Sunday, August 21, 2016

August 21 -- Our Lady of Knock

It was on this day in 1879 that Our Lady, St Joseph, and St John the Apostle appeared in the little village of Knock in County Mayo.  There's a good history of the apparitions here.  Alas, the article is 18 years old and the author's view of contemporary Irish Catholicism is no longer quite so accurate.

Here's what we said about Knock in years past:  2011 and 2015.  I tested a couple of the links therein and, mirabile dictu, they still worked.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Worlds for 2016

"The Worlds" can mean different things to different folks.  If you're a piper it means Glasgow Green in the second week of August,  i.e., The World Pipe Band Championship.  No doubt you already rose early this morning (and here in Pacific Daylight Time that means the actual Middle Of The Night) and watched the live streaming broadcast.  And you know that the Field Marshal Montgomery Memorial Pipe Band took home the gold.  Although The Inn's personal favourite the St Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band out of Dublin grabbed every drumming prize going.

If for some reason you didn't get up at oh-dark-thirty to see and hear it live you can find all the Grade I goodies for 2016 here in extraordinarily high definition. (Thank you BBC.)  If you were looking for Grades 2, 3, & 4, both A and B, and the Juvenile Comps, well, sorry.  You had to be there because nobody official recorded them.  Might be worth a troll through YouTube, though, once folks have had a chance to arrive home and find out which videos they thought they took actually came out and which ones didn't.  Some of that does get published.


Tuesday, August 09, 2016

The New America

As Father Josiah Trenham prepared to read the Gospel, several parishioners discreetly scooped up their babies, retreated up the aisles of St. Andrew Orthodox Church and out into the spring air, so as not to allow the crying of little ones to disturb the divine liturgy. 
The time-honored tradition was shattered when a car passed by the Riverside, Calif., church, slowing down as the front passenger leaned out of his window and bellowed menacingly through a bullhorn, according to witnesses. 
“Allahu Akbar!” the unidentified man repeated several times as the unnerved parents drew their infants close and exchanged worried glances.

 "Churches take new security measures in face of terror threats"
            -the rest of the article is here.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Logres - Quondam et Futurus

It's not quite proof . . . but it is an indication that there may be more to the King Arthur stories than historians would  have you believe.

Geoffrey of Monmouth seems to have been the first to write about King Arthur.  Alas, a good many members of academe even at the time didn't take it seriously.  Geraldus Cambrensis didn't actually refer to our author as  "Lyin' Geoffrey" but  he did opine that it was well-known that placing the New Testament upon the chest of a possessed person would drive the devil out.  However, if you placed a copy of Geoffrey's book on the person's chest a hundred more devils would show up.

In any event, Geoffrey said that King Arthur was born at Tintagel peninsula in Cornwall.  "Tosh", said Geraldus and good many others ever since.  But now it seems that the remains of something akin to a royal palace have been found at Tintagel dating from around the time of, oh, say, King Arthur.

You can read about it here.


Monday, August 01, 2016

Lammas Day

From the Clerk of Oxford:

August 1st is Lammas Day, the earliest Anglo-Saxon festival of the harvest - a day of first-fruit offerings, on which loaves of bread made from the first corn were blessed. The word comes from the Old English hlaf, 'loaf' + mæsse, 'mass'. And if you want to see the word hlafmæssedæg in the wild, as it were, there's an Anglo-Saxon charm for the protection of grain that goes like this:

So this is what you should do to protect your harvested corn from mice and other pests:
[...] lange sticcan feðerecgede 7 writ on ægðerne sticcan[...] ælcere ecge an pater noster oð ende 7 lege þone [...]an þam berene on þa flore 7 þone oðerne on [...] ofer þam oðrum sticcan. þæt þær si rode tacen on 7 nim of ðam gehalgedan hlafe þe man halgie on hlafmæssedæg feower snæda 7 gecryme on þa feower hyrna þæs berenes. þis is þeo bletsung þærto. Vt surices garbas non noceant has preces super garbas dicis et non dicto eos suspendis hierosolimam ciuitate. ubi surices nec habitent nec habent potestam. nec grana colligent. nec triticum congaudent. þis is seo oðer bletsung. Domine deus omnipotens qui fecisti celum et terram. tu benedicis fructum istum in nomine patris et spiritus sancti. amen. 7 Pater noster.
[Take two] long pieces of four-edged wood, and on each piece write a Pater noster, on each side down to the end. Lay one on the floor of the barn, and lay the other across it, so that they form the sign of the cross. And take four pieces of the hallowed bread which is blessed on Lammas day, and crumble them at the four corners of the barn. This is the blessing [you should say] for that: "So that mice do not harm these sheaves, say prayers over the sheaves and do not cease from saying them. City of Jerusalem [?], where mice do not live they cannot have power, and cannot gather the grain, nor rejoice with the harvest." This is the second blessing: Lord God Almighty, who made heaven and earth, bless these fruits in the name of the Father and the Holy Spirit. Amen. And [then say] a Pater Noster."

Lots more at the link.

The song at the top refers not to the Anglo-Saxon festival, although that's where the name comes from, but to the annual fair in Ballycastle, County Antrim which dates back to the 17th century.  The Ballycastle fair, though, takes place at the end of August and not on the first.

Chambers's Book of Days has some Lammas Day traditions, too.

Such as:
It was once customary in England, in contravention of the proverb, that a cat in mittens catches no mice, to give money to servants on Lammas-day, to buy gloves; hence the term Glove-Silver. It is mentioned among the ancient customs of the abbey of St. Edmund's, in which the clerk of the cellarer had 2d.; the cellarer's squire, 11d.; the granger, 11d.; and the cowherd a penny. Anciently, too, it was customary for every family to give annually to the pope on this day one penny, which was thence called Denarius Sancti Petri, or Peter's Penny.'—Hampson's Medii AEvi Kalendarium.