Friday, February 02, 2018

Candlemas Day

On which we got nothing done.  Almost nothing done.  We did get a wheelchair delivered to the parents of Herself's godson who lost a leg in a traffic accident.  He lives even further away but they will get it to him forthwith I'm told.  That, unaccountably, took up the entire day.

But we didn't get to Mass with or without candles, only said the Little  Office of Our Lady (because it's "little" and fits in my pocket),  didn't finish a bunch of insurance documents I'm supposed to review, didn't practice for an upcoming funeral, didn't finish taking down the Christmas decorations, and didn't do a whole raft of other things which I not only didn't do but can't remember at the moment.

Since it is Candlemas Day you might want to read about same.  The Inn has a couple of relevant posts from past years here and here which are still enjoyable if I do say so who shouldn't.

If Candlemas Day be dry and fair,
The half o the winter's to come and mair;
If Candlemas Day be wet and foul,
The half o the winter's gane at Yule. 

Not from Accuweather but possibly just as accurate.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

February 1 -- St Brigid's Day

A collect for St Brigid:

O God, whose dwelling-place is the  pure in heart : grant that we who venerate the memory of Saint Brigid, thy faithful spouse, may have grace to follow the example of her unspotted life  Through Our Lord.   Amen.

That is from the lovely old Anglican Breviary. She's not in the general Roman calendar, the American Ordinariate calendar - a sad failing - nor any of the local feasts given for North America in my old St Andrew Missal.  The Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham gives her feast and a delightful reading but no collect.   Ireland, of course, has a proper collect for her.  The old rite has one -- but I don't have access to it.  The Pauline rite has one, too, but I don't know what I've done with the book.  It's around here somewhere but I don't use it and haven't seen it in a while.  As I recall, it was quite good.  A tad bland as is the modern fashion.  But not heretical as is, alas, sometimes also the modern fashion.

UCD's cultural heritage collection has an interesting article here on her legend and lore throughout the ages.  Not terribly devotional - and a bit too obsessed with druids and suchlike, as is yet again the modern fashion, but still pretty interesting.

Here the Medieval Manuscripts Blog gives a collection of tales of St Brigid's miracles.  (The exploding eye one does seem a bit gruesome, even if it was an illusion.)

And, for what it's worth,  February 1 is my grandmother's birthday.  When she was born Ireland was British, Victoria was still queen and, indeed, had yet another 20+ years to go, and Rutherford B. Hayes was president.


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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Septuagesimatide

Last Sunday was Septuagesima Sunday beginning the two and a half week preparation period for Lent.  If you're in an Ordinariate parish or a traditional Roman Rite parish, that is.  Pauline Rite folks don't get to ease into it.  They will be going along minding their own ordinary time business when BAM in the middle of an ordinary time week it's ashes on the forehead, only one meal and a bit on the day and it is well-and-truly Lent.  Could be a shock to the system.

The Blessed Ildefonse Cardinal Schuster gives a little Septuagesima history in volume II of his Liber Sacramentorum.  Herewith:


The Eastern usage regarded Saturday and Sunday as festival days, and therefore as exempt from the Lenten fast; so, in order to complete the forty days of Lent, the Greeks anticipated the penitential season by some weeks, and from this Sunday onward abstained from the use of meat. In the following week they abstained also from milk 'and similar foods, and finally on the Monday of Quinquagesima they commenced the rigid fast in preparation for Easter. 
Among the Latins the custom varied at different times.   By beginning the Lenten cycle with the First Sunday in Lent, there remain indeed, as St .Gregory remarks, forty days of preparation for Easter, but of these only thirty-six are devoted to fasting. In order to supply the four missing days, pious persons and ecclesiastics began, in quite early times, to abstain from meat on the Monday after Quinquagesima (In carnis privio or in carne levario = Carnival); but it is not until the time of St Gregory that we find in the antiphonary the liturgical consecration of the caput jejunii on the Wednesday of Quinquagesima.  
The piety of the more devout, however, was not satisfied by these four supplementary days. The Greeks began earlier, and, living as they did beside them in Rome during the Byzantine period, the Latins could do no less. St Gregory therefore instituted, or at least gave definite form to, a cycle of three weeks' preparation for Lent, with three solemn stations at the patriarchal Basilicas of St Lawrence, St Paul, and St Peter, as though to begin the Easter fast under the auspices of the three great patrons of the Eternal City.  
The order of the stational cycle has been reversed, and begins on this day with the station at St Lawrence, which holds the fourth place only among the papal basilicas, the reason for this change being that it was not considered advisable to remove the first Lenten station from the Lateran, where ever since the fourth century the Popes had been in the habit of offering the sacrificium quadragesimalis initii, as the Sacramentary calls it.  
It would seem that the three Masses of Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima date from the time of St Gregory, since they reflect the terror and grief that filled the minds of the Romans in those years during which war, pestilence, and earthquake threatened the utter destruction of the former mistress of the world.  
The Introit is taken from Psalm xvii: "The groans of death surrounded me, the sorrows of hell encompassed me: and in my affliction, I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice from his holy temple." 
From this Sunday until Maundy Thursday the Gloria in Excelsis is omitted in Masses de tempore.  Originally it was sung only at Christmas and Easter, but later it came to be used on all Sundays, except those in Lent, and also on the feasts of martyrs, but only by special privilege. The collect, which immediately follows the litany on days of fasting and penance, truly represents, therefore, the ordinary and normal form of the litany as used in the ancient liturgy of the Mass and of the divine office.  
The collect betrays the deep affliction which weighed on the soul of St Gregory at the sight of the desolation of Rome and of all Italy during his pontificate.  "O Lord, we beseech thee, graciously hear the prayers of thy people; that we who are justly afflicted for our sins may for the glory of thy name be mercifully delivered."

 The Blessed Cardinal goes on to give some of the proper texts of the Mass and a bit of explanation of them.  Most of that can be found in your missal.  But there are a final couple of paragraphs on "the uncertainty of eternal salvation".  These are worth posting, too:

How great is the uncertainty of eternal salvation! Cum metu et tremore vestram salutem operamini, as the Apostle says (Phil. ii I2); this is the fruit of to-day's meditation on the Epistle of St Paul and on the parable of the vineyard.  
How many and how striking were the miracles worked by almighty God during the forty years that Israel wandered in the desert!  The heavenly food, the miraculous water, the cloud and the column of fire, the Red Sea and the Jordan parting before them; and yet out of the many thousands for whom these wonders were worked, the greater number fell away, and only two reached the final goal. 
Thus, it isn't enough for us to have been baptized, to have been called by God to a holy state, to the dignity  of the priesthood, to have become the object of his special predilection by the frequent opportunities he has given us of receiving the holy sacraments and of hearing his gracious word.  It is necessary to labour diligently -- operamini -- to follow the narrow way that leads to life eternal; it is necessary to imitate the chosen few -- that is the saints -- in order to be saved together with them.  Never can we apprehend these divine truths with greater clearness than when we meditate upon them, as in today's station, beside the tombs of the martyrs, who, in order to gain their heavenly reward, were ready to sacrifice wealth,  youth, and even life itself.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Squatter's Rights

Since I got a new pad for the Matins chair, my pal from next door has commandeered it most mornings.   Actually, he wasn't too unhappy with plain wicker.   But the pad has definitely met with feline approval.  As usual, you can click on the picture and get a better view of His Haughtiness.


Free At Last

No, not in the Martin Luther King, Jr sense.   It's just jury duty: I finally  got dismissed this morning and I am free of it for at least a year.

And after all those warnings I can finally talk about it  Except there's nothing to say.  I have no idea what went on.  After an endless series of hurry-up-and-wait, lectures on my civic duty, and, oh, come back tomorrow.  And then, oh, don't need y'all after all.  You can go.

I'm not complaining, mind.

But it doesn't make for much of a blog post.


Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Romish and Feudal Superstitions

"My favourite kind"  as Professor Parker put it on her Twitter feed.  (Mine, too.)



If you click on the picture above and make it larger you will learn all about wassailing the orchard.  Very useful document, should you happen to have an orchard.

(Now, I think I've got this straight:  the above was originally clipped and saved by the redoubtable Cecil Sharp and found in the archives of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (the EDFSS) and posted on its Twitter Feed and subsequently re-tweeted today by Professor Parker at @ClerkofOxford. )

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Epiphany in Braid Scots

Someone has put up the Epiphany lections in braid Scots.  What a delight.

Than Herod, whan he had hiddlinslie ca’t the Wyse men, inquairet o’ them eidentlie what time the stern had kythet. An’ he sendet them til Bethlehem, an’ said, "Gang an’ seek eidentlie for the young childe; an’ whan ye hae fund him, bring me back word, that I may come an’ wurship him alsua." And whan they had heard the king they set out; an’, lo, the stern whilk they saw in the east gaed afore them, till it cam’ an’ stude ower whare the young childe was. An’ whan they saw the stern they rejoicet wi’ verra grit joy. An' whan they had come intill the hous, they saw the young childe wi’ Mary his mither, an’ fell doun an’ wurshippet him: an’ whan they had openet their thesaures, they propinet untill him giftes, gowd, frankincense, an’ myrrh. An’ bein’ wаrnet in a dream that they shudna return till Herod, they gaed awa intill their ain countrie bie anither way.

The rest is here.  The lesson in Matthew is the same in the traditional Roman Rite and the Pauline Rite, likewise the old Book of Common Prayer.  Ephesians, however, is cut down in the Pauline Rite but expanded in the Prayer Book.  The excerpt from Isaiah is new in the Pauline Rite.  There's some Isaiah in the old Roman Breviary but it's a different selection.  So whatever your liturgical predilections this Epiphany, there's a bit of it available on line in Braid Scots.

Monday, January 01, 2018

1 January 2018

A pair of collects for New Year's Day:


ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy Only Begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin: grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

O GOD, who by the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary hast bestowed upon mankind the reward of eternal salvation: grant, we beseech thee, that we may know the help of her intercession, through whom we have been accounted worthy to receive the Author of our life, Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

This afternoon was dedicated to long-overdue correspondence, which, alas, is still not finished.  I've had enough of the keyboard for today but something needed to go up on The Inn for the first of the new year.  So a couple of prayers for the new year from the Prayer Book via the Ordinariate rite is going to have to do.  One could do worse.


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Found While Looking for Something Else




I was actually looking to see if anyone had posted the wonderful talk he gave when he couldn't conduct at a particular recorded concert because of the rain that was making too much noise on a metal roof.  But this turned up instead and Sir Thomas got Wozzeck exactly right.  (And  Lulu, too, even though he didn't mention it.)

(And, yes, I know it isn't really Sir Thomas.  But it's really his opinion.)



Friday, December 29, 2017

BTW

In the unlikely event  you were wondering, I finally got the light over the Christmas creche to work.

The ones proper to the Christmas tree . . . not so much.  I found some old Christmas tree lights from years past (being a minor-league hoarder does occasionally come in handy) and strung them about the tree over the built-in ones that don't work.   And there's a final string around the potted ficus in the corner.  So the front room is now properly festive for the season.

And it's only the 5th day in the octave.  Not late at all.


St Thomas of Canterbury

The Inn loves to keep the feast of St Thomas Becket, a.k.a., St Thomas of Canterbury.  Alas, since The Inn is in its 15th year we ran out of new and interesting things to say a few years ago.   So here's a post from two years ago.

And another post from a dozen years ago.

And once again, a recommendation for Robert Hugh Benson's biography of St Thomas, "The Holy Blissful Martyr, Saint Thomas à Becket".  Neumann Press printed a lovely edition before TAN bought them out.  ABE books has three or four listed but they're rather dear.  Perhaps TAN still has some of Neumann Press's old stock somewhere.

(A medieval picture of St Thomas's martyrdom, along with a Magnificat antiphon for his feast,  are still up over on the left-hand column if you scroll down a bit.)


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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

St John's Day

To day is not only the third day in the octave of Christmas but also St John's day.  The old Roman breviary had this to say about St John:

The Apostle John whom Jesus loved exceedingly, was the son of Zebedee, and the brother of the Apostle James, whom Herod beheaded after the Lord's Passion.  He wrote his Gospel the last of all, at the request of the bishops of Asia, against Cerinthus and other heretics.  Especially was he compelled to declare the divine birth of Christ,since the Ebionites had begun  to teach that Christ did not exist previous to Mary.

In the 14th year of Domitian, who stirred up the second  persecution after that of Nero, John was banished to the island of Patmos.  There he wrote the Apocalypse, which has been explained by  Justin Martyr and Irenæus.  But when Domitian was murdered, the senate annulled all his acts on account of their excessive cruelty, and John returned to Ephesus during the reign of Nerva.  Remaining there until the reign of Trajan he founded and governed all the churches of Asia.  Worn out with old age, he died sixty-eight years after the Lord's Passion and was buried near the same city of Ephesus.

From the 2d nocturn, quoting S Jerome, "On Ecclesiastical Writers".  The translation is that of the old Stanbrook Abbey breviary published in 1936.

St John's day is also the proper day to get your wine blessed.  If you haven't done it yet, it's probably too late.  But here's the gist of what you missed.

Mysteries of the Universe Dept.

I understand why the department stores are crowded.  People, such as your servant, who wouldn't ordinarily set foot in a mall or any of its attendant emporia, go there before the holidays to buy the required Christmas presents and after the holidays to return the same.

But why are the grocery stores crowded?  Sure, one has to buy the turkey and the mince pie and so forth.  But that's just instead of the lamb chops that were purchased the week before and the chicken the week before that and so on.   One has to eat whether or not it's a holiday.  So why are there more people in the market during the holidays?  Is there a large section of the population that only eats on holidays?  Are millions of my fellow citizens being fed only intravenously if it's not Christmas or Easter or the 4th of July?  It doesn't seem likely.  But one does wonder.



Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Feast



Unless, of course, you happened to be shivering in Massachusetts on the 25th of December a few hundred years ago.  In which case, be warned:



Presumably that goes for the whole 12 days.



It's still Christmas

We've still got 11 days left of the 12 days of Christmas.  Even more if you want to wait until Candlemas. 

Hence:

St Stephen's Day



Today is St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day, or even the 2d day in the Octave of Christmas, which last  is my excuse for the preceding post.

Here's what we said in The Inn about St Stephen's Day a few years ago.

And as long as we're in reprinting mode, herewith a St Stephen's Day carol The Inn found a dozen or so years ago.  The source is given as "Christmas Carols -- Ancient and Modern" (circa 1861, reprinted by A. Wessels Company, New York 1901). But I found it in the Christmas 2004 number of Gilbert Magazine.


St Stephen Was A Clerk

Saint Stephen was a clerk
In king Herodes hall,
And served him of bread and cloth
As ever king befalle.

Stephen out of kitchen came
With boar's head in hande
He saw a star was fair and bright,
Over Bethlem stonde.

He cast adown the boar's head,
And went into the halle;
“I forsake thee, king Herod,
And thy werkes alle.

“I forsake thee, king Herod,
And thine werkes alle,
There is a child in Bethlem borne,
Is better than we alle.”

“What aileth thee, Stephen,
What is thee befalle?
Lacketh thee either meat or drink,
In king Herod's hall?”

“Lacketh me neither meat nor drink
In king Herod's hall,
There is a child in Bethlem borne,
Is better than we all.”

“What aileth thee, Stephen,
Art thou wode, or thou ginnest to brede?
Lacketh thee either gold or fee,
Or any rich weede?”

“Lacketh me neither gold nor fee,
Nor none rich weede,
There is a child in Bethlem born
Shall help us at our need.”

“This is all so sooth, Stephen,
All so sooth, I wis.
As this capon crow shall
That lyeth here in my dish.

That word was not so soon said,
That word in the hall,
The capon crew, Christus natus est,
Among the lordes all.

Riseth up my tormentors,
By two, and all by one,
And leadeth Stephen out of town,
And stoneth him with stone.

Token they Stephen,
And stoned him in the way,
And therefore is his even,
On Christes owen day.

Ideally the  poem should be in that quote format that Blogspot provides.  But for reasons known only to the panjandrums at Blogspot, if I try that the whole thing gets strung into one long line.  So it's a quote even though it's not in the quote format.  Not a complaint.  Just an observation.  Poor form to complain about a free service, donncha know.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas 2017







The theory and traditional practice is that one shouldn't put up the Christmas tree until Christmas Eve.  The flaw in that hallowed tradition is that if anything goes wrong and none of lights will work, there is s.d.a. you can do about it since any place where bulbs and or fuses can be purchased is closed. And will remain closed until Tuesday.  And should you happen to find a supply of new bulbs and fuses and spend HOURS testing bulbs and fuses without success, there is still no remedy until Tuesday.

How do I know all this?  Never mind.   I know.

Here's more Christmas music. Christmas music soothes the savage breast.   And anyway, Madame Schumann-Heink had more to worry about than non-functioning Christmas lights.  She had a son fighting on each side in the first world war.



Oh, one more.  And not Silent Night this time.






Thursday, December 21, 2017

What rough beast, its hour come round at last. . . .

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

 The darkness drops again . . . .

Christmas: the Subversive Feast

Our loyalty to secular authorities must always be conditional, or better, derivative. “The king’s good servant, but God’s first,” does, after all, imply that we are prepared to choose God over the king, if they conflict, and lose our head for it. The king wants us to be his good servant, period. 
Christianity does not demand from us disloyalty, but an act of more fundamental loyalty, which is political too, because ultimately all authority is one. Maybe you have never sat through to the end of Handel’s Messiah, but its great concluding Amen goes, “Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever.” 
Indeed, the last words on earth of the Teacher who said “render unto Caesar” were: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” If you accept this, then all bets are off, except the bet on God’s really being the God of providence and good order.

From The Catholic Thing

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

What's good for the goose. . . .

. . . is, apparently, irrelevant to the gander.

So sayeth - at least  by implication - something called the Australian Royal Commission on Child Abuse. 

Videlicet




Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Rorate Cæli Mass

No, nothing to do with the blog of the same name.  (Although I suspect they approve.)

This is "a candlelit, early-morning Mass in honor of Our Lady. The Mass is an Advent tradition of extraordinary beauty in the Church, the candles amid the darkness shining as reminders of the Light Who is soon to come into the world."

And the Priestly Fraternity of S Peter provides some gorgeous pictures thereof here.  One of them is now the new wallpaper on my pc.




Thursday, November 30, 2017

The St Andrew Novena

The St Andrew Novena, which as we've mentioned before isn't to St Andrew and isn't really a novena, begins today.

The text:

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 that it be said throughout the day a total of 15 times each day until Christmas day.  Mrs Vidal writes of it here and says

(It) is said to be instrumental in bringing many graces. An old Italian nun once told me it was supposed to be pondered fifteen times a day, rather like the prayer of the rosary, so that the soul comes to taste the meaning of the words, and enter into the ineffable mystery.
There isn't any history or explanation on the web that I've been able to find.  It's a shame.  I'd like to know more.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

29 November

In the old Irish calendar this is the feast of St. Brendan of Birr. According to D’Arcy’s The Saints of Ireland he was descended from “the race of Fergus MacRoy, which was said to have produced more heroes and more saints than any other of the Celtic septs.” He was founder of the school of Birr which produced the beautifully ornamented “Irish book now in the Bodleian library, the Gospels of MacRegal (scribe and bishop, abbot of Birr, who died in 822).” quotes all from D’Arcy

One of the old  Irish calendars also gives  this day to St Fianait.  But  who was she?   The internet sayeth not.  All I have is  the name on the calendar.

In the Carmelite calendar this is the feast of Ss. Denis of the Nativity, O.C.D. and Bl Redemptus of the Cross, O.C.D.  Bl Denis had his throat slit and Bl Redemptus had his head split open by the natives of Sumatra when they refused to renounce Christ for Mohammedanism.

The Ancient Observance Carmelites have a  page in their honour here.

A collect from the old Carmelite breviary:

O God, Who in Thy wondrous providence, didst lead blessed Dionysius and Redemptus through the perils of the sea to the palm of martyrdom, grant through their intercession that in the midst of earthly vicissitudes and worldly desires we may remain steadfast even unto death in the confession of Thy name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Otherwise, as we have mentioned before, the 29th of November is the  birthday of Vin Scully,  Archbishop Lefebvre, and Janet Napolitano.  And,  FWIW, Cary Grant and Cardinal Wolsey both died on this day, in their respective centuries,  of course.  Horoscope fans, make of that what you will.

And finally, I had  the third colonoscopy of  my life today and to the distress of a few, the relief  of my wife and me, and of no interest at all to most of humanity I do not have colon cancer.  Proving mostly, I suppose, that I should not compose blog posts when deprived of sleep and still under the influence of industrial strength sedatives.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thinking of repairing your parish organ were you?

Not so fast.   Especially if you're in Spain, apparently.


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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Has it been that long?

Indeed it has.  Here it is almost Thanksgiving and The Inn has been sorely neglected since Walsingham Day.

Since our last exciting episode the Memsahib has acquired a new car, I've left the local pipe band  (on very good terms, to be sure;  just too many commitments that would require bilocation), the choir has been singing some challenging pieces (for me, anyway), the dem team for the LA branch of the RSCDS performed at the Seaside Highland Games and I did not make a complete ass of myself, I'm scheduled to play for the St Andrew's Ball and have hardly begun to practice, and between the two of us Herself and I have visited a small battalion of doctors, none of whom have found anything much but - just to be on the safe side - why don't we visit this next specialist to check out this piece of business which might be something untoward.  So we'll do that and with the help of God they won't find anything either.

And while puttering about on the web I found  this page, which is full of interesting ideas.  Not as juicy as Breitbart perhaps but it makes for variety.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Our Lady of Walsingham



Today is the feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, the titular feast of the Ordinariate in England and Wales and the patroness of England -- and by extension of the English-speaking people.  Our Lady of Walsingham is also the titular patroness  of the cathedral of the American Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter.

This page is a comprehensive website which will give you an entrance to as much or more history of the Walsingham  apparition and shrine as any on the web.

A parish shrine to Our Lady of Walsingham:


A collect for Our Lady of Walsingham:

O God, who through the mystery of the Word made flesh, didst in thy mercy sanctify the house of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and wondrously place it in the bosom of thy Church: Grant that being made separate from the tabernacles of sinners, we may become worthy indwellers in thy holy house; through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.


The Filial Correction

Of course, you've heard about it by now.  I can't imagine that anyone who frequents this little store-front located down one of the back alleyways of the internet can possibly have failed to learn of The Filial Correction.  

So this post isn't really to inform you of it.  It's more in the nature of hoisting the flag and showing a bit of solidarity with the good folk who put it together.  And in some cases probably kissed their careers good-bye in doing so.

Here's the document in question then.

And if you are in sufficient agreement, you can make your agreement public here.

What good will it all do?  Dunno.   Francis has the plenitudo potestatis and who has the authority to say him nay?  Nobody I know of.  But the alternative is to do nothing.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

It's Ember Day in Michaelmastide

Well, it is here anyway.  At  least for the next three hours.

I should've mentioned this before but we were busy.  (See below)  But there are two more coming up on Friday and Saturday so you can go here and learn about stargazy pie for a proper Emberday abstinence meal.

(Is it Ember Day or Emberday?  I've seen both.)

To Add to Your "Best" List

See's dark chocolate truffles,  with the dark, soft chocolate center are (is?) the best confection in the world.

An uncompensated endorsement for those who worry about that sort of thing. (Unless you count the free one they gave me when we went into the shop the other day to buy some candy for Mary's aunt who is recovering from a broken hip, and now that I think of it, could use a prayer or two if you have a moment.)

How To Tell When You Have the Perfect Marriage

It's when you forget your wedding anniversary and she isn't bothered by it.  She even says that she did too and only remembered when her sister sent her congratulations.

So we went out to an early dinner with some friends and had some good talk and laughter.   And not for the first time I wonder how I got so lucky.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Voynich Manuscript Decoded

Fully aware that even though I found this research project absolutely fascinating, nobody else probably will I still can't resist passing along the link to this essay.

I've read about the mysterious Voynich manuscript and all the scholars it has puzzled over the years.  And now someone's got a handle on it.

Spoiler:

It's a Merck manual for medieval physicians and pharmacists.

Friday, September 08, 2017

September 12 - Feast of the Holy Name of Mary

Cum iucunditate Nativitatem beatæ Mariæ celebremus, ut ipsa pro nobis intercedat ad Dominum Iesum Christum.

Dearly beloved, the day of the blessed and ever venerable Virgin Mary so long desired, is here.  Let our land rejoice in the greatest exultation.  Let it shine in the light of the birth of such a virgin.  For  she is the flower of the field, from her bloomed the precious lily of the valley.  Through her birth the nature inherited from our  first  parents is changed. Their sin is blotted out. That unhappy curse of Eve in which it was said:  "In sorrow you shall bring forth children," is, in the case of Mary, ended, for she bore the Lord in joy.
-- II Nocturn, lectio iv, - St Augustine, Bishop

Monday, September 04, 2017

Why No-one Should Ever Rely on Me for Proof-reading

Because I see what I expect to see rather than what's actually there.

Take the "Some Saints for September" section over there on the left hand column.  Miss Chadwick's drawings for September do reside there at the moment.  But for a short while on this 4th day of September her drawings for Septuagesima graced that space.  Both words do, in fact, begin with "Sept".  But as I have now learned -- alas, not for the first time -- one does have to read the entire word in order to post the correct picture.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Story of My Life


And yet . . . it always seemed like a good idea at the time.



The Worlds

That's the World Pipe Band Championship competition held annually in Glasgow.  It was last Saturday.

You missed it?  Well, I have good news for you.  You can see and hear the finals courtesy of the BBC who have archived the videos here.

St Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band is always a favourite and I thought Boghall and Bathgate had some excellent tune choices this year.  But in fact Inverary and District swept all before them this year.  There were 6 prizes available to them and they took 5 of them.  (O.K., O.K.  They swept most before them.  Picky, picky.)



[Funny how the mind works.  I came this close to typing St Peter O'Toole Pipe Band.  He's a fine actor but I'm not aware of a pipe band named after him.  And he's probably still a few years away from canonization.  Even under the current pontificate.]

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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Lammas Day

The first of August is indeed Lammas Day.  The Inn dug up a few things about Lammas Day last year which you can still find here.

It's also the feast of St Peter at the Chains and of the Holy Maccabees.  The chains that fell from Peter's limbs are found in chapter 12 of the book of Acts and the Maccabees can be found, not co-incidentally, in the 1st & 2d books of Maccabees.  Today's martyrs are in chapter 7.


Are these things still called memes?

Or is that something else now?  Whatever it is, it arrived on my desktop this afternoon and was so wonderfully pointless and absurd it had to be tried.

So herewith:



"However, the war-song at the commencement of this famous battle was recited by MacMhuirich (MacVuirich), the hereditary bard of Clan Ranald, and the MacMhuirichs were descendants of Muiredach O'Daly, of Lissadil, County Sligo, a famous Irish minstrel."

So sayeth the book nearest to me at the top of page 45.

Um, O.K.

I guess.


Total Eclipse




On Monday Aug. 21, a solar eclipse will cut across the entire United States. And wherever you are, you will be able to see it. Even though the "totality" — the area where the sun is completely blocked out by the moon — is only 70 miles wide, the whole country (even Alaska and Hawaii) will experience a partial eclipse. This is what you'll see, and the time you'll see it, in your zip code.  

So says the message in my inbox this morning.  This site explains it for us.  And it reminds us not to stare at it unprotected.  But we knew about that already, didn't we.

Apparently I'm about 700 miles southwest, more or less, from where I need to be to get a "totality" experience.  Still, there should be something.


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Saturday

The last Saturday in July at 1 o'clock in the afternoon and I am sitting here in the office messing about with the pc.

"So?" I hear you ask.

So, at 1 o'clock in the afternoon on the last Saturday in July it should be, as my grandfather was wont to say, hotter than the hinges of hell.  But it isn't.  As of last Wednesday I now, for the first time in my life, live in a home that is air-conditioned.  It is wonderfully pleasant in here.  The only downside I can find is that I may now have to come up with another excuse for abandoning The Inn for days and weeks on end.  (The energy bill?  Pfui.  That's no downside.  I'll just give up eating.)

I may not leave the house again until winter.  Except, um, now.  Herself wants to go out to lunch.  But after that. . . .

And while I've been messing about on the pc, I think I have discovered The "Conservative" Roman Curia Members Marching Song, circa 2017.  See what you think:



You all know who I'm speakin'  of
When I mention you-know-who.
For if you-know-who should hear ya,
You know what he'd do.
So if you don't see me again,
You'll know why I'm away,
And if anyone asks you where I've gone,
Here's what you must say. . . .

Heh.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Found While Looking for Something Else


A group of Seaforth Highlanders from the WWI era.  Apparently one-size-fits-all is not a new thing.  The Seaforth's kilt provider seems to have been a firm believer.

As (almost) always, you can click on the picture to make it way too big.)



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The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (and of the Carmelite scapular) -- 16 July



O Flower of Carmel,
Tall vine blossom laden;
Splendor of heaven,
Childbearing yet maiden.
None equals thee. 
Mother so tender,
Who no man didst know,
On Carmel’s children
Thy favors bestow,
Star of the Sea. 
Strong stem of Jesse,
Who bore one bright flower,
Be ever near us
And guard us each hour,
who serve thee here. 
Purest of lilies,
That flowers among thorns,
Bring help to the true heart
That in weakness turns
and trusts in thee. 
Strongest of armor,
We trust in thy might:
Under thy mantle,
Hard press’d in the fight,
we call to thee. 
Our way uncertain,
Surrounded by foes,
Unfailing counsel
Thou givest to those
who turn to thee. 
O gentle Mother
Who in Carmel reigns,
Share with thy children
That gladness thou gained'st
and now enjoy. 
Hail, Gate of Heaven,
With glory now crowned,
Bring us to safety
Where thy Son is found,
true joy to see.

The Flos Carmeli, composed by St Simon Stock

More on Our Lady, the brown Carmelite scapular, and the Order of Carmel here.



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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Novena to Our Lady of Mt Carmel - Day 9

Well, we made it to Day 9 with only two posting lapses.  Probably -- alas -- about average for me.

And now to actually pray the prayer and honour the feast tomorrow.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Bastille Day - Government Sponsored Terror Begins

Tuesday, July 14 probably passes without much fanfare in your home, but the date, Bastille Day, marks the beginning of the greatest organized persecution of Christians since the Emperor Diocletian. This day, the beginning of the French Revolution, also planted the seeds for the murderous ideologies of socialism and nationalism that would poison the next two centuries, murdering millions of believers and other innocent civilians.
The rest is here. 


Feet, Don't Fail Me Now

The title of this piece from the Beeb is "What Not To Do In A Disaster" which sounds like it's going to be helpful.  But it isn't.

According to sciency types who study that sort of thing what's really  going to happen is neither fight nor flight.  It's freeze up.  Apparently most of us homo sapiens when faced with the on-coming locomotive or the giant tsunami wave or the person of no particular religion shouting Allahu Akbar and firing off his AK47 just stand there and gawp for an inordinately long, and occasionally fatal, period of time.  It seems the only solution is to spend a large portion of our lives training for each sort of disaster so that the proper reaction becomes second nature.

So, no, not terribly helpful.  But I found it really interesting, if a bit of a downer.  In the event you want to be slightly depressed also, you can find it here.


How Not To Get Caught Forging Documents

In a nutshell:  if your document is supposed to be from, say, 2001 don't type it up using a font that wasn't invented until 2009.

There's more here but, really, I've already handed it to you.




Novena to Our Lady of Mt Carmel - Day 8

Here is the text for day 8 of the Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

And, yes, day 7 never quite made it into The Inn.  We weren't at the pc yesterday and, although the text is available on the terrifyingly talented smart phone, without the password for the blogspot dashboard it wasn't of much use for posting purposes.

You can access day 8 and scroll up to find day 7 but that isn't very satisfactory on day 8 is it.

We will try to do better tomorrow for Day 9.

(Sunday is the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, although unless you attend a Carmelite parish, you'll never know it.  Those who decide such things long ago decided random days after Pentecost or Trinity or days in common-or-garden variety time should supersede almost everything else.)

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