Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vatican Ceremonies

My friend Eloise sent me this link the other day to videos of Vatican ceremonies. In her words:

New since the 1st of May. Yesterday was Corpus Christi Mass and completely filmed....and today one can keep seeing it over and over again. Many languages. They keep showing these events until the next one.
. . . . .

Scheduled are:
June 24 Audience to members of ROACO Sala Clementina.
June 26 Angelus....Vatican
June 29 Mass an Imposition of the Pallium...Vatican

Right at the moment it's broadcasting the Holy Father's lastest Angelus talk. In Italian, alas. Ah, but now the Angelus and blessing in Latin. Followed by French, English, and presumably other vernaculars later.

Thanks, Eloise.

Perfect Score!

I usually know somebody; there's often a ball-player or a politician. You know, one of those people whose names you can't avoid even if you wanted to. But this morning I got a perfect score in my Cultural Irrelevance Index: I didn't know anybody at all in the Press Telegram's "Today's Birthdays" list. Today I am 100% irrelevant to 21st century American culture. The feeling of freedom and purity is glorious.

(Yeah, I know, I know. I would probably recognize all sorts of people if I looked at some other birth records than the PT's "Today's Birthdays" column. Well, it's my game and they're my rules and I say I got a perfect score. So there.)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chesterton the Prophet

Dr William Oddie on GKC in the Catholic Herald.

Some Piping for the Weekend

Some lovely new stuff from Windy Gyle, this one with three Northumbrian Small Pipes:

This one has only Alice Burn on the NSP and she gets somewhat overwhelmed by all the fiddles but it's a great set of tunes, which are, according to the notes, "Northumbrian style Rants".

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

22 June - Ss Thomas More & John Fisher

The Pauline Rite and the Anglican Use today keep the feast day of the great lawyer saint Thomas More and of the martyred Bishop of Rochester, John Cardinal Fisher. Yes, you've seen the following here before. But what harm. It's a good 'un.

This from St Thomas More's "Apology" put into (relatively) modern English by E.E. Reynolds in "The Heart of Thomas More":

I will advise you therefore good readers for the true taking of the old faith and for the discerning thereof from all new, to stand to the common well known belief of the common known Catholic Church of all Christian people such faith as by yourself and your fathers and your grandfathers you have known to be believed and have over that heard by them that the contrary was in the times of their fathers and their grandfathers also taken ever more for heresy. And also ye that read but even in English books shall in many things perceive the same by stories five times as far afore that. We must also for the perceiving of the old faith from the new, stand to the writings of the old holy doctors and saints by whose expositions we see what points are expressed in the Scripture and what points the Catholic Church of Christ hath beside the Scripture received and kept by the Spirit of God and traditions of his apostles. And specially must we also stand in this matter of faith to the determinations of Christ's Catholic Church.

From his son-in-law William Roper's The Life of Syr Thomas More:

And so was he by Master Lieutenant brought out of the Tower and from thence led towards the place of execution. Where, going up the scaffold, which was so weak that it was ready to fall, he said merriliy to Master Lieutenant, "I pray you, Master Lieutenant, see me safe up, and for my coming down let me shift for myself."
. . . .
He then earnestly entreated them to pray for the king so that God would give him good counsel, and solemnly declared that he died the king's good servant but God's first.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Trinity Sunday

A history of the feast from the good old Catholic Encyclopædia:

The first Sunday after Pentecost, instituted to honour the Most Holy Trinity. In the early Church no special Office or day was assigned for the Holy Trinity. When the Arian heresy was spreading the Fathers prepared an Office with canticles, responses, a Preface, and hymns, to be recited on Sundays. In the Sacramentary of St. Gregory the Great (P.L., LXXVIII, 116) there are prayers and the Preface of the Trinity. The Micrologies (P.L., CLI, 1020), written during the pontificate of Gregory VII (Nilles, II, 460), call the Sunday after Pentecost a Dominica vacans, with no special Office, but add that in some places they recited the Office of the Holy Trinity composed by Bishop Stephen of Liège (903-20) By other the Office was said on the Sunday before Advent. Alexander II (1061-1073), not III (Nilles, 1. c.), refused a petition for a special feast on the plea, that such a feast was not customary in the Roman Church which daily honoured the Holy Trinity by the Gloria, Patri, etc., but he did not forbid the celebration where it already existed. John XXII (1316-1334) ordered the feast for the entire Church on the first Sunday after Pentecost. A new Office had been made by the Franciscan John Peckham, Canon of Lyons, later Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1292). The feast ranked as a double of the second class but was raised to the dignity of a primary of the first class, 24 July 1911, by Pius X (Acta Ap. Sedis, III, 351). The Greeks have no special feast. Since it was after the first great Pentecost that the doctrine of the Trinity was proclaimed to the world, the feast becomingly follows that of Pentecost.

For a thousand years or so, give or take a few centuries, the old Athanasian Creed was recited in the Divine Office, laterly only at Prime on Trinity Sunday. After the late council it vanished along with the office of Prime. Along with some pretty stern admonishes about sticking to the Catholic faith, it gave a digest of what to believe about the Holy Trinity. Herewith the Athanasian Creed:

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is all One, the Glory Equal, the Majesty Co-Eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father Uncreate, the Son Uncreate, and the Holy Ghost Uncreate. The Father Incomprehensible, the Son Incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost Incomprehensible. The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, and the Holy Ghost Eternal and yet they are not Three Eternals but One Eternal. As also there are not Three Uncreated, nor Three Incomprehensibles, but One Uncreated, and One Uncomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not Three Almighties but One Almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not Three Gods, but One God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not Three Lords but One Lord. For, like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say, there be Three Gods or Three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father, and of the Son neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

So there is One Father, not Three Fathers; one Son, not Three Sons; One Holy Ghost, not Three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore or after Other, None is greater or less than Another, but the whole Three Persons are Co-eternal together, and Co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity.

Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting Salvation, that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.

God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the substance of His mother, born into the world. Perfect God and Perfect Man, of a reasonable Soul and human Flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood. Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but One Christ. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into Flesh, but by taking of the Manhood into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by Unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one Man, so God and Man is one Christ. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into Hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into Heaven, He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.

The source for this translation is, once again, the aforesaid good old Catholic Encyclopædia. The goCE employed the Marquess of Bute's translation.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Some Piping for the Weekend

The players are an English folk group called "Telling the Bees". The tune is called "Gallina". The piper is playing an English-style pipe. It sounds to me like one of Julian Goodacre's but it isn't indicated on the You Tube site and I could easily be wrong. It's a pretty tune, nicely played.

They're b-a-a-a-a--a-ack!

The presidential hopefuls. The boys and girls who're champing at the bit to be president. They've been infesting the airwaves again. There was a debate of sorts on the other night, most of which I turned off. Didn't we just go through this two or three months ago? No? Well, it seems like it.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn had something to say on the political obsession. In last week's number The Wanderer reprinted this portion of an interview done with Solzhenitsyn by Joseph Pearce for his book on the author:

“ I must say that, among educated people, politics occupies far too great a proportion of time,” Solzhenitsyn told Pearce during one of his interviews.

“ All the periodicals, all the newspapers are saturated with politics, although many of the objects they are discussing are very transient and short term. Of course, everywhere in the world people do occupy themselves with higher themes, and not just writers, but they always have a narrow audience, sometimes even appear to be some strange group on the edge of things, peripheral. In truth, questions of higher spirit cannot even be compared to the sort of blinking frivolity of politics. The ultimate problems of life and death show the colossal nature of this difference even more. Modern mankind is characterized precisely by the loss of the ability to answer the principal problems of life and death. People are prepared to stuff their heads with anything and to talk of any subject, but only to block off contemplation of the subject. This is the reason for the increasing pettiness of our society, the concentration on the small and irrelevant.”

This concentration on politics stultifies and degrades the peoples of the world, Solzhenitsyn continued.

“ That which is called humanism, but which would be more correctly called irreligious anthropocentrism, cannot yield answers to the most essential questions of life. Certainly it is hard to answer these questions for all, but for this irreligious anthropocentrism, this humanism, it is most difficult of all to answer such questions. We have arrived at an intellectual chaos, a crisis of the weltanschauung. Not all understand this crisis, not all grasp its importance.”

One person who did understand the crisis fully, Solzhenitsyn told Pearce, was Pope John Paul II. In Solzhenitsyn’s view, the Communists may have crushed the human spirit with their political system, but capitalist politics was equally harmful, because it corrupted the human spirit with comforts. Pope John Paul II, said Solzhenitsyn, “simply said that the third totalitarianism is coming, the absolute power of money, ‘ the inhuman love of the accumulation of capital for capital’s sake’. . . . I would summarize as follows: Untouched by the breath of God, unrestricted by human conscience, both capitalism and socialism are repulsive.”

Neither system, the Russian author continued, “ can tolerate Christian commandments; they do not concern themselves with the spiritual sphere; they reject the spiritual sphere. . . . It is simply a life lived in a different dimensions; the dimensions are separate.”

Pentecost at the Pantheon

Late again. It's almost Trinity Sunday and I never mentioned Pentecost. My friend Eloise sent me some photos of the Pentecost rose petals at the Pantheon that I promised to post for Pentecost and, as you may have noticed, it never happened. In the old days this would still be part of the Pentecost Octave, so I may be in under the theoretical wire with the above.

And there are some great photographs of same here.

The Excuse du Jour

It's the memsahib. She's taken the entire month of June off and it hasn't been a vacation. The project list was as long as your arm. The shopping trips have been prodigious. Not the purchases, mind you. Just the "shopping". And we're not through yet. We await further visits from a painter, a plumber, a guy who puts up awnings, and other things that I have forgotten at the moment but will no doubt be reminded of in the fulness of time.

And that's why you've been looking at St Anne's reel for a week and a half. (Nice tune,though, isn't it.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

St Anne's Reel

Two versions of one of my favourite tunes. This one features' Ally Bain's superb fiddle:

This one includes some words to make it a song. The source of the words, I don't know. The performance is by the Scottish group North Sea Gas; perhaps one of them wrote it?

The description of the feeling at a good country dance with good musicians is spot on, too.

He said: "There's magic in the fiddler's arms,
there's magic in this town.
There's magic in the dancers' feet
and the way they put them down.
Smiling people everywhere,
boots and ribbons, locks of hair,
laughter, old blue suits, and Easter gowns.