Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Target doesn't observe Christmas. . .

. . .but IHOP observes Shrove Tuesday.

Monday, February 27, 2006

"You . . Used . . All . . The . . Glue . . ON PURPOSE!"

Darren McGavin, "My old man" in A Christmas Story and Carl Kolchak in The Night Stalker has died. A Christmas Story, a cracker of a good movie in its own right, captured the cultural feel of my youth to a T. And The Night Stalker, grandfather to The X Files, not only could scare the sox off you, but it got the metaphysics right for the traditional spooks and goblins of western civilisation. Dr Summers would have approved. (And if you catch the right episodes of The Night Stalker you'll see some gorgeous shots of the spiky Gothic interior of old St Joseph's Church in Los Angeles before it burned to the ground.)

Cancelling A.O.L.

. . .is notoriously difficult. Wouldncha know: it's even more difficult if you never signed up in the first place.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I'm doing my very best. . .

. . .to keep this an independent weblog and not merely a sort of table of contents for everything Hilary White posts. So far with only moderate success. Alas, today marks yet another failure: today you must click this link and read her essay on the importance of mental prayer. It includes a short "how-to" introduction on the basics. Wonderful stuff. HMT would be approve. Your prayer will improve and you will thank her. And maybe me for my indexing work.

And as long as I'm in a recommending mood, Bill Luse has a piece on Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find" here. O'Connor needs no recommendation and Bill does not know how to write a dull sentence. And, as usual, his piece is full of insight. Mind you, I've never really understood "A Good Man" and I'm sorry to say I still don't. What Bill says about his students is tailor-made for me, too: I can tell by their reaction to the story that it is much the same as was my own upon first hearing it: something important had happened, something more than a mere murder - I just wasn't sure what it was. But I understand more of it than I did. It repays a read.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Quinquagesima Sunday

Station at St Peter

This solemn assemby at the confessio of the Vatican brings to a close the Triduum in preparation for the great solemnity of the coming fast. Having assured ourselves of the patronage of St Lawrence, St Paul, and St Peter, we shall be ready with full confidence to commence next Sunday at the Lateran Basilica the holy cycle of penance. In imitation of the Greeks, all religius communities and the more devout amongst the laity began, in early times, to abstain from meat from this week onwards. The Church has adopted this use to a certain extent by begining Lent on the following Feria IV (Ash Wednesday).

. . . . . . . .

[Today's] Gospel (Luke xviii: 31-43} gives us the definite announcement of the approaching Sacrifice. Our Lord is proceeding towards the city whose sad prerogative it was to be the place where the Prophets should be slain -- Non capit prophetam perire extra Ierusalem -- and when Peter in his impetuous affection tries to restrain the Redeemer from exposing himself to such a danger, our Lord repulses him, and, addressing him as Satan, assures him that he who despies the cross has no knolwedge of things divine. The miracle of the blind man of Jericho confirms the wavering faith of the disciples, showing them that though the human nature of Christ was to be voluntarily surrendered to the violence of his enemies, yet his divine nature which worked all these wonders would raise his human body again after three days, incorrupt and glorious.

. . . . . . . . .

The mystery of the cross is so difficult for the mind of man to understand that even the Apostles, who had studied for three years in the school of Christ, had not yet penetrated it. They did not uderstand it now as they journeyed to Jerusalem, not yet on the evening of the paschal feast, at which they were consecrated the Pontiffs of the New Testament. One short hour later, omnes, relicto eo, fugerunt, leaving Jesus to go up to Calvary alone. How necessary, then, is it for us to meditate upon Christ crucified, lest we should fail in a matter of the highest moment, towards which the whole of our spiritual life should be directed -- that is, the mystery of expiation through suffering.

The Gregorian antiphonary contains the proper chants only of the Masses of Wednesday and Friday of Quinquagesima, whilst on the Thursday and Saturday, even to this day, the melodies belonging to other Masses are repeated. This anomaly is, perhaps, to be accounted for by the fact that the weekday staions of Ferias IV [Wednesday] and VI [Saturday] were observed even as early as the second century in Africa and in Rome. The anticipated Lenten fasts of the last four days of Quinquagesima week could easily be added to the two stational fasts without greatly disturbing the order of the antiphonary. Lent had its clearly established daily stations, but for these supplementary and, at first, merely voluntary fasts the two traditional Masses, which even from the time of the Apostles had sanctified the weekly fast on each Wednesday and Friday throughout the year, might well suffice.

-Schuster's Liber Sacramentorum

Unsolicited Testimonial

Arla's Havarti cheese with dill, marketed not co-incidentally under the label "Denmark's Finest", is very good and worth picking up even if one weren't trying to bust a boycott. It would probably go quite well with a glass of Carlsberg if I could find any around here.


From the 15th to the 19th centuries. Beautiful stuff. You'll find them here at The Lion and the Cardinal. (Some copes, too.)

Friday, February 24, 2006


The Left-Hand Column hasn't been attended to in a while. There are a few sites that I regularly visit that aren't included and a few that are included that seem to have faded away. At least they haven't been updated in a couple of months. I have eliminated a couple of those and added one and have a few more that would make good additions. The new one up now is Rorate Cæli, a relatively new weblog and already full of good things.

More tidying up to come shortly, le cúnamh Dé.

From Ports to Airports

Our masters really have no idea what they're doing. And the five cent Nazis who man the TSA are practically a purpose-built illustration. Peggy Noonan experiences it regularly and writes about it here. Spot-on and a pretty good description also of my experience and my wife's.

I don't think most of us get extra screening because they think we are terrorists. I think we get it because they know we're not. They screen people who are not terrorists because it helps them pretend they are protecting us, in the same way doctors in the middle ages used to wear tall hats: because they couldn't cure you. It's all show.

. . . . . .

So we're all talking about port security this week, and the debate over the Bush administration decision to allow United Arab Emirates company to manage six ports in the United States. That debate is turning bitter, and I wonder if the backlash against President Bush isn't partly due to the fact that everyone in America has witnessed or has been a victim of the incompetence of the airport security system. Why would people assume the government knows what it's doing when it makes decisions about the ports? It doesn't know what it's doing at the airports.

This is a flying nation. We fly. And everyone knows airport security is an increasingly sad joke, that TSA itself often appears to have forgotten its mission, if it ever knew it, and taken on a new one--the ritual abuse of passengers.

Now there's a security problem. Solve that one.

I'm old enough to remember when it was a free country just like the anthem says.

Don't miss the rest of the article.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The World's Largest Windows Error Message

It's in Times Square according to the note. But the commentors say it's common in Toronto also.

[Thanks, Jerry.]

The Ports

You know, the U.S. ports, United Arab Emirates thingummy. That story. It's in all the papers. The Times has something on it here for the happily unaware. I don't have all that much to say; all the really good snarky comments have been used on talk radio already. But just to make it official: no, it is not a good idea to involve UAE/Dubai in the running of American ports; yes, Mr Bush is a very strange individual, indeed; no, it is not relevant that the previous company involved was British: the UK and the UAE are not the same. (I suggest a google search on the word "jihad" for those unsure of the difference.)

There is one small point before I push the "Publish Post" button. Here in the lower, left-hand corner of the United States, about ten miles more or less from this keyboard, lies the Port of Long Beach. For several years now a sizeable chunk of the said Port of Long Beach has been in the hands of a branch (or is "subsidiary" the right word?) of the Red Chinese military. Yes, COSCO has its own terminals in Long Beach. There was a local a kerfuffle at the time of the handover; I don't recall much national interest. Well, these folks, of course, and those of a similar persuasion. But the unco guid were not much concerned as I recall. In any event, the locals were in charge and the locals were delighted with the Red Chinese money. So the Red Chinese have been unloading their sealed containers at their terminals in the Port of Long Beach ever since. If this camera is pointed in the right direction you might catch a glimpse of them stacked up next to the ships. Do they contain WMDs? Only the paranoid and those careless of their reputation would say that. No, I'm sure they just contain computer parts, blue jeans, and table lamps. You know, the sort of things you used to make back when you had a job.

What to do about it? Damfino. Just thought I'd ratchet up the old anxiety level on this lovely February morning.

New Cardinals II

Hilary finds good news here and here in the list of new princes of the Church.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Ad Orientem

Appearances in the photo to the contrary notwithstanding, it's not actually the traditional Roman Rite. It's a Novus Ordo Missæ, uh, "usage" I suppose is the right word. These are the Hermits of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. They are a separate Order but are affiliated with the Ancient Observance Carmelites.

They describe their liturgical practice this way:

The glorification of God in the liturgy is of great importance to us, for the liturgy is the source and summit of the spiritual life. In the liturgy, the mysteries of Christ’s Death, Resurrection and Ascension into heaven are renewed and made present. The liturgy is, in fact, a foretaste of the celestial worship of the heavenly Jerusalem.

The Order of Carmel once possessed its own liturgical Rite, called the Rite of the Holy Sepulchre. Similar to the Roman Rite in many respects, it contained a number of its own proper feasts, hymns, prayers and ceremonies. This Rite was in use among Latin Christians of the Holy Land during the Middle Ages, including our Carmelite forefathers who dwelt on Mount Carmel. They brought the Rite of the Holy Sepulchre back to Western Europe when they were forced to leave Mount Carmel. It became their liturgical Rite and remained in use throughout the Order until our present century.

For the past fifteen years we have been studying the Carmelite Rite. With permission from our Father General, we are able to use some elements of the Rite while we await fuller approbation.

We have been researching the history of the Rite: its prayers, hymns and ceremonies, and translating liturgical texts into English. We foresee that certain elements of the Rite would need to be adapted in order to ensure that it
will nourish the spiritual life of those who use it. At the same time we wish to preserve the riches of the Rite.

Our liturgy is sung very simply on ferial days (weekdays). On Sundays and feast days it is celebrated more solemnly with the use of Gregorian Chant. Conventual Mass is celebrated daily and all the hours of the Divine Office are prayed by the community. The major hours are celebrated communally, while the other hours are offered by each hermit in the solitude of his hermitage.

You'll find their website here.

Meanwhile, these Carmelite Hermits in Wyoming are said to be doing the old Carmelite Rite of the Liturgy of the Holy Sepulchre straight without adaptation and in Latin.

Good news altogether.

Natalis Petri de Cathedra

The Blessed Cardinal Schuster has much to say about the feast of the Chair of St Peter. The text immediately following is from the entry in "The Sacramentary" for February 18, the feast of the St Peter's Chair at Rome. Due to the conflation of the two feasts this also describes today's old feast of St Peter's Chair at Antioch.

The early history of this feast is lost in the shadows of the catacombs, and in spite of recent studies it is still impossible to say that all which is doubtful and obscure therein has been solved. From the third century at least, there was venerated at Rome, in that cemetery district lying between the Via Salaria and the Via Nomentana, the memory, symbolized probably by a chair carved in wood or in tufa, of the apostolic ministry which St Peter exercised at that spot. Beside this place lamps were kept burning, and the pilgrims of the sixth century, when visiting it, were in the habit of carrying home with them as objects of devotion flocks of tow or cotton which had been dipped in the perfumed oil of the lamps. Later we find the sella gestatoria apostolicae confessionis, as Ennodius calls it, in the Baptistery of Damasus in the Vatican, so that it was said of Pope Siricius, the successor of Damasus :Fonte sacro magnus meruit sedere sacerdos.

Whilst, however, at Rome the Natalis Petri de Cathedra is entered in the Philocalian Calendar on February 22 as early as the fourth century, the Gallican churches, in order perhaps to avoid keeping this feast in Lent, were in the habit of anticipating it on January 18. The two uses continued to flourish independently side by side for several centuries, until at last their origins became confused outside of Rome, and instead of one chair of Peter, two were commemorated, of which one was attributed to Rome, that of January 18, which was already firmly established in Gallic territory, while the other, after being connected with various places, was finally adjudged to Antioch.

The Rome of the Middle Ages neglected for some time the Natalis Petri de Cathedra, perhaps when the chair was removed from its original place, and brought to the Vatican; or still more probably when it became customary to celebrate solemnly with an almost similar intention the Natalis Ordinationis of the Pope, a feast which brought every year a great concourse of bishops to Rome. The fact remains that the feast is altogether missing in the Roman Sacramentaries, and reappears only on the traditional date in the calendars of the eleventh century and the later Ordines Romani. Urban VI (1378-89) wished to restore the feast to its ancient place of honour, and ordered that on that day one of the cardinals should preach a sermon to the people at the Papal Mass at the Vatican. But the ardent zeal of the Pontiff led to no permanent result, and it was only in 1558 that Paul IV again ordained the celebration of the festival of the Cathedra S Petri qua primum Romae sedit on January 18, in accordance with the Gallican tradition.

The venerated relic of the Chair of St Peter is no longer kept in the baptistery as in the fifth century, but in the apse of the Vatican Basilica, of which it forms one of the most precious treasures. It now consists of a few wooden boards only, but from early times it has been lined with storied ivory panels. The Renaissance did not appreciate the profound dogmatic significance of that chair at such time as the Roman Pontiffs actually took their seat thereon. The grandiose art of Bernini has enclosed the precious relic in a colossal reliquary, and the result has been that the Pope can no longer sit, as did the Pontiffs of the first fifteen centuries, on his true and historic chair, that which Prudentius described simply as : Cathedra Apostolica.

In discussing the texts of the liturgical propers, Bl Ildefonso has this to say about the papacy:

The only legitimate Eucharist, therefore, is that which is offered in Communion with the Roman Pontiff, whose name has been commemorated in the anaphora from the earliest centuries. To omit the name of the pope in the Mass was, in the eyes of Ennodius of Pavia, to offer, in defiance of ancient tradition, a maimed and incomplete sacrifice : sine ritu catholico et cano more, semiplenas nominatim hostias.

. . . .

The Pontifical Primacy is the polar star which guides the barque of the Church across the treacherous and stormy ocean of time. Bishops, patriarchs, entire nations, once glorious and believing, have many times made grievous shipwreck of their faith; indeed, the Scriptures tell us that in the last era of the world many false prophets and pseudo-Christs shall appear, who will endeavour to mislead the multitudes, even working false miracles to confirm their errors. If, then, we cannot trust anyone, since all are liable to err, from whom must we seek safety in this supreme matter of our eternal salvation, if not from Peter? His faith, as we know on the testimony of our divine Redeemer Himself, can never fail, and the sheep which Peter recognizes as belonging to his fold, will be recognized and admitted as such also by Jesus Christ the chief Shepherd.

From the monastic office:

Iam, bone Pastor, Petre, clemens accipe
Vota precantium, et peccati vincula
Resolve, tibi potestate tradita,
Qua cunctis cælum verbo claudis, aperis.

Quodcumque vinclis super terram strinxeris,
Erit in astris religatum fortiter:
Et quod resolvis in terris arbitrio
Erit solutum super cæli radium :
In fine mundi iudex eris sæculi.

Gloria Patri per immensa sæcula,
Sit tibi, Nate, decus et imperium,
Honor, potestas, Sanctoque Spiritui,
Sit Trinitati salus individua
Per infinita sæculorum sæcula.

Peter, blest Shepherd! hearken to our cry,
And with a word unloose our guilty chain;
Thou who hast power to ope the gates on high
To men below, and power to shut them fast again.

Peter, whatever thou shalt bind on earth,
The same is bound above the starry sky;
What here thy delegated power doth loose,
Is loosed in heaven's great citadel on high.
To judgement shalt thou come when the world's end is nigh.

Praise to the Father through all ages be,
The same to Thee, O co-eternal Son,
And Holy Ghost, one glorious Trinity,
To Whom all majesty and might belong;
So sing we now, and such be our eternal song.

Some New Cardinals Are Named

One of whom is not Bishop Fellay. (There was a rumour that popped up here and there that he was "on the list", supposedly part of the putative reconciliation. I thought it was intended as a joke but some few took it seriously. I doubt if anyone would have been more surprised than Bishop Fellay himself.)

Archbishop Levada is on the list to no one's surprise, as is His Excellency of Boston. And another rather more serious rumour than the first one also turned out to be wrong: the Archbishop of Dublin's red hat seems to have gone missing. [Ahh, a Dhíarmuid achara, perhaps you can find another seminarian who prefers to kneel for Holy Communion and you can expel him. That should cheer you up.]

The rest of the list can be found here.

Lingua Sancta

From the Vatican News Service:

VATICAN CITY, FEB 22, 2006 (VIS) - At the end of the general audience, the
Pope addressed a greeting in Latin to students at the faculty of Christian
and Classical Literature of the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome.

"My predecessors rightly encouraged the study of [this] great language,"
said the Pope in Latin, "in order to achieve a better understanding of the
sound doctrine contained in the ecclesiastical and humanistic disciplines.
In the same way, we encourage the continuation of this activity, so that as
many people as possible may perceive the importance of this treasure and
attain it."

Not quite as good as "Learn Latin or you don't get ordained." But better, as my grandma used to say, than a kick from a donkey.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Blogspot Hates Mitred Abbesses

It must. Why else would it take it upon itself to delete a perfectly harmless post pointing you here to The Shrine of the Holy Whapping where you could read about mitred abbesses and princess-abbesses? The post in question was up from Saturday night through Sunday. This morning I find it has vanished with the morning dew.

Radical republican and laicist software. Whatever next.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Building a New Mass

What were the intentions and the underlying assumptions of those who cobbled together the new Mass? Dr Blosser explicates a recent article (or two) on that very topic at this link. The results are not encouraging for those of us with no other liturgical choice.

[Thanks to Mike Fieschko for the citation.]

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Dhimmitude in Canada Proceeds Apace

Hilary explains here.

Speaking of beng "sensitive". . .

. . .which I am practically all the time, I'm having a little trouble sorting out The Times's sensitivity criteria. The other day we mentioned Tim Rutten's column in the said Times which discussed how ineffably sensitive the paper is about the Mahometans and their hurt feelings should The Times publish The Cartoons (which you can find here at a non-Times site to be sure -- scroll down about half way). The sensitive Times, keenly feeling their pain, decided not to print The Cartoons.

But just yesterday on the front page of the Calendar Section what do we find but a photograph from an "art" exhibit. The exhibit photographed showed an ornate crucifix surrounded by chicken legs stuck up in the air. They even put the photo on the web page; you can find it here. Perhaps The Times would like to explain. What are the criteria here? What validates one religion's feelings and invalidates others?

One is not entirely critical here. One applauds The Times in braving the wrath of the Ladies Altar and Rosary Society. The Times may have to stand up to an Evangelical picket or two carrying signs with hard words on them. Perhaps, just perhaps, Bill Donohue may even issue a press release or Dr Dobson have a word about it on the radio. But The Times knows no fear in upholding the rights of the press. Granted. But there is still that little question of criteria. Could we have an answer?

Mormons Having a Spot of Bother with DNA

Oh, dear. Poor old Mormons. They're wonderful allies in the "Life" wars. (And they'd be even better if they'd get someone other than the useless Orrin Hatch to represent them in Utah. But that's a whinge for another time.) And now DNA testing is tossing a wrench into the works of one of their key tenets. Seems all those Indians may not be from the Lost Tribes after all. Not lost Hebrew tribes, anyway.

More than you ever wanted to know can be found here.


A Jonah Goldberg column with which I largely agree:

"Compassionate conservatism may have had some intellectual rigor when it was the stuff of egghead journals and think thank conferences, but under Bush it has always been a marketing strategy designed to justify spending vast sums of money."

". . .Republicans and conservatives aren't the same thing. This distinction seems lost on lots of people, including cable televison bark-show bookers and partisan Democrats and Repubicans alike."

Quite a revelation. Up until today I wasn't sure whether "Jonah Goldberg" was a by line for a political column or the meeting minutes of the George Bush Appreciation Society. The Times doesn't print everything from any of its columnists. There may be whole file drawers full of wonderful Goldbergian writing which The Times couldn't quite find room for amongst the bra ads.

And that's "largely" agree, not "completely". There is this: "[I] would have agonized over a choice between a reliably pro-war Democrat and George W. Bush in 2004, particularly if judicial appointments weren't so important."

Ehhhh, no. Make that "pro-life" Democrat and the sentence improves considerably.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

"Patriot" Act Snares Another Miscreant

In this case an 80 year old Benedictine nun.

Bill of Rights? What "Bill of Rights"?

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

There is a link over in the left-hand column, rather lost in the Ecclesiastical Miscellanea designation, to the Mother of Perpetual Help Apostolate run by the Redemptorists. Their sole function is to promote devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. To that end they distribute holy cards, framed pictures, novena cards and so forth to missionaries who request them for their people. If you've devotion to Our Lady under this title - and even if you don't - you could do worse than give them a look and maybe send along a fiver or so that you might not be using at the moment.

The Inn at the End of the World Screwball Comedy TV Movie Alert Service Bulletin

TCM has two (2!) Jean Arthur movies on tonight: The Devil and Miss Jones followed by Foreign Affair. Foreign Affair may not fit as snugly in the Screwball Comedy file as TD&MJ but it is a Jean Arthur film which should be sufficient recommendation for anyone.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Boycott

You have no doubt seen mention of this sort of thing: Mahometan boycotts of Danish products.

But this little enterprise encouraging Denmark's resistance to dhimmitude hasn't received as much notice. It includes a list of Danish products which could rather easily be supported. I would presume that neither DAK hams nor Carlsberg beer are depending upon Saudi Arabia for much of their revenue. But there are some good Danish cheeses out there.

Become a Moderate and Risk Your Life

But some Danish Mohammedans are doing it anyway. So says the Brussels Journal here.

Growing Up With Mahomet

At the Daily Eudemon today.

And that's why much of the world is the way it is.

The Times Explains It All For You

The burden The Times bears is a heavy one. It must advise presidents and kings, governors and judges, and all the rest of our masters and pretended masters. Today, along with the SAT test and dental hygiene, The Times has decided to sort out the after-life.

This morning's editorial doesn't quite go so far as to recommend. But it does predict. Apparently, Limbo's days are numbered. And while a preservation order might be found for Hell, it will be subject to improvements and upgrades, "in other words, not a bad place to hang out but lacking the grace and joy of God." A sort of "Limbo for adults". And there is fear for Purgatory. It's probably for the chop also, but what a shame that would be should another Dante happen along, as all his source material will have been whizzed down the doctrinal shredder.

The silver lining in this is that The Times believes that it all depends upon the Pope. It's completely up to His Holiness. No one else gets a look-in. Not Canterbury or Constantinople; not the WCC or Pat Robertson. Rabbinical councils, boards of Imams, and the Dalai Lama? Nope. Not even the Eminent Lord Roger Cardinal Mahony. The Times wants to be fully on board with Vatican I and papal infallibility.

It's a shame that isn't quite how papal infallibility works, as it's a very pleasing change for The Times. (His Holiness's charism of infallibility is in the service of preserving and clarifying the Church's Tradition not in coming up with more marketable doctrines and cunning novelties to amuse the bored.) So there is still much theological education to be done down at First and Temple. But at least they do now seem to know Who's in charge. Well done, Times.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Happy Birthday, Rosie!

Rosaleen gives the lie to the whole genre of mother-in-law jokes. She is the kindest, sweetest natured woman on the planet. And one of the best cooks. We wish her a very happy birthday today.

Forgetfulness II

Michael: Yes, it can occasionally be so. But your wallet is not always and everywhere an annoying thing to forget. If you went out to buy a bottle of zinfandel and a new sporran, a forgotten wallet will be very annoying indeed. But if you only went out for a walk it is of no consequence whatever.

PKB: I don't know how you manage without a watch. It is inconceivable. Without a watch I am lost in the temporal dimension; tempus not only fugit but it reels and spins. With a watch I am properly located in the cosmos. Lunchtime will not come and go without my knowing it.

And, no, the "fourth most annoying thing" isn't, properly so called, a corollary. But it went rather nicely with the "theorem" conceit. So, I think we're going to leave it.


The Three Most Annoying Things To Forget:

1. Notebook & Pen (Yes, it is one thing; the pen fits nicely into the notebook.)
2. Watch
3. Glasses

The Obliviscerean Theorem: The chances of forgetting one's glasses increase in direct proportion to the number of things to read one brings along.

Corollary: Something-to-read is the 4th most annoying thing that can be forgotten.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

1st Vespers of Septuagesima Sunday

The traditional Roman Rite takes the first of its baby steps toward Lent today when the sun sets and First Vespers of Septuagesima Sunday is celebrated.

From the old Catholic Encyclopædia:

Septuagesima is today inaugurated in the Roman Martyrology by the words: "Septuagesima Sunday, on which the canticle of the Lord, Alleluja, ceases to be said". On the Saturday preceding, the Roman Breviary notes that after the "Benedicamus" of Vespers two Alleluias are to be added, that thenceforth it is to be omitted till Easter, and in its place "Laus tibi Domine" is to be said at the beginning of the Office.

Formerly the farewell to the Alleluia was quite solemn. In an Antiphonary of the Church of St. Cornelius at Compiegne we find two special antiphons. Spain had a short Office consisting of a hymn, chapter, antiphon, and sequence. Missals in Germany up to the fifteenth century had a beautiful sequence. In French churches they sang the hymn "Alleluia, dulce carmen" (Gueranger, IV, 14)* which was well-known among the Anglo-Saxons (Rock, IV, 69). The "Te Deum" is not recited at Matins, except on feasts. The lessons of the first Nocturn are taken from Genesis, relating the fall and subsequent misery of man and thus giving a fit preparation for the Lenten season. In the Mass of Sunday and ferias the Gloria in Excelsis is entirely omitted. In all Masses a Tract is added to the Gradual.

*From the page in Dom Gueranger referenced above:

Alleluia dulce carmen,
Vox perennis gaudii
Allelluia laus suavis
Est choris cœlestibus,
Quam canunt Dei manentes
In domo per sæcula.

Alleluia læta mater
Concivis Ierusalem:
Alleluia vox tuorum
Civium gaudentium:
Exsules nos flere cogunt
Babylonis flumina.

Alleluia non meremur
In perenne psallere;
Alleluia vox reatus
Cogit intermittere;
Tempus instat quo peracta
Lugeamus crimina.

Unde laudando precamur
Te beata Trinitas,
Ut tuum nobis videre
Pascha des in æthere,
Quo tibi læti canamus
Alleluia perpetim.

The translation of Dom Laurence Shepherd, O.S.B.:

The sweet Alleluia-song,
the word of endless joy,
is the melody of heaven's choir,
chanted by them that dwell forever
in the house of God.

O joyful mother,
O Jerusalem our city,
Alleluia is the language
of thy happy citizens.
The rivers of Babylon,
where we poor exiles live,
force us to weep.

We are unworthy
to sing a ceaseless Alleluia.
Our sins bid us interrupt our Alleluia.
The time is at hand when it
behooves us to bewail our crimes.

We, therefore, beseech thee
whilst we praise thee,
O blessed Trinity!
That thou grant us to come
to that Easter of heaven,
where we shall sing to thee
our joyful everlasting Alleluia.

Of course, it isn't Septuagesima Sunday tomorrow in the Pauline Rite, just the umpteenth Sunday in Common or Garden Variety Time. O.K., cheap shot. But they didn't have to call it "ordinary time". The Latin uses the perfectly traditional term "per annum" which has none of the mundane connotations of "ordinary time. The ICEL absolutely searches for mischief.

Another Take

David gently remonstrates with me about my take on Fr McAfee's efforts. And, of course, he is correct. Good efforts need encouragement not gloomy prognostications from the perpetually aggrieved. His thoughts:

By the way, you mention an article in the Washington Times recently, and leave your readers with the impression that nothing may come of such things. Father McAfee has introduced the solemn celebration of Latin Mass according to the reformed missal in two parishes already (facing God, no less), and is about to do so with a third. In all cases, he has brought a treasure of sacred music, and has enhanced adult education wherever he is assigned. That, and he's a great homilist, with that little bit of Bishop Sheen-esque Irish brogue.

Sometimes we can't change everything; just our little corner of it.

Quite right, too.

Those Cartoons

Tim Rutten in this morning's Times makes more good sense about the whole kerfuffle than I have seen anywhere. You can find it here. And that was one very difficult column to locate on-line. I read it first in the print edition. But finding it for you on-line took a bit of doing. If, for example, you search for "Tim Rutten" using the search button on the front page you'll find that The Times never heard of its columnist. But with diligent research, we find he's carefully tucked away in the "Entertainment" section. But he's not listed on the front page of the Entertainment section; you have to use the special "Entertainment section" search feature to find him. Getting a little nervous over there on 1st Street are we fellas? Can't say as I blame you.

If you haven't seen the world-famous cartoons yet, the Brussells Journal reprints them for you here. The remarkable thing about them is how unremarkable they are. Oliphant has produced more anti-Catholic cartoons than that on days when he wasn't even commenting on the church. And so far as I know, no one from The Remnant to the National Catholic Reporter has recommended his beheading. Once in a while Bill Donohue and the Catholic League will get particularly exercized about something and call for some letter-writing or even [sharp intake of breath] a boycott. But that's about it. And then we have these fellas. Criminy.

Pastoral Provision News

A new priest has been ordained under the Pastoral Provision for our next-door neighbor, the Diocese of San Bernardino. But an Anglican Use parish or liturgical provision? It isn't mentioned; one assumes not. One would like to be wrong.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Biblia Vulgata

The Nova Vulgata has been available from Paxbooks since its publication. Now there is a new printing (a new edition?) of the Clementine Vulgate available. For those who might be interested it can be found here. The man behind it is the same one who maintains an on-line version of the text here.

St Scholastica

The sister of St Benedict and the first of the Benedictine nuns is celebrated today. The principal source for her vita is St Gregory's Dialogues. The relevant text can be found here.

The Benedictine vespers antiphon: Hodie sacra Virgo Scholastica in specie columbæ ad æthera tota festiva perrexit: hodie cælestis vitæ gaudiis cum fratre suo meretur perfrui in sempiternum.

This day the holy Virgin Scholastica amid all festivity ascended on high under the appearance of a dove; this day she has become worthy to enjoy forever with her brother the bliss of heavenly life.

The little illustration done in the Beuron style shows the funeral of St Scholastica. It is one of the frescoes on the walls of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception at Conception Abbey. You can see all the frescoes here. A real flowering of ecclesiastical art.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Moreno 1, Pringle 0: the jury said Arte can call 'em The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Juror Jack Clay, a construction inspector for the Port of Los Angeles, said he was not swayed by emotional appeals from Anaheim attorneys and focused instead on the contract.

"There were no witnesses to give you any information on intent, and without intent, what do you have? You have the contract," said Clay, a Huntington Beach resident.

I don't really have a dog in this fight: I don't live in Los Angeles or Anaheim. I'd rather see some improvement in the hitting than the name. But since Arte's paying the bills and has shown that he knows what he's doing I'm happy he got what he wanted.

As for Mayor Pringle. Oh, my. The jury wasn't terribly impressed by his imaginary loss of $100 million dollars in tourist revenue. (How does he figure that? Will Los Angeles have thousands of baseball fans wandering the streets and staying at the Bonaventure who wanted to attend an Angel game but were irretrievably confused by the name "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim"?) And then there's the very real $2 million in court costs that are now up the spout. That needs to be explained to the voters. Good luck, Curt.

[ADDENDUM: An article in this morning's, i.e., Saturday's, Times says that the legal bill for the good citizens on the tax rolls of Anaheim is going to be closer to $10 million than $2 million. Good luck, indeed.]

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Telegram is No More

No, not the Press Telegram. And thankfully not the Daily Telegraph, either. I mean the Western Union thingummy that frightened your grandmother so much when one was delivered because it meant bad news. We learned today that Western Union is no longer going to send round a boy in a peaked cap to deliver a written message at 10 cents a word, not counting the tip for the boy. It says so in The Times this morning right here. So another tradition (and the memory and meaning of a key moment in hundreds of wonderful old movies) vanishes down the memory hole.

If you click on that link to The Times you'll find that the piece ends with a few samples of memorable telegrams in history. But it doesn't include my favourite: Apparently Cary Grant was on location in France for a film when the studio wanted to confirm his age. In a thrifty mood and mindful of the per-word charge, the studio sent him a telegram: "How old Cary Grant". To which Grant responded: "Old Cary Grant fine. How you."

". . .to succour the Christians under the Mahometan slavery. . ."

In the old calendar today is the feast of St John of Matha who with St Felix of Valois founded the Order of the Most Holy Trinity "for the ransoming of captives". At the time of the founding, this meant captives of the Mohammedans. Plus ça change. . .

Cardinal Schuster has this to say about today's feast:

It might almost be said of this saint that he has, as it were, a right of citizenship in the Roman Calendar, not only because he was for many years in attendance on Innocent III (1198-1216) as papal chaplain, but still more because he died on the Cœlian Hill in 1213 and was buried in the venerable church of San Tommaso in formis, near which church the little cell, where he is said to have lived, is still to be seen. His sacred body was carried then to Spain after the death of Innocent X (1644-1655). The church with the adjoining monastery – the only monument in Rome which recalls the memory of the saint – belongs to the Vatican Chapter. The great door, dating from the time of Innocent III, still exists with its striking mosaic of the Saviour between two slaves, the one white the other black. Round the border of the mosaic runs the legend: + Signum Ordinis Sanctæ Trinitatis Redemptionis Captivorum..

. . . .

The appellation of the Holy Trinity adopted by the religious order founded by St John of Matha as the sign of a great reawakening of Catholic devotion towards this august mystery of our faith. During the later centuries of the Middle Ages, there were built numerous abbeys, churches, and chapels dedicated to the Blessed Trinity, and Rome, too, had her Abbey SS Trinitatis Scottorum in the vicinity of the Basilica of St Lawrence in Damaso.

Moreover the title of the Blessed Trinity is very appropriate to a religious community which devotes itself to restoring to the children of God those most precious of all the gifts with which he has endowed them – viz., liberty and salvation. If there be a divinely inspired work in all the world, it is surely that by which men endeavoured to imitate the Blessed Trinity and to lend their co-operation in the redemption of souls.

Butler's life of St John can be found here.

The proper collect for his feast reads:

Deus, qui per sanctum Ioannem ordinem sanctissimæ Trinitatis ad redimendum de potestate Saracenorum captivos cælitus instituere dignatus es: præsta, quæsumus; ut, eius suffragantibus meritis, a captivitate corporis et animæ, ti adiuvante, liberemur. Per Dominum. Amen.

O God, Whom it pleased, by means of Saint John, divinely to establish the Order of the Most Holy Trinity for ransoming captives from the power of the Saracens; grant that by Thy help, and with his merits pleading for us, we may be freed from bodily and spiritual captivity. Through Our Lord. Amen.

It is interesting that the theme of captivity is maintained in the Pauline Rite on this day even though the founder of the Trinitarians is not mentioned. The new order commemorates St Jerome Emiliani who found his vocation as a prisoner of war and St Josephine Bakhita who as a girl was captured and sold into slavery and found the faith as a slave.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Latin Making A Comeback

About once a year for the past 35 years there has been a headline like that in the papers. The article will tell about a Latin class starting up or an old one with an increase in enrollment. Or perhaps a new Latin Mass in a diocese which has been without one for two generations. This year's article can be found here. Nothing on a grand scale seems to come of most of these efforts. But they are good efforts and we wish them much success. But perhaps we won't dance around the room in joy and anticipation just yet.

O, quam bonum et iucundum II

As those people know who actually clicked on the link in the "good and joyful" post last week, as opposed to those who relied on my one line summary, no reconciliation of the SSPX was expected or predicted last Wednesday. And so none occured. But a tremendous amount of discussion did occur, the overall sense of which seemed to be that it's a non-starter. At least for the foreseeable future. Rocco had more here and here. John Allen had this to report. And on 2 February a sermon by Bishop Fellay at Flavigny seemed to put the tin lid on any chance of a reconciliation in the near future. He apparently said that talk of a reconciliation is mere rumor and "the work of the devil". A written precis of his talk can be found here. For Francophones an mp3 of the sermon is on this page.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory. . . .

. . . .is a fond thing, vainly invented and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture , but rather repugnant to the Word of God.

So saith number XXII of The Articles of Religion of the Church of England. I wonder: do we subscribe to that article here in the nominally "Romish" Archdiocese of Hollywood? I hadn't heard that we did but I don't always follow the papers as closely as I might. Well, it's still there in the Catechism of the Catholic Church with its own couple of paragraphs at 1030 through 1032. Apparently we still believe in Purgatory in the Church Universal. But how about "the Local Church in Los Angeles"?

One would never have known it by attending the funeral I played for the other day. Not only was there no mention whatsoever of Purgatory but the assumption behind every word spoken was that good ol' Bob went directly to heaven immediately he drew his last breath. A sort of parochial canonisation ceremony. No jiggery-pokery about investigation of his life or number of miracles for beatification like poor old Padre Pio had to undergo. And just to make sure there was no doubt at all of Bob's final destination, we enjoyed that popular liturgical wheeze in which the third Eucharistic prayer is used so that "Bob" can be inserted as the saint-of-the-day.

I wonder if they've done him any favour by "celebrating his life" and leaving prayer for his soul to anyone who still remembers and happens yet to believe the old doctrine. At least he got the Mass.