Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Vicar of Bray . . . once again

Yes, you've seen it here before.  The Vicar of Bray.  I can't help it.  As I read the church news I find myself humming it unbidden.

For in my Faith and Loyalty,
I never once shall Faulter.
And George my Lawful King shall be,
. . . except the Times shall alter.  
Different church, different times.  But moistened fingers still test the wind direction.


St Andrew's Day

The 30th of November is the feast of St Andrew the Apostle, the patron of Scotland  -- and Russia, Prussia, somewhere in Greece, Amalfi in Italy and a lot of other places and things,  too.

A piece from a few years ago on St Andrew and Scotland.

And not least, the St Andrew Christmas Novena begins today.

From The Inn a couple of years ago:

It's not really to St Andrew; but it begins, depending upon which tradition you follow,  on his feast day or on the 1st Sunday of Advent which is the Sunday nearest his feast day.  This year that's the same thing. [Or it was 2 years ago.] And it's not really a novena which is supposed to last nine days.

But it's a beautiful prayer tradition for the season.  The prayer is this:

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
The tradition is to pray it 15 times a day until Christmas.  There are many mentions of it on the web but no site goes very deeply, or indeed at all,  into its history.  Mrs Vidal says as much as anyone here. There's another mention here. [Or there was 2 years ago.] It seems that's as much as we're going to learn about it. My grandmother knew it and so as a good traditionalist, I've adopted it.


Monday, November 21, 2016

21 November

Today is the feast of the Presentation of Our Lady in the temple.  The old Carmelite Liturgy of the Holy Sepulchre had a proper collect for the feast:

Beatæ Mariæ semper Virginis tribue nos, Domine, supplicantione tueri : ut, cuius venerabilem Præsentationem celebramus obsequiis, eius intercessionibus et meritis commendemur. Per Dominum nostrum. Amen. 
Grant us, O Lord, to be protected by the prayers of blessed Mary ever Virgin, that as we celebrate her venerable Presentation with humility we may be commended to Thee through her merits and prayers : through our Lord. Amen.

And yesterday, by the way, was Stir Up Sunday:   Excita, quæsumus, Domine, tuorum fidelium voluntates begins the Roman collect. . .or as the Prayer Book hath it: "Stir up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the wills of Thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may by Thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen". A suitable liturgical reminder on this, the Sunday next before Advent, to stir up the fruits that have been quietly fermenting and get cracking with those Christmas cakes.


Friday, November 11, 2016

Veteran's Day - Armistice Day - Remembrance Day

I missed putting something up yesterday for the Marines' birthday on the 10th. So here's a little something for Veteran's Day today and a belated best-wishes to the Corps. 

This was a year or two ago at the Costa Mesa Highland Games (these days called Scots Fest  or Scottish Fest).  The pipes are the L.A. Scots playing with the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing Band.

For Armistice Day:

11 November 1918.
... the grim business of war itself went on as usual, right up to 11 a.m., and, at one or two points along the line, even beyond. Thus a captain commanding an English cavalry squadron which took the Belgian village of Erquelinnes wrote that morning:
"At 11.15 it was found necessary to end the days of a Hun machine-gunner on our front who would keep on shooting. The armistice was already in force, but there was no alternative. Perhaps his watch was wrong but he was probably the last German killed in the war—a most unlucky individual!" 
Elsewhere on the British front an officer commanding a battery of six-inch howitzers was killed at one minute past eleven—at which his second-in-command ordered the entire battery to go on firing for another hour against the silent German lines. 
But generally, any firing still going on ended on the last second of the tenth hour, sometimes with droll little ceremonies—as on the British front near Mons, where another and more fortunate German machine-gunner blazed off his last belt of ammunition during the last minute of the war and then, as the hour struck, stood up on his parapet, removed his steel helmet, bowed politely to what was now the ex-enemy opposite, and disappeared. 
The British division on whose front that little incident took place had lost, during that one final week of the war, two officers killed and twenty-six wounded, and among the other ranks one hundred and seventeen killed, six hundred and ninety-three wounded and sixty-one missing. Small wonder that its historian recorded 'no cheering and very little outward excitement' as peace came.
--Gordon Brook-Shepherd, from The Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Te Deum Laudamus

It's not Hillary, thanks be to God.  Perhaps the arrival of the coming persecution can be delayed a bit.