Saturday, January 31, 2015

1st Vespers of Septuagesima Sunday

Benedicamus Domino, Alleluia, Alleluia!
Deo Gratias, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Today the Liturgy says farewell to "Alleluia" until Holy Saturday.

The Inn had this to say a decade ago:

The medieval Church had several ceremonies of Farewell to the Alleluia which took place on the eve of Septuagesima. From Dom Gueranger:  
The farewell to the Alleluia, in the Middle Ages, varied in the different Churches. Here, it was an affectionate enthusiasm, speaking the beauty of the celestial word; there, it was a heart-felt regret at the departure of the much-loved companion of all their prayers.  
We begin with two antiphons, which would seem to be of Roman origin. We find them in the Antiphonarium of Saint Cornelius of Compiegne, published by Dom Denys de Sainte Marthe. They are a farewell to Alleluia made by our Catholic forefathers in the ninth century; they express, too, the hope of its coming back, as soon as the Resurrection of Jesus shall have brightened up the firmament of the Church.  
ANT. Angelus Domini bonus comitetur tecum, Alleluia, et bene disponat itineri tuo, ut iterum cum gaudio revertaris ad nos, Alleluia, Alleluia.
ANT. May the good angel of the Lord accompany thee, Alleluia, and give thee a good journey, that thou mayst come back to us in joy, Alleluia.  
ANT. Alleluia, mane apud nos hodie, et crastina proficisceris, Alleluia ; et dum ortus fuerit dies, ambulabis vias tuas, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
ANT. Alleluia, abide with us today, and tomorrow thou shalt set forth, Alleluia ; and when the day shall have risen, thou shalt proceed on thy way, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluuia.

From the Gothic Church of Spain, an anthem: 

Ibis, Alleluia. Prosperum iter habebis Alleluia; et iterum cum gaudio revertaris ad nos, Alleluia. In manibus enim suis portabunt te: ne unquam offendas ad lapidem pedem tuum. Et iterum cum gaudio revertaris ad nos, Alleluia.
Thou shalt go, Alleluia; thy journey shall be prosperous, Alleluia; and again come back to us with joy, Alleluia. For they shall bear thee up in their hands, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. And again come back to us with joy, Alleluia. 
There's more here (although some of the links therein, alas, have died the death.)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

If We Lived in a Civilized Country. . . .

I've wondered about this since the demonstrations first started and I wondered where all the brave investigative reporters went to.  It takes money to come up with all those professionally designed and printed banners and signs.  And yet the press seemed utterly uninterested.  Now we know where the money came from:  government grants and George Soros.  And we can guess why the press was uninterested.

G. K. Chesterton on Marriage

This is from the July/August 2014 number of Gilbert, which they put into a question and answer format.  The topic is, shall we say, synodically relevant.

The questioner wanted the marriage to be a standard commercial contract.  Said GKC:

Now I quite understand this commercial theory of marriage, but I thought I had at least made it clear that it is not my theory of marriage. I contrasted marriage with a mere contract; I said it was not a mere contract, or even a mere promise, in the sense that it is the ordinary basis of mere contract. I said it was something which is more than a promise, and is called a vow. Two people make a unique and absolute agreement, not to exchange this or that, but to share everything, including any evil that may befall either.   Personally I think people's heads must be very dull and their hearts very dead, in the days when the very thought of so absolute and audacious an adventure does not move them like a trumpet. But it is not a question here of what I feel, but of what I said. I said the vow was a unique thing, distinct from a contract or even a promise. 

And then the questioner wants to tweak the text of the vows to make them a tad more modern.   ("Obedience?"   "'til death us do part?"  Seriously?)  GKC saith:

It never seems to occur to you that others might omit the wedding. What is the point of the ceremony except that it involves the vow? What is the point of the vow except that it involves vowing something dramatic and final? Why walk all the way to a church in order to say that you will retain a connection as long as you find it convenient? Why stand in front of an altar to announce that you will enjoy somebody's society as long as you find it enjoyable?   You talk of reasons for omitting some of the words, without realising that it is an even better reason for omitting all the words. In fact the proof that the vow is what I describe, and what you apparently cannot even imagine, a unique thing not to be confounded with a contract, can be found in the very fact that the vow becomes verbally ridiculous when it is thus verbally amended. The daring dogmatic terms of the promise become ludicrous in the face of the timidity and triviality of the thing promised.  To say "I swear to God, in the face of this congregation as I shall answer at the dreadful day of judgment, that Maria and I will be friends until we quarrel" is a thing of which the very diction implies the derision. It is like saying, "In the name of the angels and archangels and the whole company of heaven, I think I prefer Turkish to Egyptian cigarettes:' or "Crying aloud on the everlasting mercy, I confess I have grave doubts about whether sardines are good for me:'
Obviously nobody would ever have invented such a ceremony, or invented any ceremony to celebrate such a promise. Men would merely have done what they liked, as millions of healthy men have done, without any ceremony at all. Divorce and re-marriage are simply a heavy and hypocritical masquerade for free love and no marriage. 

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

The Roll of Honor

For your edification and encouragement:

The list of Republican congressmen who voted against Cryin' Charlie.


It's the real feast of the Epiphany today, the day after 12th Night.  The USSRCCB, or whatever they're calling themselves this season, says otherwise.  But it's today.  Not last Sunday.   As we have mentioned before, if you eliminate the 12th day of Christmas, you've got no 12  drummers drumming.  That means the 11 pipers piping will rush the tempo.  Then the 9 ladies dancing will lose the beat and stomp off in a huff.  There are serious social consequences to messing about with the 12 days of Christmas.

More seriously, there are poems, hymns, and lovely pictures concerning Epiphanytide over at Recta Ratio;  you can find them here.

Monday, January 05, 2015


The nanny state strikes again.  The Evil Plague stalking the land this time is sledding.  Yeah, sledding, i.e., sliding down hill on a snow covered slope of some kind.  Not, to be sure, a prohibition that is likely to have much impact here in the southeastern corner of L.A. county, where we have neither hills nor snow. But another indication of which way the wind blows in this country.

Details from the Washington Times.


Well, here's an interesting bit of information.  It seems Isabella the Catholic had a major influence on the rules of chess.  Originally the queen was not only not the key piece in the game but wasn't even the queen.  I suppose I thought, insofar as I thought about it at all, that the rules of chess came fully formed from the mind of God into the hands of . . . um, well I guess Adam.  It could fill in the hours when he wasn't earning his bread by the sweat of his brow.

In any event, Mrs Vidal gives you the whole story here.


The Jean Arthur TV Movie Alert Service

The Jean Arthur TV Movie Alert Service has a marathon for you today:  beginning at 5:00 p.m. PST on TCM there are five Jean Arthur movies on offer, four of the best and one, well, O.K.  (History is Made at Night is actually pretty good, but it can't hold a candle to Mr Deeds, The More the Merrier, Mr Smith, or You Can't Take it With You.)  It begins with Mr Deeds Goes to Town.

Crank up the recording devices.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Prayer at the New Year

A sobering plea for prayer from Msgr Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington:

We are very close to the new year, 2015 AD. And most of us at the new year have it in mind to pray for the future year not only for ourselves, but also for our family, country, and culture. With that in mind, there is something of an admonition to us all that I would share from Scripture. For while we look to the new year with hope, we do well to soberly assess the warnings of God that are seemingly more applicable than ever. Above all we must pray so as to avoid the otherwise necessary chastisements of God and the inevitability of ruin at our own hand if we do not soon repent. 
We have good reason to have concern for what we have come to call Western culture. . . .

The rest is here.   And many thanks to OnePeterFive for the citation.


Thursday, January 01, 2015

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

On holy days being merry and happy:

The way in which religious mysteries are mixed with merry-making is very shocking to some people -- especially. . . .to the people who do not believe in the religious mysteries.  Sceptics are so very sensitive on the point of reverence. . . . .I could not but smile at the thought of those who have again been trying to prove to me that religion has no function but to make men sad.  Those who gradually built up the ancient customs of mankind had a better sense of proportion and decoration. They knew, if only by instinct, how things grave and gay can be combined and distributed, and where flippancy is fitting and where solemnity fits in with it; what contrast will best bring out a real severity, and what is the psychological meaning of that profound phrase "comic relief". . . . .
-G.K. Chesterton, June 19, 1926

Christmas here was merry -- the gravy came out splendidly you'll be delighted to know.  Thanksgiving, um, not so much.  The giblets got misplaced.   Don't ask how.  They just did.  But the Christmas gravy was a triumph, if I do say so myself.  (You do remember that I am the gravy-chef?)  Herself does the rest of the dinner so it goes without saying that that went very well indeed.

The new year's celebration could only have been lower-key if we'd slept through it, which we sometimes do.  We actually had two celebratory options - the local RSCDS branch had a hogmanay dance and the parish had a gathering at Father's house - but herself wasn't feeling up to going out in the cold so we didn't go anywhere.  Yes, cold.  I realize 36° fahrenheit is hardly noticeable to Chicagoans, Canadians, New Yorkers and such but here in the not-quite-tropical-but-we-can-see-it-from-here southeastern corner of L.A. county that is eye-crossingly cold. So instead we just enjoyed each other's company.

I was sitting in the kitchen listening to the radio and doing the crossword puzzle when the gentleman down the street with the IQ of eight ounces of yogurt set off his explosive device* to signalize the arrival of the new year.  I then quietly played Auld Lang Syne on the melodeon.   And so to bed.

*The technical definition of the point at which an illegal firework becomes an explosive device I will leave to the courts.  For purposes of The Inn, I have, as you will have noted, made my own decision.

Oh, one more thing:

Faustum et Felicem annum MMDCCLXVIII A.U.C !
annum bis millesimum septingentesimum sexagesimum octavum ab. urbe condita 
-swiped from VoxRomana, in particular her Twitter feed.