Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On Beating the United States in Soccer

GHANA captain John Mensah says religious faith has been key to his side’s brilliant performances at the 2010 World Cup. . . .

. . . .“We just pray to God before we go out,” Mensah told the German Press Agency DPA.

“We are Christians and we all know how important God is.

“We all respect God and we pray every time, both before and after the game.”

The joy those prayer session bring is obvious to anybody who attends their training sessions.

“We Black Stars are used to singing,” Mensah said.

“After training we sing together. Not always, but definitely on the day before the game.

“We praise God, what he has done for us.


[Tip of the caubeen to Deborah Gyapong.]

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Some Piping for the Weekend

Some reels by members of the (Scottish) National Youth Pipe Band. Kids like this are put on earth by the Good Lord with the specific purpose of ensuring my humility.

A Peaceful Afternoon

The view from my chair as I sat with my pipes waiting for the funeral party to arrive. And waited. And waited. And waited. And. . . . They arrived eventually after about an hour and a half. It would've been a good opportunity to play a bit but when you don't know when you'll be playing you don't want the reeds getting too wet. Still it was a lovely day to sit in a cemetery in the shade and read a bit and say the rosary.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bl John Henry Newman: Office Propers

The office propers for Bl John Henry Newman's feast day have been published. You can find them in Latin and English here. Yes, the introduction is in Italian but scroll down a bit. The proper texts themselves are in Latin and English.

There has been some commentary already, including praise for the text choices. But Fr Hunwicke marks a note of, um, disappointment in the Latin composition. The words "stilted and wooden translation into Latin" were used. And there was a question about the use of confer with the infinitive and accusative. Oh, dear. I haven't the slightest idea what might be correct. It's the sort of article that's very good for one's humility. It occurred to me that lumen benignum tuum sequentem might be better as an ablative absolute. But that's probably another first-year mistake. I probably shouldn't admit that in public. Pretend you didn't read it.

Of course, that's only for the Novus Ordo and the Liturgia Horarum. If anyone wants to celebrate the new beatus in the traditional rite it will have to be a votive commemoration on a free day. Fr Hunwick suggests the common for a confessor-not-a-bishop, with the epistle and gospel from the common of doctors [2 Timothy 4:i-viii and Matthew 5:xiii-xix]. Seems sensible to me.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

St Thomas More, again

The climax of St Thomas More's trial for treason in "The Man for All Seasons". A wonderful excerpt, which The Anglo-Catholic put up yesterday, and which I now put up here, too, because. . . .well, because I loved it. I may have played it half a dozen times since yesterday.

People in Glass Houses Throwing Stones Dept

I was down to the Lakewood Plaza to do a bit of shopping this morning (I needed pipe cleaners to swab out my practice chanter, if you must know) and was passing through the parking lot. I passed a small, grey car whose back window bore a bumper sticker with the following legend: "I said George Bush was stupid long before it was cool to say George Bush was stupid." The small, grey car had the window open on its driver's side and it appeared to have the keys in the ignition.

I'm not sayin'; I'm just sayin'.

English Martyrs: Ss Thomas More, John Cardinal Fisher, and Alban

This is the feast of Ss Thomas More and John Fisher in several calendars, among them the BDW, the Novus Ordo, and if memory serves in a local calendar or two in the traditional rite. Their feasts are observed locally in England on July 9 in the traditional rite, which was the date of St Thomas More's martyrdom. June 22 is the date Bishop Fisher was beheaded and was once his sole feast day. (The picture above, from the Wikipedia site, is of Bishop Fisher's old Cathedral of Rochester, considerably rebuilt in the 19th century. It was originally dedicated to St Andrew the Apostle but under Henry VIII that was changed to Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary.)

There is a good life of St John in the old Catholic Encyclopædia here and one of St Thomas More here. There is a fine book-length biography of St John Fisher by E. E. Reynolds (which I think is back in print?) and at least two of St Thomas More by the same author.

Perhaps co-incidentally (although St Teresa professed not to believe in co-incidence but in Providence) today is also the feast of St Alban, the first English martyr. So long as you're paging through the Encyclopædia you could give a look at the article on St Alban. But if you do, you'll have to endure Fr Thurston, S.J. harrumphing and looking askance with every sentence. The Wikipedia page isn't nearly as grumpily skeptical. And it has a picture of St Alban's shrine.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Italian Priest Develops App to Celebrate Mass With iPad

Pretty much what the headline says.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Some Piping for the Weekend

Some Northumbrian Small Pipes for this weekend. I've been having a conversation (an electronic conversation, of course; it is 2010, you know) about the NSPs this week and those wonderful, mellow pipes are on my mind. So I've been rummaging around the web looking for more NSP performances. This one is a trio playing "Lads of Alnwick" and "Sunderland Lasses".

One more. Why not? It's the weekend. This one is Andy May on the Northumbrian Small Pipe playing Peacocks Reel, One Horned Sheep, Bobby Shaftoe & Variations, The Sky Weeps, and Piper In The Well at the 2002 piper's gathering at North Hero, Vermont.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Never Give a Sucker an Even Break or Wise-up a Chump: Votin' Day in the California Republic

We had an election here this past week, which I should have told you about at the time, but we were rather busy. The warm late-spring weather brought in some of those nasty little black ants to the kitchen so we had some people out to spray for them. This required emptying all sorts of things out of the kitchen and covering everything else. And then moving everything back in (everything that didn't get thrown away; it's amazing what gets lost in the backs of cupboards) and generally cleaning and tidying up.

Well, the exterminator folks did a better job of getting rid of pests than the elections did. Only a primary to be sure. But now we know for certain that nothing will improve, even though the precise details won't be known until November.

The Stupid Party nominations for senator and governor were purchased by a pair of ghastly - and fabulously wealthy - harridans. The Child Murder Party renominated the current evil-tempered ("Don't call me 'madam'") Senator Boxer and dredged up a comic relic from California's psychedelic past, the love-able, folksy, and completely demented Governor Moonbeam. There were assorted other folks, some dreadful some not so much. A fellow I met named Andre won the Republican nomination for Congress in this district. He's a minister of some sort at one of the big evangelical churches in town. Seems a decent fellow. He'll get squished like June bug in November, of course. This state is gerrymandered with atomic-microscope precision. The old Tammany machine would genuflect in wonder.

You could google some of this stuff if you wanted to, but I wouldn't recommend it. You never know what you might find.

Feast of the Sacred Heart

Today is, among other things, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. (It's also the feast of Tochmura, an ancient Irish virgin saint, almost completely unknown outside County Cavan, and the old feast of St Barnabas in the Prayer Book.) Recta Ratio has posted some lovely old images and devotions here in honour of the Sacred Heart.

Tobar an Dualchais

You can listen to "stories, songs, music, poetry and factual information" in English, Gaidhlig, and braid Scots here. Much of it, alas, incomprehensible to your servant. So why did I find it so interesting and how did so much time shoot by as I was puttering around this site? We'll never know. Somewhere - I can't find it now but it's there - they've posted a woman singing "The 79th's Farewell to Gibralter" in canntaireachd. Where else are you going to find that?

Some Piping for the Weekend

This is the Black Raven Pipe Band, a G-III band from Lusk, County Dublin playing their medley at a competition in Howth last year around this time. In my intermittently humble opinion, this is an excellent tune selection, very melodic all the way through. I suppose I shouldn't admit this in public, but I increasingly feel that a great many of the higher grade bands really aren't very interesting to listen to any more. You can't fault the quality of their playing. The technical perfection is there and seems to get better all the time. I can't think as fast as some of those folks can play. But what happened to the music? Some of us ordinary folk have trouble discerning a tune in the blaze of 32nd notes.

But not here. Good music well-played.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Pope's Visit to the UK

"Heading for the rocks" says The Spectator. A combination of incompetence and neoCath subversion according to Damian Thompson's article. Will they really sabotage Cardinal Newman's beatification?