Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Highland Games III

The OC Register posted a little film clip of the games on their site. It's one of those things that's supposed to give you a taste of various events. I'm not sure this really does give a proper taste of the games. For a start, it looks like nobody attended and there was actually quite a crowd. But for those who like this sort of thing, this is that sort of thing.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

29 May -- It's Mr Chesterton's Birthday

He was born on this date in 1874, so if he were alive today he would be, um, four from eleven is seven, seven from ten is three, um, 137.

Or so.

You can find out all sorts of things about GK from the American Chesterton Society, which has something very like a blog here. You can find out about Gilbert magazine (it used to be Gilbert! magazine but somewhere along the line someone thought better of the exclamation point), the ACS, and all sorts of things about the man himself.

From the GKC quote file:

By a curious confusion, many modern critics have passed from the proposition that a masterpiece may be unpopular to the other proposition that unless it is unpopular it cannot be a masterpiece.

To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.

Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. . . .

Now, I like that picture at the top. It looks rather elegant. But he looks rather grumpy, too, and grumpy is not GK. Let's wind up the birthday post with a photo that might look more like the man who wrote

"Feast on wine or fast on water,
And your honour shall stand sure,
God Almighty's son and daughter,
He the valiant, she the pure;
If an angel out of Heaven
Brings you other things to drink,
Thank him for his kind attentions,
Go and pour them dawn the sink! "

Highland Games II

Oh, bother.

Mary's new video camera worked quite well. The guy working it - your servant - not so much. It seems there's a close-up setting and a distance setting and if you have it on the close-up setting for things away off down yonder you get a sort of underwatery look to everything. Like using a camera with cataracts. I didn't realize this until the very end of the day so all the band competition sets and a couple of demo dances are completely unwatchable. The only thing that actually came out right was the final march off at the end of massed bands on Saturday:

Nothing terribly exciting. Just your basic massed bands march off. Although a couple of the G-III bands did attempt The Black Bear, which actually sounds better on Youtube than I remember it in person.

The games continue today but I've got another commitment. If you're in the area and have a few free hours it's at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. There are many more things to do than listen to pipe bands, and for reasons known best to themselves some people seem to prefer those other things.

There's a website here for your further education and edification.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Highland Games in Costa Mesa

Which is where we are at the moment doing the posting-by-phone thing. The even more typos and worse grammar than usual is attributable to thumb typing with fat thumbs. It is a beautiful, sunny day in the '70s, perfect weather to spend the afternoon listening to the pipe bands. Pictures and maybe videos to follow depending on how well Mary's new camera works.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Speaking of piping. . . .

I had a little gig this morning with one interesting and one pleasurable feature. It was a funeral and the deceased's son-in-law and I have the same first and last names. We had a short rummage through the known genealogy and discovered we are. . . .no relation at all. Still, John Cahill leaving messages for John Cahill on his wife's phone made for some interesting explanations.

The pleasurable bit was playing in an outdoor mausoleum. What we have here is marble-faced walls and marble flooring with an open ceiling. This makes for a wonderful reverb and the lack of a ceiling opens up the venue and keeps the sound from being oppressive. This is a great place to play; the pipes sound really rich. I'd like to have stayed for another hour. I might have if other services weren't scheduled.

Some Piping for the Weekend

Margaret Dunn and Andrea Boyd play a duet this weekend, leading off with a lovely pipe version of "Hard Times, Come Again No More".

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May 25

Today is a full calendar.

In the old Roman rite it is the feast of Saint Gregory VII, Confessor,Pope, and Doctor of the Church. I didn't remember that he was a doctor of the church but my old breviary says that it is so. What I do remember is that an acquaintance of mine insists that he should be a special patron of the modern church, for St Gregory fired more bishops than any other pope in history. (I wonder what he meant by that?) The good old Catholic Encyclopædia has an extensive life here. Wikipedia includes a good chunk of the CE's essay in its article here and adds a good bit more, apparently from the Brittanica according to the notes.

In the Carmelite calendar, it's the feast of St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, O. Carm. There is a useful little essay on her life here.

The Pauline calendar adds yet another feast, that of the great English Benedictine historian, St Bede the Venerable. But that's really enough for today. Let's leave him to his traditional feast day on the 27th.

And finally, my grandfather, Peter John Cahill was born on this day in 1885. Leo XIII was pope, Grover Cleveland was president of the United States and the Queen Empress Victoria reigned over the empire on which the sun never set.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Some Piping for the Weekend

This weekend's choice is an old recording of the Pipes and Drums of the London Scottish Regiment playing a medley of three old classic 6/8s: Cock of the North, Bonnie Dundee, and All the Blue Bonnets are Over the Border.

The video portion is a disappointment: there is no video properly so called. It's just a photo of an album cover. So here's a bit more of the London Scottish - augmented with the Toronto Scottish - playing Lord Lovat's Lament and doing some marching to qualify it as a video.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Sewer Tour

In this morning's WSJ we learn that you can take a tour of the sewers of Vienna. That is now on my to-do list. Believe it or not, I've always wanted to do that. "Always", being since I first saw The Third Man, and in particular, that bit embedded above. Apparently, it's gamier than it looks. Thanks to old age, my smeller doesn't work as well as it used to, though, so I could probably handle it without too much bother.

And it's not the only sewer tour going. You can do Brighton. And Paris. The Paris tour should really be something. The sewers of Paris figured mightily in all the good old fashioned conspiracy literature. The Jesuits, the Jews, the Freemasons. . .they were all headquartered down there. I don't know where Dan Brown put Opus Dei (I never did get around to reading the The Da Vinci Code. I know. A serious cultural failing; I'm so embarrassed.) But if Opus Dei wants to be taken seriously as one of the classic world domination conspiracies, they need to think about getting a sewers of Paris HQ, if they haven't already.

Monday, May 16, 2011

May 16 - S Simon Anglius

Otherwise, St Simon the Englishman or St Simon Stock.

The picture is of Aylesford Priory, St Simon's home in Carmel for many years. It was a victim of the greed of Thomas Cromwell in the 16th century but found its way back into the hands of the Order in the 1950's.

From The Inn a few years ago:

Precanti ei divam Virginem, ut ordinem iam confirmatum (qui sacro titulo eius gaudet singulari) aliquo privilegio a ceteris discerneret, apparuit ipsa Virgo benedicta, Angelorum multitudine comitata, tenens præ manibus scapulare ordinis, dicens: "Hoc erit signum tibi et cunctis Carmelitis privilegium, quod in hoc pie moriens, æternum non patietur incendium."
-from the proper office of St Simon Stock in the old Breviarium Carmelitarum

Plebs tibi, Domine, Virginique Matri dicata, beati Simonis, quem ei Rectorem et Patrem dedisti, solemnitate lætetur : et sicut per eum tantæ protectionis signum obtinuit; ita prædestinationis æternæ munera consequatur. Per Dominum. Amen.

O Lord, Thy people dedicated to the Virgin Mother rejoice in the solemnity of Blessed Simon whom Thou didst give to them as guide and father; may they receive the eternally predestined reward the sign of which protection was received through him. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thus the collect for today's feast day of St Simon Stock taken from the old Discalced Carmelite proper. An account of his life can be found here in the old Catholic Encyclopædia. A little more on St Simon and the Scapular can be found here .

The current propers for St Simon are very spare. There is a proper second reading for the Office of Readings - taken from Fr Nicholas's "Flaming Arrow" - a proper collect and antiphons for the Benedictus and the Magnificat. The old Discalced propers were even more lean: only the collect quoted above (accompanied here by my own wobbly translation) was proper. The rest was taken from the common for a confessor not a bishop.

But the Ancient Observance Carmelites had a beautiful office for St Simon with a first vespers and three nocturns at matins, including an extensive vita for the second, from which [the first paragraph of this post was taken].

Here is the Magnificat antiphon for second vespers and the proper collect from the old Jerusalem rite of the Calced Carmelites:

Magnificavit Dominus Sanctum suum, et replevit eum spiritu intelligentiæ ad dandam scientiam salutis Ecclesiæ suæ.
[The Lord has magnified His saint and filled him with the spirit of wisdom for giving knowledge of salvation to His Church.}

Deus, qui precibus et meritis beati Simonis Confessoris tui, Carmeli Montis ordinem, per manus Genitricis Filii tui Domini nostri Iesu Christi, singulari privilegio decorasti: concede; ut, ipso interveniente, ad gloriam, quam diligentibus te præparasti, pervenire valeamus. Per eumdem Dominum. Amen.

[O God, Who by the prayers and merits of blessed Simon Thy confessor, didst beautify the Order of Mount Carmel with a singular privilege through the hands of the Mother of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ, grant that by her intervention, we may be enabled to arrive at the glory Thou didst prepare for them that love Thee. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.]

On Being Useful

Prayer. It seems like that's what ought to occur to a Catholic first in facing trouble. But Americans like to do stuff. We're a practical people, so we tell ourselves. Turns out I'm more of an American than I am a Christian.

We have friends up north - about 700 miles away - who have been going through agonies. She has Parkinsons and two months ago had an abdominal operation that refuses to heal. The details are gruesome and I won't repeat them here. She's been in and out of hospital the whole two months. Mostly in. Her husband has hardly seen their home in that time, taking care of her and trying to keep the medicos paying attention. Now he's got flu and can't get in to see her at all. Fear of infection. Fortunately, they have other family in the area. They're good friends of ours and we've prayed for them the whole time (and if you want to, too, a Hail Mary for Geraldine and Tony wouldn't go amiss). But it feels inadequate. There's still the need to do something.

And Hilary has been a daily read here for a long time. You probably know she's been facing a difficult time. But distance once again frustrates the practical American instincts. 10,000 miles or so is a bit far to bring a casserole. TSA wouldn't let us on the plane with it anyway. Can't drive her anywhere, can't do the marketing, can't mind the cat.

One is forced to be a Catholic. It's a shame that prayer seems like second-best.

Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.

("Maybe if You were to pass a miracle. . . ." he thought, looking hopefully skyward. "Or two.")

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Regina Cæli - again

A contemporary composition this time and as exultant as last month's Mozart posted below.

And see? I don't hate all modern music. So there.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Community of Bl John Henry Newman

The incipient Anglican Use Society in Orange County now has a patron: Blessed John Henry Newman.

More at the AU of OC website here.

The beginnings of formal organization are in the works, too, I'm told.

I Could've Written This

Well, not exactly. Not if we're talking style and knowing how to write, which Tim Grobaty knows how to do, so well, in fact, that the PT pays him money to do it. Just content. If this doesn't describe me wheezing around town on my old 5 speed Ross, which they stopped making some time in the '80s, nothing does.

There are all kinds of bicycling events going on in town this weekend . . . .

We're a contrarian by personality flaw, and a lazy one at that, which means we won't be pedaling around with the crowd this weekend. And, even if we were of a mind, we're woefully underequipped, and not just physiologically. We have a bike, a rather plain one, though considerably more complex than the still-trendy fixed-gear bikes, and that's about it.

We're bereft of a helmet, for starters. And clothes. We have clothes, but not bike clothes. When we're cycling we look like an old guy who found a bike.

We have no hub tools or hex wrenches. No cyclocomputers or heart-rate monitors. We lack a rear pannier, carbon road shoes, wind-resistant eyewear, energy chews and hydration packs. We are not going to even bring up the subject of butt butter, if that's OK.

That's more than OK.

Actually, though, I do have a pannier. I thought it was a saddle bag. But it turns out it's a pannier. It looks like a saddle bag, though.

("When we're cycling we look like an old guy who found a bike." Ouch. A palpable hit.)

Some Piping for the Weekend

Tiarnan Ó Duinnchinn plays a selection of mostly reels on the uilleann pipe. He even uses the regulators now and again. Regulators are those extra tubes that play harmonies when you press their keys with your wrist. Yes it is complicated. That's why you don't hear them used all that frequently.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th. . . .

. . . .co-incidentally enough, comes on a Friday this month. All the usual precautions apply.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Some Piping Even Though It's Not the Weekend

I have pipes on the mind this morning. This is a lively hornpipe at a Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band practice session.

Pipes at a Spanish Funeral

My friend Eloise sent me this link this morning:

"A lone bagpiper leads the friends and family of Seve Ballesteros, who died on Saturday morning aged 54, through the golfing hero's home village of Pedrena in northern Spain."

It may be possible to embed a link from the BBC website but I'm not finding it right at the moment. It's interesting that it is a Highland piper wearing Highland dress and playing the semi-traditional Highland tunes "Battle's O'er" and "Green Hills of Tyrol". (The theme from "Green Hills" is actually from one of Rossini's operas, "Guiglielmo Tell" if memory serves.) And yet Spain has her own piping traditions. Perhaps it's the Scottish/Golf/St Andrews connection?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This Veil of Tears

It is a rule of thumb with The Memsahib that laying down the law about women's attire is a thankless, not to say hopeless, task. You would have a pleasanter time poking bee hives with a stick. And whatever it is you're trying to achieve by doing so, you won't.

So I won't attempt it.

But I will cite you to this post on women wearing veils in church wherein Mrs Vidal points out that

"Christian practice and profane custom show women's dress to be not unimportant.... Customs are a way of thinking. External comportment is important because it reflects people's inner dispositions."

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Ordinations at Aylesford

Ordinations for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham were held the other day at the Carmelite Priory chapel at Aylesford in Kent. There are some pictures here, most showing the chapel but with one or two showing the grounds.

Full, Active Participation When You Least Expect It

It was a lovely spring morning today. The crows thought so too and were out screeching in the tree nearest my window at about 5:30-ish. As long as I was at least partially awake, I took the opportunity to trundle out of bed, make myself presentable and drive to the 7:00 a.m. Mass at the Polish center for the first time since Fr Oppenheimer and the C.R.N.J. moved to their new digs in West Virginia.

Alas, the chanted High Mass is no more. Not in itself a bad thing; a quiet low Mass in the early morning can be a deeply moving experience. But, no. We got the ghastly "Dialogue Mass" of unhappy memory. And not just the Kyrie, Gloria, et cum spiritu tuo, and so forth sort of thing, which if mildly annoying, it at least an historically justifiably archaeologism. This was the full-bore, deluxe version with all the options, including psalm 42, the confiteor, and those other bits that were always proper to the priest and the sacred ministers and never the people's parts.

It also happened that the Epistle and Gospel in Latin turned out to be surplus to requirements. We only got them in English. (Thankfully, the New American Bible was not read in any of its various incarnations.) Yes, I know there is a permission out there for that. But there's no requirement that I have to like it.

A few days ago I said on this very blog that you can't ruin the old rite. Well, you can't. And this didn't. It was still streets ahead of the Bugnini thing. It was still worth getting up at oh dark thirty. But that doesn't mean people can't make it less wonderful than it ought to be.

Some Piping to Brighten Up Your Sunday Evening

P/M Gordon Walker plays an arrangement of The Mason's Apron that doesn't appear in any book. Some of these embellishments are illegal in several jurisdictions.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

St Angelus, O.Carm.

[You can click on the picture for a much larger version with far greater detail.]

From The Inn two years ago:

St Angelus was one of the earliest recognized saints of the Carmelite Order. As this paragraph on his life indicates, the details of his medieval biographies seem to have been greatly exaggerated. All of the versions indicate that he was of Jewish extraction and converted many Jews to Catholicism during his religious life. He was murdered by a nobleman he was attempting to reform. The illustration above shows him kneeling before Our Lady, the sword of his murderer still in his chest.

The old collect for his feast:

O Lord, let Thy people glorify Thee by honouring the Blessed Angelus, Thy Priest and Martyr, and through his intercession, may they deserve to be led by Thee. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Plebs tua te, Domine, beati Angeli sacerdotis et Martyris tui glorificatione sanctificet : et eodem intercedente te mereatur habere rectorem. Per Dominum nostrum. Amen.

The old second nocturn for his feast relates the story of his meeting with St Dominic and St Francis:

Upon his arrival in Rome he was recognized by the holy men Francis and Dominic, who held him in honor, and admitted him to their friendship. He foretold to Saint Francis that he would receive the stigmata, and received from him in return the announcement of his own future martyrdom.

Alas, the three saints don't seem to have left a notarized account of their meeting so our brethren in the History Dept discount its existence.

The story of St Angelus's martyrdom still seems to be permissible, though:

Angelus went at length to Licata, where he strove to turn a notorious sinner from public incest. For this, and because he had obliged the sister of this man to do public penance, the Saint was stabbed by him five times with a dagger, in the midst of an assembly of people. Thereupon, falling on his knees, he prayed for his persecutor and for the people. While he was saying the psalm, "In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped," when he had reached the words "Into Thy hands," Heaven called him to receive his threefold crown, and he gave up his soul under the form of a pure white dove. A brilliant light which shone upon the body, heavenly songs, and an odor of marvellous sweetness did honor to the Martyr's death.

Carne asada, roast green peppers, onions, and hold the cinco de Mayo

No matter what it looks like in the adverts in the papers, it's not Mexican independence day. That's in September. This day commemorates a battle lost by the forces of the Emperor Maximilian to the liberal Mexican revolutionaries in 1862. So it is a Mexican holiday of sorts. A Mexican school friend of mine was always amazed by the American celebration of Cinco de Mayo. He said it would be as if Mexicans were to celebrate the U.S.A. by commemorating Flag Day and ignoring the fourth of July.

But I wouldn't celebrate it anyway. I would've been supporting the Emperor, never missing the chance, as is my wont, to be on the losing side.

Here is a short life of the Emperor Maximilian.

And here is an excellent site on imperial Mexico.

And that headline? Oh, that's what we had for lunch. Fajitas with rice and beans. Not a celebration, mind you. Just a lunch. There was some left over which we brought home and which I will have after class tonight with a beer to toast the Empress Charlotte.

Monday, May 02, 2011

2 May -- The Feast of St Joseph the Worker

Transferred from last Sunday due to it being Low Sunday/Feast of Divine Mercy/Sunday in albis.

Laudes in honorem S Joseph
Salve, Pater Salvatoris,
Joseph ter amabilis.
Salve, custos Redemptoris,
Joseph ter mirabilis.
Salve, sponse Matris Dei,
Joseph vir angelice.
Salve, hospes Jesu mei,
Vir Joseph seraphice.

Tibi tanta sors est data,
O flos pudicitiæ.
Quanta nulli est collata
Ab Auctore gratiæ.
O felicem et beatum!
Tuo sub præsidio
Custodiri cui est datum
Tuo patrocinio.

Per Mariæ, tuæ Matris,
preces atque viscera,
Per Josephi, tui Patris,
Curas et obsequia,
Fac possimus te videre,
Jesu, Rex in gloria,
In æternum possidere
In cælesti patria.

-taken from a collection of old Carmelite Mass & Office propers.

Royal "Wedding"

No, I didn't get up in the middle of the night - or even at 2:00 a.m., which is when they started broadcasting it here - to watch The Wedding. If God had wanted us up at that time of the morning He never would have given us the DVR.

So, we finally got around to watching the tape (which isn't a "tape", of course, but old terminologies die hard). Now Prince William is the new Colonel-in-Chief of the Irish Guards and even wore his Guards tunic for the wedding. So, of course, the Irish Guards pipe band would play for the wedding. Except that they didn't. No Irish Guards pipe band. Three or four hours ensued of, to be honest, the rather glorious pageantry that the CofE does so well, and with only moderate and judicious use of the fast-forward button on my part.

But no pipe band.

No pipe band at all.

Not even a solo piper.

They may not be validly married.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Late Again

I did want to mention something about Divine Mercy Sunday.

It's today.

But unless you're in Hawaii and reading this practically the minute it's posted, it's too late to do anything about it.

Initially, it was never a devotion that appealed much to me. But as the local parish promoted it, I went along. The way you do. But Herself is very devoted to it and it's sort of grown on me. There is a quite a lot about it on the web, some of it, perhaps a bit overboard. This page from EWTN gives a good explanation.

Calendar it for next year since I probably won't get anything up in time then either.

Our Lady's Month