Thursday, June 29, 2006

In festo Ss Petri & Pauli, Apostolii

Hodie Simon Petrus ascendit crucis patibulum, alleluia:
Hodie clavicularius regni, gaudens migravit ad Christum:
Hodie Paulus Apostolus, lumen orbis terræ, inclinato capite, pro Christi nomine martyrio coronatus est, alleluia! -- Magnificat Antiphon

Today Simon Peter ascends the gibbet of the Cross, Alleluia;
Today the keeper of the Keys of the Kingdom, goes rejoicing to Christ;
Today Paul the Apostle, the light of the whole round world, inclining (his) head, is crowned with martyrdom for the name of Christ, Alleluia!

I haven't been attending to The Inn much this week. It's been in the high 80s and into the 90s with humidity to match and as I point out at least once or twice every summer, this little office has no air conditioning. I do the necessary in here as required however, minding the weblog doesn't come under the heading of "necessary". But today is the feast of one of my patrons, St Peter, so I am obliged to provide a little electronic homage.

An extensive life of St Peter

A shorter life based on the feast

The tomb and relics of St Peter

St Peter's Basilica

Monday, June 26, 2006

Genuine renewal in Catholic music "cannot be achieved except by following the great traditions of the past, of Gregorian chants and sacred polyphony,". . .

. . . said the Holy Father, speaking after a June 25 concert at the Vatican. This musical tradition, he said, is "a priceless spiritual, artistic, and cultural heritage."

Indeed. More can be found here. And, now, a little action please? Some rules, regulations, and best of all, some firings? Implementing this "lay activity" as a regulation would be another good start.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

It's a Start

"The secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship has conceded some "negative results" of liturgical changes since Vatican II. . ."

From CWN here.

Friday, June 23, 2006

In festo Sacratissimi Cordis Iesu

The hymn at Lauds of the Sacred Heart:

O Heart of Jesus, ark divine
That doth love's Latter Law enshrine
The grim Old Law of servitude
Thou didst annul upon the Rood.

O Lord, thus Thou Law's temple art;
Its Holy Place Thy Sacred Heart;
Whose rended veil doth well unfold
A worth beyond Law's shrine of old.

Thus willed Thy love to open wide
A wound upon Thy sacred side,
Through which to shew how sins impart
Wounds else unseen, hid in Thy Heart.

Its blood and water (two-fold sign)
Shew priestly sacrifice divine,
First offered on the bloody Tree,
Now on our altars bloodlessly.

Though sinners, Thou didst die for us!
Who can but love One loving thus?
Thou, in Thy Heart, hast made a place
Of refuge for our lawless race.

We give Thee praise, who dost impart
Such grace, O Jesu, from Thy Heart;
Whom with the Father we adore,
And Holy Ghost , for evermore. Amen.

The old Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was part of the First Friday devotions at St Basil's in Los Angeles 30 some years ago when Cardinal McIntyre was in residence:

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus,and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger. Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord holds aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd. Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism; and refuse not to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy toward the children of that race, once Thy chosen people. Of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may It now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life. Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: "Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and honor forever." Amen.

(Then followed the Litany of the Sacred Heart and Benediction. That seems to be all in the past. No such devotions listed for St Basil's now.)

More on the Sacred Heart of Jesus than you can absorb in one day can be found here.

Some prayers and devotions to the Sacred Heart in Latin. (Scroll down to about the middle of the page.)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

On Not Rounding Up the Usual Suspects

Alice Through the Looking-Glass wasn't a fantasy book for children. It was a starkly realistic vision of the future as those of us here in the Archdiocese of Hollywood and our neighbour and suffragan to the south, the Diocese of Disneyland learn anew at least every week.

Let's say you want to teach some catechism at your local parish. Since some members of the clergy have been up to no good of late - surely you've read about it? - you the layman, of course, have to be fingerprinted and a check run on your criminal background. With one exception here in Wonderland: if you are an illegal alien you can skip this sort of nonsense. Just swear on a stack of bishops that you are not a child molester or a criminal and you're home free because, as we know, no child molester - particularly an illegal alien one - would ever swear a false oath.

Even The Times seems a little taken-aback by this one.

[Sorry: no word on whether illegal aliens who kneel after the Agnus Dei have to be fingerprinted. I would guess not. Probably just deported. But we await the official ruling.]

Personal to whoever arrived here yesterday searching for "Trappist bear (sic) in Los Angeles":

You must mean "beer" and you must mean "Chimay". Try Trader Joe's or Bristol Farms; both almost always have it, although not necessarily all three brews.

Ecclesia Anglicana Libera Sit

Three significant English saints are commemorated today. The first is St Alban, the first English martyr. Or at least the first whose name is known. He was a Roman soldier stationed in Britain who professed the faith publicly, probably during the persecution of Septimus Severus, and was beheaded for his courage. The illustration includes that part of the legend which says that the first appointed executioner was so impressed with Alban that he refused his duty. The second did behead the saint, but his own eyes popped out in divine retribution. A vita can be found here. The illustration can be found here, the website for St Alban's Cathedral in England.

In the Pauline Rite, as in certain local proper calendars in the traditional Roman Rite, Ss John Cardinal Fisher and Thomas More are commemorated today. Some other local calendars commemorated them separately on June 13th and July 9th. Both were martyred by Henry VIII in defence of the primacy of the Pope. There is much on the web about both of them. The old Catholic Encyclopædia is usually a good place to start and that remains true with today's martyrs. St John Fisher's life can be found here and St Thomas More's here. If you have plenty of time, John Farrow's biography of More is on the web in its entirety here. It used to be available from TAN in print; I presume it still is.

Both St John and St Thomas were buried in the churchyard of St Peter ad Vincula within the confines of the Tower of London. E.E. Reynolds in his second book-length biography of St Thomas, The Field is Won, provides interesting detail on St Thomas's burial and the final resting place of both saints:

Our only information about the burial comes from Stapleton [an early biographer], who recorded Dorothy Colley's recollections. The burial was to be in the church of St Peter-ad-Vincula with the Tower. On her way with Dorothy, Margaret visited a number of churches and gave alms to the poor so that by the time they reached the Tower, her purse was empty. Then she realized that she had forgotten to bring a winding-sheet but she had no money to buy one.

"Her maid Dorothy suggested that she should get some linen from a neighbouring shop. 'How can I do that', she answered, 'when I have no money left?' 'They will give you credit', replied the maid. 'I am far away from home', said Margaret, 'and no one knows me here, but yet go and try.' The maid went into a neighbouring shop and asked for as much linen as was needed; she agreed on the price. Then she put her hand into her purse as if to look for the money, intending to say that unexpectedly she found herself without money, but that if the shopkeeper would trust her she would obtain the price of the linen as quickly as possible from her mistress and bring it back. But although the maid was quite certain that she had absolutely no money, yet in her purse she found exactly the price of the linen, not one farthing more or less than the amount she had agreed to pay. Dorothy Harris [Stapleton concluded], who is still living in Douai, has told me these details again and again. With this winding –sheet, so strangely obtained, the two Margarets and Dorothy most reverently buried the body."

Shortly afterwards, the body of St John Fisher was removed from All Hallows churchyard and reburied near that of St Thomas More.

In 1876 the little church was subject to thorough "restoration". When the stone flags were removed it was found that as a result of burials during more than three hundred years, the subsoil was chock-a-block with the bones of hundreds of the dead. Not all were victims of the axe; most were of those who had died in the Tower parish of which St Peter-ad-Vincula was the church. All these bones were carefully gathered together; they were reburied in a new vault to the north of the chapel. Among them are the bones of the two saints.

More's head, having been parboiled, was displayed on London Bridge. Margaret bribed the executioner, who was in charge, to let her have the head before it was flung into the river as John Fisher's had been. During her lifetime (she died in 1544) the head remained in her care. It is said that she left it to her eldest daughter, Lady Elizabeth Bray, who died in 1558. She it was, it is assumed, who had it placed in the Roper vault in St Dunstan's, Canterbury. It was last seen in 1837. The head or skull is behind an iron grille in a niche; it is in a leaden box shaped like the mail coif of chain armour.

The Roper vault was sealed, and the chantry is now the chapel of St Nicholas. A tablet set in the floor reads:

Beneath this floor
is the vault of the
Roper family in which
is interred the head of
of illustrious memory
sometime Lord Chancellor
of England who was
beheaded on Tower Hill
6th July 1535


St Peter-ad-Vincula, parish church of the Tower of London

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Dom Fernando

The Wanderer, as a newspaper, in indispensable. It doesn't matter whether one approves of all of its positions. There is so much in each issue that isn't reported anywhere else. If nothing else, the homosexualist infiltration into the clergy was reported there years before any other news outlet could be bothered.

Its website, alas, is another story. Not only very disappointing in its content - very incomplete - but for reasons known only to God and Bill Gates five minutes of access to it causes my computer to crash. (There only two others that do that: one dedicated to Our Lady and another put up by some pipers in the USMC. If I were Dan Brown, I'd find a connection there.) You can find The Wanderer's website here. But don't linger more than 5 minutes; just note the address so you can take out a subscription to the print copy.

Brian Mershon's articles on the liturgical wars appear regularly in The Wanderer and I first saw them there. But it seems they are not confined to TW's pages. Several have also appeared on the Renew America website. (No, nothing to do with that "Renew". Brian is on the side of the angels.)

The latest is an interview with Dom Fernando Rifan, the Bishop of the traditional apostolic prefecture of Campos, Brazil. As Brian points out, "Bishop Fernando Rifan is the sole bishop in the world in full canonical communion with the Holy See who offers the Classical Roman liturgy exclusively." As such, he is the "spiritual father" of a great many Catholics of traditional inclination throughout the world. Dom Fernando's insights are worth a read. You can find Brian's interview with him here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

There are parades. And then there are parades.

The Heart of Georgia Pipe Band has better things to do than "march". At the Blairsville Highland Games they found that the "steam train" still worked. Vide: here, here, and here.

Monday, June 19, 2006

ECUSA: Striking another blow for The Continuum, Western Orthodoxy, and Swimming the Tiber.

The Episcopal General Convention, not satisfied with the present rate of its own decomposition, has decided to speed it up and elected a pro-homosexualist presiding bishopess. The American Anglican Council has links to several sources. It's main article can be found here.

The Episcopal Church: doing its part to make the USCCB look good.

Liturgical Milestones

While I was off doing other things than blogging last week, the USCCB decided by a rather large margin that the old ICEL translation (sic) of the Pauline Mass needed a complete overhaul. The Times reported it here. Interesting to see Bishop Trautman saying "It will take some adapting, but it is not earth-shattering when you think of the changes we went through 40 years ago." Quite a change from the chaos he was predicting before his team lost the vote. Fr Zuhlsdorf has commented many times on his WDTPRS about various aspects of the new ICEL's translation efforts. Here's one to start with. Far more interesting, accurate, and to the point than anything The Times has to say.

Further in the liturgical news, this article from the Catholic News Service is not terribly earth-shaking either. But the linking headline from Seattle Catholic is classic: "Liturgists Hold Conference, Bemoan Liturgical Problems, Tell Themselves Changes Unrelated, Pat Selves on Back".

Increasing Your Word Power

That isn't exactly the title of the Reader's Digest's old vocabulary quiz but it's the best my memory can do at the moment. And it is brought to mind by this link which was cited just yesterday in a discussion about Scottish dance. The last time I used "outwith" someone did drop me a note to ask where I got it. I explained the meaning, not nearly as extensively as the link does, but I'm sure she got the basic meaning. And as for "where" I got it, I don't actually know. I presumed from my wife. Perhaps unfairly, she gets the blame for a great many of my verbal peculiarities. But the link says it's a purely Scottish word. So perhaps she's innocent in this case.

"It was a quiet week in Lakewood, my hometown. . ."

I need to live in a town with four syllables to make that headline work properly. Scansion is important if one is really going to make these riffs on popular culture resonate.

I played a funeral for the client's mother on Wednesday. A typical funeral for the most part. Except that the grave location was within three or four spaces of my own mother's grave. An oddly moving experience.

One of the weddings later in the week was in the garden of the Long Beach Museum of Art. If you absolutely have to be married out of doors, this is probably one of the prettiest spots in the Long Beach area to do it:

Lovely old turn-of-the-19th century buildings on either side of a garden overlooking the Pacific and a slight sea-breeze making the mid 90s temperature bearable for all except one unfortunate piper wearing a 1/2 ton of Scottish wool, made a very pleasant setting.

Saturday night was remarkable only in that I played for an American Cancer Society Relay-for-Life event. I've done this numerous times in the past. But this one, at least as far as my bit was concerned, was perfectly organized. A first. 9 o'clock arrive. 9:10 play the folks around the circuit. Play the lament. 9:38 go home.

The rest of the week was even less eventful.

And this week could have been much more interesting. I could be here instead of idling in front this keyboard trying to remember what it was I meant to write when I sat down.

Holy Hill Vandalized

I learned today that the midwest's great Carmelite shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians, known for a century as "Holy Hill", was vandalized last week. The Milwaukee Journal carried the first report here. It seems the local buttonheads were entranced by the date: 6/6/2006 which they apparently think is equivalent to sescenti sexaginta sex as related in St John's Apocalypse.

According to the next day's Journal, it didn't take long, or much work, to grab the two cretins involved:

Tyler Groth was arrested on the Holy Hill grounds on Wednesday, as he and his cousin showed four friends the vandalism from the night before, according to a deputy's report. David Groth ran off that night but was arrested Friday morning, hiding behind a bed in a friend's home in Richfield, Rahn said.

And for motive: "I'm a punk. It's what I do."

[Addendum: Link to another story about the vandalism.]

Monday, June 12, 2006

Evelyn Waugh: Call Your Office

Satire is impossible in the 21st century. Reality outstrips it every time.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Trinity Sunday

A hymn to the Blessed Trinity from the old Carmelite Rite:

O Pater sancte, mitis atque pie,
O Iesu Christe, Fili venerande,
Paraclitusque Spiritus o alme,
Deus æterne!

Trinitas sancta, Unitasque firma,
Deitas, vera, bonitas immensa,
Lux Angelorum, salus orphanorum,
Spesque cunctorum!

Serviunt tibi cuncta, quæ creasti:
Te tuæ cunctæ laudant creaturæ:
Nos quoque tibi psallimus devoti,
Tu nos exaudi.

Gloria tibi, omnipotens Deus,
Trinus et unus, magnus et excelsus;
Te decet hymnus, honor, laus et decus
Nunc, et in ævum.

The 1962 rite contains the last gasp of the old Quicumque Vult, the Athanasian Creed. It used to be part of the liturgy fairly regularly but by 1962 only made an appearance at Prime on Trinity Sunday. In the Pauline Rite it's not to be found at all. You can find it at several sites on the web, including this one.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Real Estate? Pfui! Invest in Books

I have two volumes of the old O. Carm. breviary which I got for one euro each about two years ago. I've been looking for the other two volumes ever since. I haven't seen any copies of any of the volumes until today when I chanced upon the two volumes I already happen to have. One was priced at $65 and the other at $120.

I'm saving the best for last, though. I've been searching for a copy of "The Royal Irish Rangers' Standard Settings of Pipe Music" for something over 20 years. In fact, ever since I decided not to buy the copy in my hand because it was $35 and that wasn't quite in the budget that day. I haven't seen a copy for sale since. Until today: $585.86

I wonder if I can invest my I.R.A. completely in books?

St Margaret of Scotland

St Margaret of Scotland's feast day is observed today in the traditional calendar used for the "indult" liturgy. The old Catholic Encyclopædia gives her life here. It's interesting to note that her relics were scattered at the time of the reformation but not "lost" until much later. The French regicides destroyed some and the Spanish misplaced the rest.

The picture shows St Margaret's Chapel atop Edinburgh Castle: (T)his beautifully preserved 12th century chapel is the oldest building in the castle and indeed in Edinburgh. King David I built it as a private chapel for the royal family and dedicated it to his mother, Margaret, who died in the castle in 1093.

Piping Picture of the Week

You'll have to click here for this one. It fills the screen and you wouldn't really want it any smaller: Winston Churchill watching the massed pipes and drums of the 51st Highland Division in March of 1945.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Da Vinci Code Meets the Calendar Co-incidences

And the result is this sort of thing. Isn't there some way to get these people to grow up?

And there's a great story-cartoon in the latest New Yorker. It's not on-line. But you can get at your newstand or library and while you're looking for the cartoon read the interview with Oriana Fallaci and the Nora Ephron article. And the cartoon? Oh, yes. It's about the censored part of the Da Vince Code that "they" wouldn't allow to be published. It seems Adam and Eve were "real people". And they had a secret daughter named Staci and. . .well, you need to read it for yourself.

{TAP-TAP}. . . Hello? Is this on?

Blogspot seems to have recovered from its "hardware malfunction" whatever that means. The first day down was kind of nice. A guilt-free day off from blogging. Now after two days the little pocket notebook is filled with ideas for posts, most of which no longer seems like such a good idea and a lot of the rest of which is illegible.

But there is some good ephemera from the summer season of Highland Games:

Mr Best Dressed at the Celtic Fest in Glasgow, Kentucky. [All together: "Aawwwwwwwww".]

A "convert" from the Seattle Times.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Cheese Rolling Disclaimer Addendum

Don't try it at home! It seems it's another one of those things only trained professionals should be doing.

[Thanks to Ted Hewitt for the, ahem, heads up.]

Hard to believe, I know. . .

. . . but there are people like this. No taste at all.

Whit Monday and Whitsun Ales

The day after Pentecost is a traditional holiday which still hangs on in many countries that were once part of Christendom. Up until this year it was a holiday in France; this was part of the reason that this weekend was chosen for the Chartres Pilgrimage. It's still a "bank holiday" in Ireland and, I think, in the U.K.

But it used to be much more than a day off. From the U.K. Traditions website:

Two main traditions persist, particularly in the North of England - Whit Walks and Whitsun Ales. Whit weekend, being a three-day break, is, like May Day, an important date on the Morris-Dancing calendar, and it also marks the start of the Well Dressing season.

Whit Walks are now confined almost exclusively to the industrial towns of northern England although they were once much more widespread.
The whole community assembles at a central point - usually a school or church - and parades around the town or village. The parades will be led by a brass band with the clergy and local dignitaries, followed by the uniformed organisations - Scouts and Guides, Boy's Brigade etc., and finally local families all in their best new clothes with the girls dressed in white, Whitsun being a corruption of White Sunday. The Whit Walkers will very likely make their way to the local green or playing field and there the "Whitsun Ale" will begin.

A Whitsun Ale is, despite its name, not a type of beer! Whitsun Ales are country fairs, with sports and competitions, Morris dancing displays, music and of course socialising, eating and drinking, in fact a major event on the social calendar.
After the Civil War (English, not American) the Puritan government banned all types of merrymaking but after the Restoration of Charles II, Whitsun Ales became a major event - helped no doubt by the fact that Charles was born on a Whit Monday and so encouraged the celebration. The Ales are often sponsored by a pub or brewery, giving rise to the misconception that the event is named for the beer!

This site has another opinion on the origin of "Whitsun Ales" and a bit about bread and cheese throwing. If you've actually got this day off and have yet more time on your hands try this site which has even more.

An Bord Pleanála says it isn't broken. . .

. . .and the wreckovators aren't going to be allowed to fix it. St Colman's Cathedral in Cobh, that is. An Bord's decision and the relevant official documents can be found here.

The Bishop it seems wanted to gut the interior and turn it into a church-in-the-round sort of arrangement. A layman who takes a hammer to the Pietá is an obvious looney and gets locked away. A cleric who hires a team of jackhammers to have at a Pugin Cathedral, one of Ireland's finest 19th century Gothic examples, gets to remain a bishop. Nobody even asks the question. Just like Bishop Daly -- turn old St Mel's into a stone warehouse and get made an archbishop and a cardinal.

Lots of good commentary here and here, and an aerial picture of the exterior here. And one more, here.

Bishop Brown and Immigration

The Times this morning reports that Bishop Brown of Orange chose a confirmation service for sophomore high school students to reiterate Cardinal Mahony's views on illegal immigrants. There is much discussion at the link as to whether this was the appropriate occasion. But no one asked the question which must have been on everyone's mind in the Diocese of Orange: if the immigrants kneel will his lordship invite them to leave the country?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Is the Novus Ordo Missæ about to receive a tidying up?

Maybe. Rorate Cæli quotes a source who thinks so here.

It would be good were it so. Even better were the final quoted sentence an accurate predictor of things to come. Are we going to wait eagerly for October no matter how many times we've been disappointed in the past? Is Charlie Brown still going to try to kick the football no matter how many times Lucy has pulled it away in the past? You know it. Are we ineducable or just imbued with the virtue of hope?

Second Thoughts

It seems that a lot of people read the article in The Times last Sunday about kneeling at St Mary's by the Sea and got all technical about it. So the Diocesan worthies of Orange have had to issue an explanation for those who just don't understand nuance. No, kneeling isn't an actual mortal sin within the strict meaning of the act. But it is still really, really uncool throughout the Diocese of Orange.

["Diocese of Orange". Isn't it appropriate? As Mark pointed out years ago, you can hear the lambeg drum in the background.]