Wednesday, April 25, 2007

St Mark's Day

"St Mark is one of the four Evangelists. He was not one of the Apostles but was a disciple of theirs from the outset and soon became their companion in their mission. He appears to have been associated especially with St Peter; he acted as his interpreter and wrote down his teaching: the Gospel of St Mark is a faithful reflection of the teaching of the Prince of the Apostles.

"Possession of the body of St Mark is one of the glories of Venice [the picture is of the patriarchal basilica of St Mark in Venice]; he is patron of the city. Christian iconography usually represents St Mark by a lion. The lion is one of four symbolical animals of Ezechiel's vision." -The St Andrew Missal, (ed. 1962), p 1200

Global Warming

Al Gore must be feeling pretty silly right about now.

And as a friend of mine pointed out, it must be even worse on the east coast because they're three hours ahead of us.

Monday, April 23, 2007

St George for England. . . .

. . .and Greece, Moscow, Montenegro, Serbia, Portugal, Constantinople, the Teutonic Knights, the Order of the Garter, and heaven knows what else. And today is his feast day.

St George's Day: A new national holiday for England is "inevitable".

This commercial site (for Bombardier Ale, no less) wants to improve the national celebrations in England. It has great "industrial value" it seems.

Cranky old Fr Thurston, S.J. goes on at length here in the Catholic Encyclopædia about what we don't know about St George.

The County of Suffolk, however, prefers St Edmund.

Actually, the English get something of a twofer on 23 April: it's also the birthday of William Shakespeare.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Earth Day

I celebrated by driving 60+ miles in a 6 cylinder Saturn. I did have a passenger, but it couldn't be helped. Anyway, he doesn't drive so it's not like I was taking another vehicle off the road or anything.

And that's how far you have to drive if you want to attend a Roman Rite Mass here in the Archdiocese of Hollywood. Want to reduce the ole carbon footprint on the left coast? Pray for the early promulgation of the fabled Motu Proprio.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

St Anselm

l'Abbaye Notre-Dame du Bec-Hellouin, the monastery of St Anselm's profession.

Today the Roman Rite celebrates the feast of St Anselm, the Italian Archbishop of Canterbury from the French monastery.

It is not often that a Catholic saint wins the admiration of German philosophers and English historians. But Anselm has this singular distinction. Hegel's appreciation of his mental powers may be matched by Freeman's warm words of praise for the great Archbishop of Canterbury. "Stranger as he was, he has won his place among the noblest worthies of our island. It was something to be the model of all ecclesiastical perfection; it was something to be the creator of the theology of Christendom -- but it was something higher still to be the very embodiment of righteousness and mercy, to be handed down in the annals of humanity as the man who saved the hunted hare and stood up for the holiness of Alphege." (History of the Norman Conquest, IV, 444).[from the CE article linked above.]

Friday, April 20, 2007

Bl Robert Watkinson

Today is the 505th anniversary of the martyrdom of Blessed Robert Watkinson. Here is the story of his last days as related by Fr Bowden, C.O. in his “Mementoes of the Martyrs of England and Wales”:

He was born at Hemingborough, Yorkshire, educated at Douay and Rome, and ordained priest at Arras. In 1602 he crossed to England, and, being in ill health, put himself under the care of a physician in London. A few days later, while he was walking in the street, he met a stranger, in appearance a venerable old man, who saluted him with these words, “Jesus bless you, sir, you seem to be sick and troubled with many infirmities; but be of good cheer, for within these four days you shall be cured of all.” And so it happened, for the next day, Saturday, April 17, through the treachery of an apostate priest, he was apprehended, tried and condemned, and was executed at Tyburn on the Tuesday following, April 20, and so found rest. On the morning of execution he found means to celebrate Mass in prison; those who were present, and especially Mr Henry Owen, his server and prisoner for conscience' sake, saw about his head while he was celebrating a bright light like a ray of glory, which from the consecration to the communion rested directly over his head and then disappeared. This martyr was only twenty-three years old.

La Métamorphose d'un Autel

My friend and reader Eloise sent me this video yesterday:

La Métamorphose d'un Autel

Those of us on the indult circuit know the transformation dance well. And now this French community has put it to music. It's a delight. Do take a few minutes to watch and listen. Especially if you're on the "indult circuit".

[And don't be put off by the "15 minutes" notation. It doesn't take 15 minutes. Thanks to the magic of the fast-forward button, it's closer to 4 minutes.]

ADDENDUM 22-APR-07: I find during my Sunday web-browsing that Fr Zuhlsdorf has not only beaten me to the punch on this one, but has also added a source for the captivating background music. Father will tell you all about it (with sound links, yet) here.

The New Indult Mass in The OC

Last Sunday, I attended the new indult Mass for the Diocese of Orange. Some of the details can be found here. The address and a map can be found here.

It's a low Mass celebrated by a young Norbertine priest, whose name I didn't catch. We were blessed with a good "Norbertine" sermon about Mercy Sunday. The chapel is designed for the Novus Ordo -- tabernacle at the side, no altar rails, a moveable altar which is pushed back to the wall for the traditional Rite. But it's nicely decorated with a lot of traditional touches. There is a huge, and very beautiful icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa behind the altar. It turned about to be a very quick and easy drive from here: 23.6 miles from this keyboard on my speedometer. It took between 20 to 25 minutes. Somehow, I remember Yorba Linda being further away.

The unfortunate part is that it was very sparsely attended. I would guess about 40 people. Maybe as many as 50, but no more. I suspect that's due to the early time; a family with young children would have a hard time getting all the little ones ready for a 7:00 a.m. start time.

If you're anywhere near and can pry yourself from the arms of Morpheus before cock-crow on a Sunday morning, do think about attending. It would help to keep the numbers up. They count these things, you know.

O.K., Joke's Over

It's been over 24 hours now and this is still the latest post from Hilary. Some people are starting to think she's serious. It is not helping what has already been not the greatest week of the year.

Dodged the Bullet

Yes, we did. There was wonderful news last week: Chicago got the Olympic Games nomination. It was a near-run thing. The City Parents-of-Indeterminate-Gender here in L.A. had been beavering away for months to bring that bit of economic catastrophe to this part of the world. But God was merciful.

Dinner for One

It's lonely around here. I took SWMBO to the airport the other day and she is at this moment visiting with her mother and assorted other relations in Dublin for a couple of weeks. I am not cut out to be a bachelor. I might have handled the Consecrated Life all right; who can tell? But this not-having-a-wife-where-there-is-supposed-to-be-a-wife is not on. Conversations for one don't work all that well. And I don't have any recipes for one, either.

In the meantime, there is nothing quite so consoling as cleaning out files, removing clutter, and simplifying the work-space. I have no idea why that should be. But it is so.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?

If this were The Irish Elk there would be a link to the old depression-era tune of the same name right here. But it's not and I couldn't find one. So you'll just have to hum it for yourself.

You will have surmised that I finished the taxes and sent off the enormous cheque to the gummint. I am not actually stony-broke as a result, but, as my mother used to say in similar circumstances, "We may have to postpone this month's payment on the Rolls."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What I've Been Doing Instead of theTaxes

Looking at back issues of The Wanderer for a start, which is where I found references to these articles in Salon:

The Army is ordering injured troops to go to Iraq

Army deployed seriously injured troops

Injured troops shipped back into battle

Armies have always used injured troops to fight when the need arose. But it used to be cases of battlefield desperation. Not political desperation.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Monday in Bright Week

("Bright Week" is what the Byzantine Rite often calls Easter Week.)

No posts on The Inn today. I've been fumbling my way through TurboTax today, even though it isn't the absolute last minute to start on the taxes. A whole week in advance counts as pretty darn early for me.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Victimæ Paschali Laudes

Just back from Easter High Mass it occurs to me that many without that privilege may only have heard the great Easter sequence read aloud in English by a lector. Perhaps not even that. Any who would like to remedy that lacuna can find it here sung by the monks of St Benedict's Abbey in Brazil.

The monastery maintains a website here with many more of the proper chants for almost every feast of the year. The technical audio quality of the recordings is not of the very highest but you will hear a real performance of the ancient choral prayer of the Church.

Resurrexit Sicut Dixit

Aurora Lucis Rutilat

Dawn of the Day bursts on the sky,
Heaven's ordnance peals in victory
Exultant earth takes up the cry,
While Hell groans grimly in reply.

For see, our King, strong in his might,
Tramples on death in Death's despite
And, grinding hell-mouth with his heel,
Leads out the captive saints to light

Guarded by sentries and a stone,
Our King lay; honours had He none;
But, vanquishing the grave, commands
A sovereign's escort to His throne.

Rachel in tears, be comforted!
Captivity is captive led;
An angel bright as noon declares:
The Lord is risen from the dead.

Creator of the world, we pray
Thee, at this time of Paschal joy
Protect Thy people from dismay
Or onslaught of mortality.

O Lord, O Virgin-born, to Thee
Glory and praise eternal be,
Whom with the Father evermore
And Holy Spirit we adore.
[Easter Hymn for Lauds,
En Calcat Office of Our Lady]

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Memento Mori - 7 April

Deus, indulgentiarum Domine: da animæ famuli tui et patri meo Ioanni, cuius anniversarium mortis diem commemoramus, refrigerii sedem, quietis beatitudinem, et luminis claritatem. Per Dominum nostrum. Amen.

The Sacred Triduum

If Holy Week services in the traditional Roman Rite were a bit scarece on the ground where you are, you might like to visit "ThomasPeregrinus" for some lovely pictures of some of the ceremonies as celebrated this week at Maternal Heart of Mary Chapel in Lewisham Australia:

Good Friday

Tenebræ for Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday Paschal Vigil (for 2006)

Holy Saturday

If you're looking for a good post on any holiday - or holy day - Recta Ratio will probably be the first choice. Holy Week has been no exception. Today Tom gives us a Holy Saturday sermon from Msgr Ronald Knox. You can find it here.

For Cod and Ulster

That's the name of a new chip shop in loyalist east Belfast. According to last Saturday's Irish Times, the new chipper's front doors bear two drawings, one of Ian Paisley, his fork in a large meat sausage, proclaiming it the best in Ulster and another drawing of Gerry Adams gripping a hamburger saying "At last we agree on something!"

Now "For Cod and Ulster" was good enough for me. But The Times adds that this was no doubt the product of the good fry-day agreement. Almost worth the highly-inflated cost of the paper all by itself, isn't it.

Monday, April 02, 2007

St Gilbert of Caithness

St Gilbert is one of Scotland's medieval saints. Like most of Scotland's saints, he doesn't get much of a look-in these days in the universal calendar. There's St Margaret of Scotland and then pretty much no one else. St Gilbert as its fourth bishop brought peace to his very fractious diocese and therein lies his claim to fame. His two predecessors (says this website) died particularly gruesome deaths: one had his eyes plucked out and his tongue removed and the other was burned alive in his home. Imagine. All that anger and there wasn't even an internet to egg anyone on.

The picture is the Cathedral of Dornoch, built by St Gilbert.

St Gilbert, pray for the Church and bring her peace.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Palm Sunday

A few paragraphs from the Blessed Ildefonso Cardinal Schuster on the historical background of today's feast:

“The great ceremonies of the “paschal” week – as this solemn period of seven days on which we are now entering was originally called – took place, as a rule, during the Middle Ages, in the pontifical residence in the classical palace of the Lateran. For this reason the procession of the palms or olive ranches and the stational Mass are celebrated to-day in the venerable Basilica of the Saviour; that lasting monument of the victories of the Roman Pontiffs over idolatry, heresy, and the gates of hell, which for more than nineteen centuries have conspired against the Church, but which have ever been repulsed and defeated. Non prævalebunt eam; Christ has said, and before one word of his lips shall be made void, both heaven and earth shall pass away.

In the late Middle Ages, to-day's station was sometimes, at the desire of the Pope, celebrated at the Vatican, and the blessing of the palms then took place in the Church of Sta Maria “in Turri,” which stood in the atrium of the basilica.

We find preserved, in the blessing of the palms, the ancient type of the liturgical synaxes, of those assemblies, that is, for the recitation of the Divine Office, the instruction of the faithful and so on, which were not followed by the celebration of Mass. This type of synaxis was taken from the Jewish rite used in the Synagogues of the Diaspora and formed part of the Christian ritual from the time of the Apostles.

The procession of the olive branches is derived from the ceremony witnessed by the pilgrim Etheria in Jerusalem at he end of the fourth century. In the West it was customary from the first to hold olive twigs in the hand during the reading of the Gospel; in Gaul a special blessing was first given, not indeed to the branches, but to the people who rendered this act of reverence to the Word of God. Later, there was added the procession before the Mass, which gave a greater show and importance to the olive twigs, and these finally, in their turn, received the sacerdotal blessing.

Collecta at St Silvester in the Lateran.

According to the Ordines Romani of the fourteenth century the palms were first blessed by the Cardinal of St Lawrence, and were then carried by the clergy into the patriarchal basilica to the oratory of St Silvester, where the acolytes of the Vatican Basilica proceeded to distribute them to the people. The Pope himself performed the distribution among the clergy in the Triclinium of Leo IV, whence the stational procession moved towards the Basilica of the Saviour.

The Pope, having reached the porch, seated himself on the throne, and whilst the doors of the sacred building still remained closed, the primicerius of the cantors and the prior of the basilica at the head of their assistants intoned the hymn Gloria, laus, etc., which is still retained in the Missal. Then, at last, the doors were opened, and the procession made its triumphal entrance into the church and the great drama of the redemption of mankind began with the celebration of Mass. The Pope put on sacred vestments in the secretarium, but as a sign of mourning, in keeping with the sadness which pervades the whole Liturgy of this week, the basilicari did not on this day extend over his head the traditional mappula or baldachino, which was one of the marks of veneration and respect among the ancient peoples.

There is much more describing the liturgy itself and discussing its meaning. But we'll need to leave that to another day when my scanner is feeling more amenable to the task.