Henry Benedict Thomas Edward Maria Clement Francis Xavier Stuart, the Cardinal Duke of York and de jure King Henry IX of Great Britain, France, and Ireland died in Frascati, the last of the Jacobite succession to publicly claim his right to the throne.

A precis of the life of His Grace and Eminence is here in the good old Catholic Encyclopædia.


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July 14 . . .

a.k.a., "Bastille Day" and time for the annual reprint of the late Jerry Pournelle's piece on that day:

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.
I can't figure out how to cite the original location.  Here's the location of the blog itself, still being maintained by Jerry's family.  Afraid you'll have to search for the original location yourself.

And this article remains  pertinent and of great interest, too.


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Saturday, July 07, 2018

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Novena


The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a.k.a., the Scapular feast, is coming up in 9 days +1.  Which means it's time to begin the novena to Our Lady.  Some prayer books have appropriate novena prayers and there are several on the web.  I rather like this one taken from an old novena manual of the early part of the last century.




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Friday, July 06, 2018

Does the 4th of July have an octave?


Well, it's in the novus ordo calendar with its own Mass.  It might, you know.  If it does, we're in the third day of it.

You will no doubt be delighted to learn that the ancestral manse has survived without a scratch our annual American orgy of patriotic pyromania.   This city does permit the safe-and-sane variety of fireworks (who comes up with these toe-curling descriptions, anyway?) and the evening of the 4th was filled with light and sound and the smell of gunpowder.  The grumpy side of me does hate to admit it but they are kind of fun to watch.

But the neighbourhood also has its fair share of the illegal variety which seems to consist entirely of small explosive devices.  And there's always one happy reveler who feels the need to set off a few at three in the morning.  Once I peel myself off the ceiling I can usually go back to sleep but on the whole I'd just as soon they didn't do that.  And I do hope none of the celebrants blew off any fingers.  (Yes, of course that's a real hope.  You're very cynical.)


Wednesday, July 04, 2018

4 July 2018




Well, here it the 4th day of July and not only is it the feast of St Ulric the bishop of Augsburg who was the first person ever canonized by a pope and Stephen Foster's birthday but it is also the 242d anniversary of the day the 2d Continental Congress formally adopted the declaration of  the 13 British colonies' independence from Great Britain.  We celebrate this every year with fireworks, small explosives, and assorted incendiary devices.  The later two are usually illegal but also ubiquitous.  Yes, it is once again scare-the-crap-out-of-your-household-pets day.

At the moment it is 5:31 and 58 seconds in the evening and the devotees of St Barbara, the patroness of artillerymen, have started in blasting already.

Happy 4th of July.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

St Oliver Plunkett



St Oliver was martyred on 11 July, the Irish calendar keeps his feast on 10 July, and the Ordinariates of England and Australia keep it today, the 1st of July.

The American Ordinariate of the Chair of S Peter, alas, doesn't keep it at all.

St Oliver Plunkett, born in 1629,  was of a noble Irish family, educated and ordained in Rome.  After many years in Rome as an academic he was consecrated bishop and appointed Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.  At that time his jurisdiction included the Hebrides and some other parts of Scotland. He was the last "official" martyr of the English reformation persecutions and the last of Titus Oates's victims.

The good old Catholic Encyclopædia give his vita here.  Wikipedia bases its life on the Catholic Encyclopædia but has a bit more information and includes and few pictures here.


Thinking about Euthanasia?

Then go here and read this.

One of the saddest things I can think of right now is that there are some hearts that are so calcified that they will be unmoved by this piece.

Original sin, I guess.


A Jacobite Exhibition at the Scottish National Museum

A new exhibition of Jacobite memorabilia. . . alas, not hereabouts in the lower-left corner of the USofA but in Scotland.  I'd love to see it but there's the commute. . . .

The Jacobite cause — as James’s supporters were called — began in 1688, when the Catholic James II was deposed by the Protestant William III. James was a brave soldier (his suit of armour here was the last to be made for a British monarch), but he failed to regain the crown. He left that challenge to his son, James Francis Edward Stuart, or James III. 
As the exhibition shows, the repressive and brutal actions of William and his successors, especially in Scotland, kept the Jacobite cause alive well into the 18th century. The document ordering the Massacre of Glencoe is on display, in all its chilling brevity; “You are hereby ordered to fall upon the rebels, the McDonalds of Glenco, and put all to the sword under seventy . . . This is by the Kings [William III] speciall command.”



More here.

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In Paradisum deducant te angeli

June was quite a month.  As I suppose some know, I play pipes for a good many funerals.  Most of the time I don't know the people and I am engaged by the mortuaries or cemeteries.  But lately the deceased have included a couple of good friends and my wife's godson who was the son of good friends.  Yesterday Mary and I had to split our forces and we each attended different funerals.  And this doesn't count two people who who died out of state whose services I couldn't attend, with or without pipes.

As we hear less and less about Purgatory from official sources, prayers for the dead seem more necessary and urgent all the time.

Oremus pro fidelium defunctorum.

1 July

Today is the old feast of the Precious Blood of Jesus. There are several worthwhile posts out there on the web about this feast day.  Here are a couple:  Fr Hunwicke's here and Charles Coulombe's here.

As both of them explain, the feast never quite made it into Bugninian rite despite there being several religious orders with that dedication and it being the patronal feast of Westminster Cathedral in London.  So that's why, things being what they are, you didn't celebrate the feast in your parish this Sunday, the first of July.

But it's still the month of the Precious Blood.   And a good time to recite the Litany of the Precious Blood of Jesus.


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Speaking of Royal Weddings. . . .

. . . .which I wasn't, but everyone else seems to have been, on this day, the 19 of May, in 1536 Anne Boleyn was beheaded, putting a rather extreme end to that royal marriage.  (Yes, I know he already had a wife at the time that particular royal wedding occurred and marriage really ought to be in quotes or something.  But if you start going into details everything gets bogged down and. . . oh,  never mind.)

In any event,  my train of thought on this 19th of May in 2018 ran down one of its inexplicable side tracks and came up with this:



So everything really is on youtube.  And this was only one of many versions of "With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm" which my search came up with.  And I thought only I remembered that little bit of music hall fluff.

Vigil of Pentecost

Antiphon: Today * are fulfilled the days of Pentecost, alleluia: Today the Holy Ghost appeared in fire to the disciples, and bestowed upon them his manifold graces: sending them into all the world, to preach the gospel, and to testify: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Alleluia.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

14 May

In the Ordinariate calendar the 14th of May is St Matthias's Day.

It occurs to me that in this year of 2018 a.d. the collect for St Matthias might be of some interest:

O Almighty God, who into the place of the traitor Judas didst choose thy faithful servant Matthias to be of the number of the twelve Apostles: grant that thy Church, being alway preserved from false Apostles, may be ordered and guided by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end Amen.


(Yes, I know we're half-way through the month and the April drawings are still up over on the left-hand side.  I will get to it.  Promise.  Probably later today.  FWIW, Photobucket gets harder to work with every day.)

Sunday, April 22, 2018

3d Sunday After Easter

. . . .a.k.a., Good Shepherd Sunday



The altar this morning at Bl John Henry Newman waiting for the priest and for High Mass to begin.  We sang the Hassler Mass and Gregorian propers.  (Well, the A team sang most of the propers.  Your servant is very much on the B team.  The B team is tentatively allowed an offertorium on a psalm tone.  Under careful supervision.)



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Friday, April 20, 2018

Spring may possibly be back


Well, not all the garden residents are entirely sure about it.  Although, as you see the Japanese Maple is almost back to full greenery standard and seems to have no doubts about it.


The white roses are fairly confident too.  Some of her neighbours to the left came out way too early and are now catching their breath.  And probably waiting for me to remove the dead-heads, which will happen presently.


Ah, but the birches.  The birches have just barely got a toe in the water, so to speak.  The little fellow above has a few companions, to be sure, but not very many for practically the last week in April.  On the plus side, they do keep their leaves well into  what passes for autumn here in southern California.  (Far hotter than what the calendar tell us is summer, for those who were wondering.)

And, as almost always, you can click on the pictures above and render them well-nigh brobdingnagian.  You could count the veination.


Trying Out a Brand New Way to Waste Valuable Time

It's called MeWe.com  It's the anti-Facebook.

So far I haven't been too obstreperous on FB and they haven't cancelled, edited, put me on probation, or otherwise sent me to Facebook Purgatory.   Or just sent me to online oblivion as apparently happens to the seriously naughty.

But it probably won't be long now when you contemplate what is now considered beyond the pale.  Steubenville U. got a slap on the wrist for posting a picture of the Franciscan crucifix.  I can be far more non-pc than that.  So MeWe might turn out to be an acceptable replacement if/when the Zuckernauts discover all those pictures of Ordinariate liturgy and let the hammer fall.

The downside is the obvious:  as a brand-new social medium MeWe has few participants compared to FB.   Still, the privacy standards are good and software UI is intuitive and comprehensive, IMHO, of course.  In time it should be solid competition for Mr Zuckerberg's brain child.  And it does seem to be growing rather well.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

The Sunday of the Resurrection


Almighty God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death, and opened  unto us the gate of everlasting life: we humbly beseech Thee, that, as by thy special grace preventing  us Thou dost put into our minds good desires ; so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect.  Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord : Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost ever one God, world without end.  Amen.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

St Patrick's Day - 2018

No gigs today.  Which doesn't displease me.  There was a time it would have. But any more the lure of wads of cash pressed down and over-flowing doesn't overcome my distaste for the . . . ambience, I suppose you could call it.  Most of the calls are to play in bars.  Well, actually all of them but one this year and that one didn't pan out.

Since none of my other venues - none of which involved roaring drunks - called, I spent a quiet day with the small pipes and the melodeon.  And some reading.

Speaking of reading, how about a good Life of St Patrick?    Here's one reproduced on the Trias Thaumaturga blog.  It's originally from John Gilmary Shea's "Our Faith and its Defenders: comprising the trials and triumphs of the defenders of our faith in America",  New York, 1894; pp 121-125.

You can find it here.


A collect for St Patrick:

O God, who for the preaching of thy glory unto the Gentiles was pleased to send forth blessed Patrick, thy Confesor and Bishop: grant by his merits and intercessions; that we may through thy mercy be enabled to accomplish those things which thou commandest us to do.  Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Some piping would be appropriate for today even if I didn't get any in using the big guys.  Here's the medly entry in last summer's world's pipe band championship from the St Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band from Dublin.


Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Evensong today, the 2d lesson


Ephesians 4:14, Msgr Knox's translation:
we are no longer to be children, no longer to be like storm-tossed sailors, driven before the wind of each new doctrine that human subtlety, human skill in fabricating lies, may propound

Indeed.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Candlemas Day

On which we got nothing done.  Almost nothing done.  We did get a wheelchair delivered to the parents of Herself's godson who lost a leg in a traffic accident.  He lives even further away but they will get it to him forthwith I'm told.  That, unaccountably, took up the entire day.

But we didn't get to Mass with or without candles, only said the Little  Office of Our Lady (because it's "little" and fits in my pocket),  didn't finish a bunch of insurance documents I'm supposed to review, didn't practice for an upcoming funeral, didn't finish taking down the Christmas decorations, and didn't do a whole raft of other things which I not only didn't do but can't remember at the moment.

Since it is Candlemas Day you might want to read about same.  The Inn has a couple of relevant posts from past years here and here which are still enjoyable if I do say so who shouldn't.

If Candlemas Day be dry and fair,
The half o the winter's to come and mair;
If Candlemas Day be wet and foul,
The half o the winter's gane at Yule. 

Not from Accuweather but possibly just as accurate.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

February 1 -- St Brigid's Day

A collect for St Brigid:

O God, whose dwelling-place is the  pure in heart : grant that we who venerate the memory of Saint Brigid, thy faithful spouse, may have grace to follow the example of her unspotted life  Through Our Lord.   Amen.

That is from the lovely old Anglican Breviary. She's not in the general Roman calendar, the American Ordinariate calendar - a sad failing - nor any of the local feasts given for North America in my old St Andrew Missal.  The Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham gives her feast and a delightful reading but no collect.   Ireland, of course, has a proper collect for her.  The old rite has one -- but I don't have access to it.  The Pauline rite has one, too, but I don't know what I've done with the book.  It's around here somewhere but I don't use it and haven't seen it in a while.  As I recall, it was quite good.  A tad bland as is the modern fashion.  But not heretical as is, alas, sometimes also the modern fashion.

UCD's cultural heritage collection has an interesting article here on her legend and lore throughout the ages.  Not terribly devotional - and a bit too obsessed with druids and suchlike, as is yet again the modern fashion, but still pretty interesting.

Here the Medieval Manuscripts Blog gives a collection of tales of St Brigid's miracles.  (The exploding eye one does seem a bit gruesome, even if it was an illusion.)

And, for what it's worth,  February 1 is my grandmother's birthday.  When she was born Ireland was British, Victoria was still queen and, indeed, had yet another 20+ years to go, and Rutherford B. Hayes was president.


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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Septuagesimatide

Last Sunday was Septuagesima Sunday beginning the two and a half week preparation period for Lent.  If you're in an Ordinariate parish or a traditional Roman Rite parish, that is.  Pauline Rite folks don't get to ease into it.  They will be going along minding their own ordinary time business when BAM in the middle of an ordinary time week it's ashes on the forehead, only one meal and a bit on the day and it is well-and-truly Lent.  Could be a shock to the system.

The Blessed Ildefonse Cardinal Schuster gives a little Septuagesima history in volume II of his Liber Sacramentorum.  Herewith:


The Eastern usage regarded Saturday and Sunday as festival days, and therefore as exempt from the Lenten fast; so, in order to complete the forty days of Lent, the Greeks anticipated the penitential season by some weeks, and from this Sunday onward abstained from the use of meat. In the following week they abstained also from milk 'and similar foods, and finally on the Monday of Quinquagesima they commenced the rigid fast in preparation for Easter. 
Among the Latins the custom varied at different times.   By beginning the Lenten cycle with the First Sunday in Lent, there remain indeed, as St .Gregory remarks, forty days of preparation for Easter, but of these only thirty-six are devoted to fasting. In order to supply the four missing days, pious persons and ecclesiastics began, in quite early times, to abstain from meat on the Monday after Quinquagesima (In carnis privio or in carne levario = Carnival); but it is not until the time of St Gregory that we find in the antiphonary the liturgical consecration of the caput jejunii on the Wednesday of Quinquagesima.  
The piety of the more devout, however, was not satisfied by these four supplementary days. The Greeks began earlier, and, living as they did beside them in Rome during the Byzantine period, the Latins could do no less. St Gregory therefore instituted, or at least gave definite form to, a cycle of three weeks' preparation for Lent, with three solemn stations at the patriarchal Basilicas of St Lawrence, St Paul, and St Peter, as though to begin the Easter fast under the auspices of the three great patrons of the Eternal City.  
The order of the stational cycle has been reversed, and begins on this day with the station at St Lawrence, which holds the fourth place only among the papal basilicas, the reason for this change being that it was not considered advisable to remove the first Lenten station from the Lateran, where ever since the fourth century the Popes had been in the habit of offering the sacrificium quadragesimalis initii, as the Sacramentary calls it.  
It would seem that the three Masses of Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima date from the time of St Gregory, since they reflect the terror and grief that filled the minds of the Romans in those years during which war, pestilence, and earthquake threatened the utter destruction of the former mistress of the world.  
The Introit is taken from Psalm xvii: "The groans of death surrounded me, the sorrows of hell encompassed me: and in my affliction, I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice from his holy temple." 
From this Sunday until Maundy Thursday the Gloria in Excelsis is omitted in Masses de tempore.  Originally it was sung only at Christmas and Easter, but later it came to be used on all Sundays, except those in Lent, and also on the feasts of martyrs, but only by special privilege. The collect, which immediately follows the litany on days of fasting and penance, truly represents, therefore, the ordinary and normal form of the litany as used in the ancient liturgy of the Mass and of the divine office.  
The collect betrays the deep affliction which weighed on the soul of St Gregory at the sight of the desolation of Rome and of all Italy during his pontificate.  "O Lord, we beseech thee, graciously hear the prayers of thy people; that we who are justly afflicted for our sins may for the glory of thy name be mercifully delivered."

 The Blessed Cardinal goes on to give some of the proper texts of the Mass and a bit of explanation of them.  Most of that can be found in your missal.  But there are a final couple of paragraphs on "the uncertainty of eternal salvation".  These are worth posting, too:

How great is the uncertainty of eternal salvation! Cum metu et tremore vestram salutem operamini, as the Apostle says (Phil. ii I2); this is the fruit of to-day's meditation on the Epistle of St Paul and on the parable of the vineyard.  
How many and how striking were the miracles worked by almighty God during the forty years that Israel wandered in the desert!  The heavenly food, the miraculous water, the cloud and the column of fire, the Red Sea and the Jordan parting before them; and yet out of the many thousands for whom these wonders were worked, the greater number fell away, and only two reached the final goal. 
Thus, it isn't enough for us to have been baptized, to have been called by God to a holy state, to the dignity  of the priesthood, to have become the object of his special predilection by the frequent opportunities he has given us of receiving the holy sacraments and of hearing his gracious word.  It is necessary to labour diligently -- operamini -- to follow the narrow way that leads to life eternal; it is necessary to imitate the chosen few -- that is the saints -- in order to be saved together with them.  Never can we apprehend these divine truths with greater clearness than when we meditate upon them, as in today's station, beside the tombs of the martyrs, who, in order to gain their heavenly reward, were ready to sacrifice wealth,  youth, and even life itself.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Squatter's Rights

Since I got a new pad for the Matins chair, my pal from next door has commandeered it most mornings.   Actually, he wasn't too unhappy with plain wicker.   But the pad has definitely met with feline approval.  As usual, you can click on the picture and get a better view of His Haughtiness.


Free At Last

No, not in the Martin Luther King, Jr sense.   It's just jury duty: I finally  got dismissed this morning and I am free of it for at least a year.

And after all those warnings I can finally talk about it  Except there's nothing to say.  I have no idea what went on.  After an endless series of hurry-up-and-wait, lectures on my civic duty, and, oh, come back tomorrow.  And then, oh, don't need y'all after all.  You can go.

I'm not complaining, mind.

But it doesn't make for much of a blog post.


Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Romish and Feudal Superstitions

"My favourite kind"  as Professor Parker put it on her Twitter feed.  (Mine, too.)



If you click on the picture above and make it larger you will learn all about wassailing the orchard.  Very useful document, should you happen to have an orchard.

(Now, I think I've got this straight:  the above was originally clipped and saved by the redoubtable Cecil Sharp and found in the archives of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (the EDFSS) and posted on its Twitter Feed and subsequently re-tweeted today by Professor Parker at @ClerkofOxford. )

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Epiphany in Braid Scots

Someone has put up the Epiphany lections in braid Scots.  What a delight.

Than Herod, whan he had hiddlinslie ca’t the Wyse men, inquairet o’ them eidentlie what time the stern had kythet. An’ he sendet them til Bethlehem, an’ said, "Gang an’ seek eidentlie for the young childe; an’ whan ye hae fund him, bring me back word, that I may come an’ wurship him alsua." And whan they had heard the king they set out; an’, lo, the stern whilk they saw in the east gaed afore them, till it cam’ an’ stude ower whare the young childe was. An’ whan they saw the stern they rejoicet wi’ verra grit joy. An' whan they had come intill the hous, they saw the young childe wi’ Mary his mither, an’ fell doun an’ wurshippet him: an’ whan they had openet their thesaures, they propinet untill him giftes, gowd, frankincense, an’ myrrh. An’ bein’ wаrnet in a dream that they shudna return till Herod, they gaed awa intill their ain countrie bie anither way.

The rest is here.  The lesson in Matthew is the same in the traditional Roman Rite and the Pauline Rite, likewise the old Book of Common Prayer.  Ephesians, however, is cut down in the Pauline Rite but expanded in the Prayer Book.  The excerpt from Isaiah is new in the Pauline Rite.  There's some Isaiah in the old Roman Breviary but it's a different selection.  So whatever your liturgical predilections this Epiphany, there's a bit of it available on line in Braid Scots.

Monday, January 01, 2018

1 January 2018

A pair of collects for New Year's Day:


ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy Only Begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin: grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

O GOD, who by the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary hast bestowed upon mankind the reward of eternal salvation: grant, we beseech thee, that we may know the help of her intercession, through whom we have been accounted worthy to receive the Author of our life, Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

This afternoon was dedicated to long-overdue correspondence, which, alas, is still not finished.  I've had enough of the keyboard for today but something needed to go up on The Inn for the first of the new year.  So a couple of prayers for the new year from the Prayer Book via the Ordinariate rite is going to have to do.  One could do worse.


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Found While Looking for Something Else




I was actually looking to see if anyone had posted the wonderful talk he gave when he couldn't conduct at a particular recorded concert because of the rain that was making too much noise on a metal roof.  But this turned up instead and Sir Thomas got Wozzeck exactly right.  (And  Lulu, too, even though he didn't mention it.)

(And, yes, I know it isn't really Sir Thomas.  But it's really his opinion.)



Friday, December 29, 2017

BTW

In the unlikely event  you were wondering, I finally got the light over the Christmas creche to work.

The ones proper to the Christmas tree . . . not so much.  I found some old Christmas tree lights from years past (being a minor-league hoarder does occasionally come in handy) and strung them about the tree over the built-in ones that don't work.   And there's a final string around the potted ficus in the corner.  So the front room is now properly festive for the season.

And it's only the 5th day in the octave.  Not late at all.


St Thomas of Canterbury

The Inn loves to keep the feast of St Thomas Becket, a.k.a., St Thomas of Canterbury.  Alas, since The Inn is in its 15th year we ran out of new and interesting things to say a few years ago.   So here's a post from two years ago.

And another post from a dozen years ago.

And once again, a recommendation for Robert Hugh Benson's biography of St Thomas, "The Holy Blissful Martyr, Saint Thomas à Becket".  Neumann Press printed a lovely edition before TAN bought them out.  ABE books has three or four listed but they're rather dear.  Perhaps TAN still has some of Neumann Press's old stock somewhere.

(A medieval picture of St Thomas's martyrdom, along with a Magnificat antiphon for his feast,  are still up over on the left-hand column if you scroll down a bit.)


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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

St John's Day

To day is not only the third day in the octave of Christmas but also St John's day.  The old Roman breviary had this to say about St John:

The Apostle John whom Jesus loved exceedingly, was the son of Zebedee, and the brother of the Apostle James, whom Herod beheaded after the Lord's Passion.  He wrote his Gospel the last of all, at the request of the bishops of Asia, against Cerinthus and other heretics.  Especially was he compelled to declare the divine birth of Christ,since the Ebionites had begun  to teach that Christ did not exist previous to Mary.

In the 14th year of Domitian, who stirred up the second  persecution after that of Nero, John was banished to the island of Patmos.  There he wrote the Apocalypse, which has been explained by  Justin Martyr and Irenæus.  But when Domitian was murdered, the senate annulled all his acts on account of their excessive cruelty, and John returned to Ephesus during the reign of Nerva.  Remaining there until the reign of Trajan he founded and governed all the churches of Asia.  Worn out with old age, he died sixty-eight years after the Lord's Passion and was buried near the same city of Ephesus.

From the 2d nocturn, quoting S Jerome, "On Ecclesiastical Writers".  The translation is that of the old Stanbrook Abbey breviary published in 1936.

St John's day is also the proper day to get your wine blessed.  If you haven't done it yet, it's probably too late.  But here's the gist of what you missed.

Mysteries of the Universe Dept.

I understand why the department stores are crowded.  People, such as your servant, who wouldn't ordinarily set foot in a mall or any of its attendant emporia, go there before the holidays to buy the required Christmas presents and after the holidays to return the same.

But why are the grocery stores crowded?  Sure, one has to buy the turkey and the mince pie and so forth.  But that's just instead of the lamb chops that were purchased the week before and the chicken the week before that and so on.   One has to eat whether or not it's a holiday.  So why are there more people in the market during the holidays?  Is there a large section of the population that only eats on holidays?  Are millions of my fellow citizens being fed only intravenously if it's not Christmas or Easter or the 4th of July?  It doesn't seem likely.  But one does wonder.



Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Feast



Unless, of course, you happened to be shivering in Massachusetts on the 25th of December a few hundred years ago.  In which case, be warned:



Presumably that goes for the whole 12 days.



It's still Christmas

We've still got 11 days left of the 12 days of Christmas.  Even more if you want to wait until Candlemas. 

Hence:

St Stephen's Day



Today is St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day, or even the 2d day in the Octave of Christmas, which last  is my excuse for the preceding post.

Here's what we said in The Inn about St Stephen's Day a few years ago.

And as long as we're in reprinting mode, herewith a St Stephen's Day carol The Inn found a dozen or so years ago.  The source is given as "Christmas Carols -- Ancient and Modern" (circa 1861, reprinted by A. Wessels Company, New York 1901). But I found it in the Christmas 2004 number of Gilbert Magazine.


St Stephen Was A Clerk

Saint Stephen was a clerk
In king Herodes hall,
And served him of bread and cloth
As ever king befalle.

Stephen out of kitchen came
With boar's head in hande
He saw a star was fair and bright,
Over Bethlem stonde.

He cast adown the boar's head,
And went into the halle;
“I forsake thee, king Herod,
And thy werkes alle.

“I forsake thee, king Herod,
And thine werkes alle,
There is a child in Bethlem borne,
Is better than we alle.”

“What aileth thee, Stephen,
What is thee befalle?
Lacketh thee either meat or drink,
In king Herod's hall?”

“Lacketh me neither meat nor drink
In king Herod's hall,
There is a child in Bethlem borne,
Is better than we all.”

“What aileth thee, Stephen,
Art thou wode, or thou ginnest to brede?
Lacketh thee either gold or fee,
Or any rich weede?”

“Lacketh me neither gold nor fee,
Nor none rich weede,
There is a child in Bethlem born
Shall help us at our need.”

“This is all so sooth, Stephen,
All so sooth, I wis.
As this capon crow shall
That lyeth here in my dish.

That word was not so soon said,
That word in the hall,
The capon crew, Christus natus est,
Among the lordes all.

Riseth up my tormentors,
By two, and all by one,
And leadeth Stephen out of town,
And stoneth him with stone.

Token they Stephen,
And stoned him in the way,
And therefore is his even,
On Christes owen day.

Ideally the  poem should be in that quote format that Blogspot provides.  But for reasons known only to the panjandrums at Blogspot, if I try that the whole thing gets strung into one long line.  So it's a quote even though it's not in the quote format.  Not a complaint.  Just an observation.  Poor form to complain about a free service, donncha know.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas 2017







The theory and traditional practice is that one shouldn't put up the Christmas tree until Christmas Eve.  The flaw in that hallowed tradition is that if anything goes wrong and none of lights will work, there is s.d.a. you can do about it since any place where bulbs and or fuses can be purchased is closed. And will remain closed until Tuesday.  And should you happen to find a supply of new bulbs and fuses and spend HOURS testing bulbs and fuses without success, there is still no remedy until Tuesday.

How do I know all this?  Never mind.   I know.

Here's more Christmas music. Christmas music soothes the savage breast.   And anyway, Madame Schumann-Heink had more to worry about than non-functioning Christmas lights.  She had a son fighting on each side in the first world war.



Oh, one more.  And not Silent Night this time.






Thursday, December 21, 2017

What rough beast, its hour come round at last. . . .

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

 The darkness drops again . . . .

Christmas: the Subversive Feast

Our loyalty to secular authorities must always be conditional, or better, derivative. “The king’s good servant, but God’s first,” does, after all, imply that we are prepared to choose God over the king, if they conflict, and lose our head for it. The king wants us to be his good servant, period. 
Christianity does not demand from us disloyalty, but an act of more fundamental loyalty, which is political too, because ultimately all authority is one. Maybe you have never sat through to the end of Handel’s Messiah, but its great concluding Amen goes, “Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever.” 
Indeed, the last words on earth of the Teacher who said “render unto Caesar” were: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” If you accept this, then all bets are off, except the bet on God’s really being the God of providence and good order.

From The Catholic Thing

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

What's good for the goose. . . .

. . . is, apparently, irrelevant to the gander.

So sayeth - at least  by implication - something called the Australian Royal Commission on Child Abuse. 

Videlicet