Sunday, February 26, 2017

Quinquagesima Sunday

And, to repeat, also called Shrove Sunday or Dominica ingressus  ieiunii, or as the old English bard would've written, if he'd thought of it, penance is ycumen in. And so it is with Ash Wednesday just around the corner.

The epistle for today in the traditional rite is the charity epistle, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.  The lovely old prayer book collect riffs on St Paul's text nicely:

O LORD, who hast taught us that all our doings without charity are nothing worth; Send thy Holy Ghost, and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever liveth is counted dead before thee. Grant this for thine only Son Jesus Christ's sake. Amen. 

And an Old English sermon for Quinquagesima.

 'Now a pure and holy time draws near, in which we should atone for our neglect. Every Christian, therefore, should come to his confession and confess his hidden sins, and amend according to the guidance of his teacher; and let everyone encourage each other to good by good example, so that all people may say of us what was said of the blind man when his eyes were enlightened: that is, All people who saw that miracle praised God, who lives and reigns forever without end. Amen.'

The rest is here in Old English and in Dr Parker's rather more modern version.


The Inn missed mentioning Septuagesima Sunday on the day, burying the Alleluia the day before, and half of Septuagesima week was gone before I got round to up-dating Miss Chadwick's liturgical reminders over there in the left-hand column.  The Inn isn't being minded as diligently as once it was; I haven't even revised the format as  promised all  those months ago.  We shall see about doing better, which is something less than a promse, although more than a mere wish.

So, what is Septuagesima Sunday anyway?  I hear you ask from the poor desert of the Pauline Rite.  Fr Dr Pius Parsch explains it here in a few paragraphs.

[And even this poor little post got written and the posting never  went through.  Only  noticed it today when looking for something to say about Quinquagesima Sunday, i.e., today, also known as Shrove Sunday or Dominic ingressus jejunii.]

Thursday, February 09, 2017

What's Old is New Again

Our "post-truth" world:  Dr Parker shows us what Chaucer thought of it.  He knew it well.

'Post-truth’ is a word of our times, at least according to Oxford Dictionaries, who declared it their word of 2016. Their definition said that ‘post-truth’ refers to ‘circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’. 
The appearance of a new word tends to encourage the idea that the phenomenon itself is new: that it did not exist before there was a neologism to describe it. That is not the case here, even if ‘post-truth’ is the current buzz-word; as historians know well, there has never been a time when public opinion was not shaped more powerfully by emotion and personal belief than by facts. What is different now, perhaps, is how rapidly false stories and fake news can circulate: social media allows the public as well as giant news organisations to be involved in spreading untrue or distorted tales. That is a formidable challenge for those who care about truth. 
But even concern about the ease with which false stories can spread is far from new. At the end of the 14th century, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote incisively on this subject in his poem The House of Fame.

The heart of the essay is here.