Some Piping for the Weekend
Not the best recording - it seems to have been filmed by a cell phone in the distance and in a crowd. But I really like the tune. Hence, the above.
"[A] man . . .the other day pointed out that I was never bored. I hadn’t thought of that before, but it’s true: I’m never bored. I’m appalled, horrified, angered, but never bored. The world appears to me so infinite in its variety that many lifetimes could not exhaust its interest. So long as you can still be surprised, you have something to be thankful for." -Theodore Dalrymple
As a self-confessed smartphone addict (cf. crackberry.com), this sort of thing is intensely interesting. And aggravating. She's right about AT&T, and VZ, too, if it comes to that: rivals in greed, and both of them sitting on a mountain of cash.
Today is the feast of St Maimbod in some of the old Irish calendars. He was a 9th century Irish missionary monk in northern Italy and parts of Germany and France. Anna gives some of his life in her weblog here.
He was buried at the church in which he had so lately prayed. When miracles began to occur at his tomb, Count Aszo of Montbeliard requested Bishop Berengarius of Besançon for the removal of the remains to Montbeliard. Berengarius granted the request, but because he had lost his eyesight, he delegated to his coadjutor, Bishop Stephen, the ceremony of the Translation. During the solemnities, the blind Berengarius was miraculously cured. His own cure and many other wonders prompted Berengarius to institute a festival in honor of Maimbod on January 23, the day of his death.
Maimbod's relics were destroyed in the 16th century, but observance of his feast day continued. His name is inscribed in the diptych of the Besançon church.
Mark Steyn's column this week.
. . . .National Media Ignores the March for Life Day! [Proclamation stolen shamelessly from @AmericanPapist's twitter feed.]
Three seasonal tunes; A wren-hunt song from Pembrokeshire, Wales; I Wish You' A Merry New Year' from one of Aird's collections of Airs published in the 1780's, and 'Dont Stop the Cavalry' the only Christmas song I can bear being played in shops.
Epiphany means “appearance” or “manifestation,” and among the Eastern Christians had originally the same significance as Christmas in Rome. It was the festival of the eternal Word, clothed in the flesh, revealing himself to mankind. Three different phases of this historical manifestation were especially venerated – viz., the adoration of the Magi at Bethlehem, the changing of the water into wine at Cana, and the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan.
In the East special emphasis was laid on the scene at the Jordan, when the Holy Ghost overshadowed the Saviour in the form of a dove, and the eternal Father proclaimed him from heaven as his beloved Son. From the time of St John, the Gnostic heresy attributed great importance to this episode on account of its christology, maintaining that only then was the divine nature united to the human nature of Jesus, to leave it again at the moment of his Crucifixion. That baptism was, therefore, according to the Gnostics, the true divine birth of Jesus; consequently it was celebrated by them with the greatest splendour. It was against this doctrine that St John wrote in his first Epistle: Hic venit (Jesus Christ) per aquam et sanguinem, non in aqua solum, sed in aqua et sanguine; – that is to say, Jesus came into the world as the Saviour and as the Son of God, and this not merely in the waters of the Jordan, but from the very moment of his Incarnation, when he took upon himself our human body and blood.
In all probability the Catholics, following the example of the Evangelist, wished from the first to set against the Gnostic baptismal manifestation the temporal birth at Bethlehem; hence the feast had a very complex signification, inasmuch as it was desired to retain also the Gospel dates of the baptism and of the marriage at Cana, relegating them, however, to a secondary place as being similar solemn and authentic manifestations of the divine nature of Jesus. At Rome, in an atmosphere extremely practical and altogether foreign to the mystic etherealism of the Eastern world, the historical recurrence of the Nativity of our Lord came to occupy so prominent a place in the popular mind that it is still the predominating idea throughout the whole of the Christmas Liturgy.
There was, it is true, some uncertainty regarding its date, which led to a partition of the festival. On the banks of the Tiber the feast of January 6 was anticipated by two weeks, to the greater honour of the Nativity; but the ancient Theophania retained its place, although deprived of its full significance, since the crib of Bethlehem, by its power of attraction, gave greater prominence to the Adoration of the Magi, at the expense of the original idea of the baptism in the Jordan.
It is probable that in the third century Rome was still faithfully following the primitive Eastern tradition and administering solemn baptism on the day of the Theophania . Hippolytus, in fact, delivered an address to the neophytes (Είς τά αγία Θεοφάνεια) just as in the very ancient Coptic Calendar in which today's feast is called dies baptismi sanctificati. In the time of St Gregory Nazianzen the Greeks named it the Feast of the Holy Lights – In Sancta Lumina-- because baptism constitutes the supernatural illumination of the soul.
The third commemoration assigned to today's feast is of the first miracle performed by our Lord at the marriage at Cana. It is reckoned among the manifestation of Christ because the Gospel miracles supply the visible proof of the divine nature of Jesus. St Paulinus of Nola and St Maximus of Turin draw attention to the three-fold aspect of the feast of the Epiphany in terms exactly similar to those which the Roman Church employs in the grand antiphon of the Office at dawn. Hodia coelesti Sponso juncta est ecclesia-- mystical nuptials typified by those of Cana-- quoniam in Jordano lavit Christus ejus crimina-- baptism for the remission of sins--currunt cum muneribus magi ad regales nuptias-- the Adoration of the divine Infant-- et ex aqua facto vino laetantur convivae-- the miracle of Cana.
That which surprises us is that these primitive features of the Eastern Epiphany feast are found to have penetrated more or less in Rome into the festival of December 25 itself, so much so that Pope Liberius (325-366), in a sermon delivered at St Peter's on Christmas Day, on the occasion when Marcellina, sister of St Ambrose, received from his hands the virginal veil, said to her, among other things: “Thou, O daughter, hast desired an excellent marriage. Thou seest what a multitude of people is here assembled for the birthday of thy Spouse, and no one of them all goes away unsatisfied. He indeed it is who, being invited to the wedding feast, changed the water into wine, and who with five loaves and two fishes fed four thousand men in the desert.”
The station at St Peter's is inspired by the same thought as that of Christmas Day. In Rome the greater festivals – always excepting the very lengthy ceremonies of the Easter baptism – are celebrated at the Pastor Ecclesiae whose basilica is the sheepfold of the Roman flock. The Ordines Romani prescribed down to the thirteenth century that after Mass the Pope should put on his tiara and return on horse-back to the Lateran. Later on, however, the Pontiffs preferred to remain at the Vatican for the second Vespers also, at which they were present in a scarlet cope and wearing a golden mitre. The custom of the Pope himself celebrating the stational Mass on this day is witnessed to, down to the end of the fourteenth century, in the Ordo of Bishop Pietro Amelio of Sinigaglia, in which the sole exception to the rule is in the case of the Pontiff being prevented from officiating either by some malady or by the rigour of winter weather.
The interior life of a Christian is the reproduction of the life of Jesus; thus the object of the Church in placing before us the annual cycle of feasts is not merely to commemorate the great historical epochs in the history of our redemption, but also to reproduce in our souls their spiritual teaching. Hence in the Night Office of this feast of the Epiphany we do not so much adore the Christ who showed himself twenty centuries ago to the Magi, but rather the Christ who has revealed himself to us, too, who are now living. In a word, it is not alone the historical Epiphany which we desire to celebrate, but we associate ourselves also with that other subjective and personal Epiphany which is manifested in the soul of every believer to whom Jesus appears by means of our holy Faith.
I've been messing about with the Left-Hand Column the past few days. Since poor old VillagePhotos shuffled off its mortal coil and took so many of my picture with it, the LHC has needed some re-decorating. And as of 1 January 2012 the Anglican Use section needed to be, ahem, converted to the Anglican Ordinariate section with a few added attractions. The inevitable dead links else where in the column had to be carted off and given a decent burial also. No doubt there are more still there.
Fr Jeffrey Steenson:
January 2, 2012
On behalf of so many pilgrims of Catholic unity who have looked forward to this day, I wish to thank His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, for this priceless gift, the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter under the patronage of Our Lady of Walsingham. I pray that we who will come into full communion through this Ordinariate will bring the Holy Father much joy through our love and faithful service to the Catholic Church. To His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl and His Excellencies Kevin Vann of Fort Worth and Robert McManus of Worcester: thank you for laying this good foundation for the Ordinariate. To His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo-thank you for your generous hospitality in providing for our principal church and a place in the University of St. Thomas and St. Mary’s Seminary for the formation of our future clergy. And, personally, to His Excellency, Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe, who brought me into the Church and ordained me: my wife and I love you dearly. You all represent so many people who have worked so hard to bring the Holy Father’s vision to reality!
Fr Longenecker tells us what constitutes an English Christmas here.
The American Ordinariate is now a reality. No, not just because we have our own website - which you can find here - although, in 2012 that's a pretty good guess. But as of this morning, we have our own Ordinary: Fr Jeffrey Steenson.