Monday, 28 August 2017
None other than Her Brittanic Majesty, our Sovereign Queen, Elizabeth II, acknowledges the primacy of the Parish of Our Lady, St Mary of Glastonbury.
By the Holy and Sacred tradition recorded by William of Malmesbury (there will be a lot more from him, believe me!) Glastonbury was founded 15 years after the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin into Heaven. The Queen does not follow William's exact dating, but she does mirror his sentiment. She gave this cross in 1965 to the monastery (which her predecessor of dubious memory destroyed). The plaque on it reads:
I wonder if I should invite her to my induction?
Wednesday, 16 August 2017
|Was it here, on the mountains of Tibet that found myself? No.|
What is the purpose of all this beauty of God's creation around me?
Why was I placed on this planet, and what is my purpose?
Why is that annoying woman talking all the time to her friend... doesn't she know that this is a library??!!
What is my next blog post going to be about?
But most fundamental of all...
You've only got two weeks left, what in heaven's name do you think you are doing messing about with this???!And these are valid questions. So you will be pleased to know that I have finally found myself.
|If you look closely you can see me, I'm the one next to the book.|
|Look, me in the library.|
|My tomb in Durham Cathedral.|
Personally, in this last one I think I look rather unworkmanlike and rather dull. I am not sure St Bede would have approved. He, like me, was completely shy and retiring, and was never short of industrious work, and was never one to hog the lime light.
Monday, 14 August 2017
“The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary…”
“Holy Michael, Archangel…”
“Angel of God, my guardian dear…”
Talk of angels surrounds us in our personal devotions. The Angelus speaks of the annunciation by the Archangel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the prayers after Low Mass invoke the powerful protection of the mighty Archangel Michael. And hopefully we remember through the day the presence of our Guardian angel as well.
In fact, it is not just talk of angels which surrounds us, but the angels themselves. So, what are they? Well, to begin with they are creatures created by God. They are not the souls of people who have died, nor are they gods, or deities, or malevolent pixies or sprites. The angels are parts of God’s creation, and they share the common purpose of all creation, namely to worship and adore the One who made them. Like us, however, they may be given jobs or tasks to do. Thus it was that Gabriel (whose name means ‘the power of God’) came to Our Lady, and the Michael (meaning ‘who is like God?’) stands at the doors of Eden, of Paradise, with a flaming sword, and is destined to be in a battle with Satan until the end of time. Perhaps the Fallen Angel, Satan, will the subject of another article. By tradition there are seven Archangels, though we only know the names of three, the other named being Raphael in the book of Tobit – the healing of God. The orders, or choirs of angels, from the closest to God outwards, are Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Archangels, Principalities, and Angels. This ordering is part of our tradition, not an article of faith. The existence of angels, however, is, as it is attested to in Sacred Scripture.
As in Church it is always the people who stand up and do ‘important’ things who get the glory (their reward will be not be great in heaven as they have had theirs here on earth – yikes!) but the real backbone of the Church, without whom it would not run so smoothly, are the people who clean, and do the laundry, and make sure the sacristy is stocked. It is the same with the angels. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, important and flashy, get all the attention; Seraphim and Cherubim, mysterious and mystical, have our fascination; but the real work, in my humble opinion, is done by the most lowly. And these lowly angels, those most intimately involved with us, are our Guardian Angels.
At the moment that you were conceived in your mother’s womb, God assigned an angel to be with you. Your Guardian Angel is always there in every moment of your life. They prompt us, they open our eyes to the possibilities in front of us, and help us to see the good that we can do, and the evil that we should avoid. They are the comforting presence when our hearts are breaking, and the stiffening of our resolve when we are fearful and afraid. They are the voice of reason in moments of temptation, and the voice of calm in panic and distress. And as we lie alone and Death whispers to our heart his sweet secrets, which stills our breath, then it is our Guardian Angel who eases our soul from this mortal frame and leads it to the judgement throne of God.
These are the Angels of God who we should look up to and admire, for they have been with us throughout all of our life.
There are little angel shaped badges that you can get on pieces of card. They are called ‘an angel in my pocket’, and are quite popular. Of course, the cynical me thinks that these things are the result of a complete loss of faith of the people in our society – when we no longer believe in God, then we believe in anything, in lucky charms and talismans. And the theological me thinks that it is errant nonsense to reduce these awesome creatures of God to a little bit of metal, and God help you if you did ever have an angel in your pocket – your pocket would explode at the very least! But the feeble and frail me, the human me, thinks that anything which reminds us of our Guardian Angel is a good thing and something that they, our angels, could use in our everyday life.
Friday, 11 August 2017
At Bellingham on Sunday we had to the most wonderful leaving do. The food was excellent, even hot beef! Lots and lots of it, so much so that I was still eating it on Wednesday. That is always a good sign.
I've been saying Mass there for a year now, since the illness and death of Abbot Cuthbert Johnson, and we have grown quite fond of each other, the parishioners and I.
|Full head of hair - my people know how to please me!|
The cake you see above is a Chinese birthday cake. So light! Absolutely lovely. I think I need more Chinese birthday cakes!
I chopped my own head off.
Wednesday, 9 August 2017
(Warning the following events did not happen - I don't want to get sued!)
|KLM 'It doesn't matter who you click with'|
The Royal Dutch Airline is today in chaos with all of its aeroplanes grounded after passengers believed its own publicity.
Having been engulfed by pro LGBTiQffTTz propaganda, with the tag line, "It doesn't matter who you click with" Mabel Witherington of Little Humptington said
"Well I believed what the aeroplane man said, well, you would wouldn't you, after all he's the one driving the plane, and it's his job to make sure that everything is all right."
(we chided Mabel for using such terrible stereotyping, gendering language about the pilot being male, merely because of the dangerous misogynistic view that leadership involves having that specific reproductive member. When Mabel replied that 'no, he was a man. He had a beard and a deep voice and everything' we had to remind her that we had no idea how the pilot was identifying, and that she could have been oppressing the pilot, that very moment.)
|The KLM logo, the four circles represent the four LGBT elements, |
with the i on its side supporting them.
The x on its top (it's not a cross, it's not) represents the subversion of the Queer identity,
redefining from binary into multifluidity.
"Well you see, my Mildred had shown me this picture, she'd printed it off and sent it through the post. I don't really do all these new fangled things. I can't even change the time on my video recorded. It once went haywire and it was that like for ages until that man who lives next door came round one day and I asked him if he could have a look.... [Mabel continues with this story] ... so I came downstairs and said, 'Oh, my Mildred's written to me', and there it was, this picture. So I though, 'aren't they clever now being able to do all that nowadays with those seat belt safety things."
However, not everything was as it seemed, because when Mabel got onto her flight and the flight attendant made the announcement that they were coming around checking seatbelts and that the trays were in the upright position, Mabel's story took a terrible turn.
"You see, there was no one in the seat next to me. Which was lovely because sometimes you sit next to some one, and I'm not saying this to be nasty, I'm not like that, but sometimes I don't know how they can go out of the house without washing. A bar of soap cost's nothing, my mum used to say, God rest her soul. So there was no one there, and I had that nice picture with me that my Mildred had sent, and so I thought I'd try it. I took the flappy end bit from the seat next to me, you know the one that you put the other thing into, and I just put it beside the same one from my seat, on my lap in front of me. They looked lovely there together, both the same. Just like the picture."But this happy state of affairs was not to last
|Was this the woman responsible? No|
"Then the stewardess came and said I had to use the other one and put the two together. I said 'no dear, you don't have to do that now, look it's all different nowadays. I've got a picture from your airline. It says it doesn't matter anymore.' Well, she said I had to and that it wouldn't be safe and that the aeroplane couldn't take off unless I did it right, and that was how the safety belts were designed, and that if we didn't use them in the way the manufacturer had built them, then, well, she didn't know what would happen.'Mabel never made it to see her daughter.
"I was all a bit confused as you can image, so I asked, 'So this picture isn't right, then? So it does matter who you click with, dear?' Well she just looked at me, and ran to the front of the aeroplane. I didn't know what was happening. All of a sudden, two security men came up to me and started dragging me off. Of course as my safety belt wasn't fastened, they could just picked me up - it really did matter after all.
"When I got past the air stewardess, she just looked at me and said 'how dare you, you evil, patriarchal, misogynistic, anti-equality old trout! It does not matter who you click with, we are all free to decide who we are, and who we love and how we live our lives. Your very breathing oppresses me.'
And I've been in this nice hospital ever since."
Apparently it does matter who you click with. You have to click with the zeitgeist, no matter how wrong it is.
Monday, 7 August 2017
Thursday, 3 August 2017
One of the unforeseen consequences about the rise of hymn singing in the Catholic Church is that we are now tyrannised by the editors of hymn books.
We have to remember that hymns would be sung at benediction, and other liturgies, but not during Mass. Mass was quite simple, you had the texts of Mass and they were set to various Gregorian chants. The Church choir sung the bits for the day, and the people joined in the Asperges, Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei. The bits, by the way, which we should still be able to sing in Latin (and Greek for the Kyrie) now.
Do you know the Asperges? Could you hold your own in the Missa de Angelis stakes?
So when we ignored a thousand or years plus music and liturgical practice, and started to sing hymns in the vernacular at Mass, we fell into the same trap as we did when we shoved as much Bible into Mass as possible. We mistook quantity for quality.
So we are left with the most terrible doggerel in our hymnbooks. This is one of my favourites...
Joseph was a happy man (x6)Seriously, that was a 'hymn'! I don't mind proper hymns too much - though I have no idea why we should sing them during Mass when a perfectly good choir could be singing something lovely, and we could be praying, or preparing to sing the Credo.
Now it is quite difficult choosing hymns for Sunday. I have to do it at Swinburne. So I sometimes look at the handy helpful suggestions in the back of the hymnbook.
And this is what I saw for the Sunday of the magnificent Solemnity of the Transfiguration of the Lord.
Shine, Jesus, Shine. PLEASE! This, the worship of God, the joining of heaven and earth, the bloodless of sacrifice of God to God, the Transfiguration... and Shine Jesus Shine.
Why do we bother?!
Thursday, 27 July 2017
|In case you cannot see the questions next to the picture of Henry VIII|
"Who is that man?"
"Would you trust him?"
So would you trust him with your wife? Or Church? Or country?
Wednesday, 26 July 2017
Last year I began another project found here, and now that I look at that original post, I see that I did not 'keep you up to date'. Never mind.
Anyway, I have only a few pictures. As you will remember it was based on the image at the top of this post. And here is a picture of Our Lord's head...
And a further one with a halo...
You can see from these that I intended to do a whole 'here it is as it goes along'... but I didn't. Anyway, it is finished and this is what it looks like...
Pretty spiffy, eh? I now have to make the vestment, but not yet. I've got a thesis to write!
Perhaps when I get to Glastonbury...
Tuesday, 25 July 2017
I'm fond of a booklet. There is nothing quite like one for putting you in the mood for the worship of Almighty God. But quite seriously, I think there is something good about knowing that someone has bothered to put something together because they think that it is important.
|It's OK, we can still use it next year.|
Well that's my idea, anyway!
|Yikes! A Unicorn Dream Catcher!!!|
And with snazzy booklets.
Saturday, 22 July 2017
Brigham Young University still are my favourite version of the Lord's Prayer in Swahili (see here), but this one is sung by the US Navy.
There is a speed and a swing about it. But the BEST, the very best bit is the voice over at 2.00 minutes - US Navy propaganda in the midst of the Prayer Our Saviour gave us!!!
I'm not against it at all - I just find it funny. But the chap speaking has such a deep voice!
Thursday, 20 July 2017
Are you 18-40, do you want to deepen your knowledge of the Catholic faith, learn its devotions and meet like minded people? Young Catholic Adults are organizing a weekend at Douai Abbey in Berkshire) with Lawrence Lew O.P., and Canon Poucin ICKSP. You’ll be able to hear catechetical talks, learn how to sing Gregorian Chant, say the Rosary, socialize and have fun. Book soon as places are limited! All Masses are in the Old Rite (Roman and Dominican Rite)
To book goto:- To Book: https://v1.bookwhen.com/
For updates goto:- http://youngcatholicadu
For more details goto:- http://www.youngcatholi
cadults.co.uk/events.htm. Prices start from £18.50.
Wednesday, 12 July 2017
I shall be spending this evening in various supermarkets looking for the most sumptuous sardines that I can find. For as you will undoubtedly know, tomorrow is Sardine Day.
This is not because tomorrow is the feast day of the Holy prophets Joel and Esdras. Though I am sure that Joel’s vision of the End Day would have included the most wonderfully succulent sardines imaginable. Nor because it is that St Turian, a man of humility and simplicity, would have enjoyed an occasional sardine of his feast day.
No, tomorrow is the Feast of the Sardines, or Fête des Sardines, in the Vendée region of France. You can see a history of the Wars of the Vendée here, it really is worth a read. The Vendée was totally destroyed by the Revolution and persecuted ever since.
So do you think that the good people of the Vendée want to celebrate July 14th? Bastille day? No they do not.
So instead they celebrate the humble sardine (for no reason that I have been able to find). They eat them on the thirteenth, and they feast, and drink, and drink. And on the next morning (the fourteenth) they are so hung over that they do not bother getting out of bed!!!
So for them, the celebration is not the slaughter, rape and pillage of their beloved country, it is the day before – a humble sardine.
|A Lady of the Vendee on the eve of the Feast:|
"I'm off for a quick sherry!"
Friday, 7 July 2017
On this the tenth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, I would like to thank Pope Benedict for this motu proprio.
It has been a leaven in the life of the Church, and in the lives of countless people and priests.
May this form of Holy Mass flourish and spread throughout the world.
Monday, 3 July 2017
From a letter of Franz Rosenzweig to his Mother
“…I told Badt about an incident that was witnessed, I believe, by Moltke1 in the fifties in London. Empress Eugénie was paying a visit to Queen Victoria. A theatrical performance was being given in their honour; they entered the King’s box, approached the railing, thanked the audience, and sat down – Victoria without looking round, Eugénie after she had made sure by a glance that there was a chair. Eugenie was probably more of a person than the tedious Queen, but only Victoria was the descendant of kings.”
Not sure of the moral worth of this story, but how sure is your seat??!
1 Count Helmuth von Maltke (1800-1891), chief of the Prussian General Staff
Saturday, 24 June 2017
On the Pilgrimage the wonderful Max (when we had finished singing Mfumue) started singing the Our Father in Swahili... as you do.
This is the same Max who preferred to learn the Dies Irae in Latin and the Russian National Anthem (in Russky) instead of studying for his A-Level, so this should not be a surprise.
However, to me, it was the theme tune of a computer game called 'Civilisation'. It was around when I was an Undergraduate (fondly called 'Civ'), and eventually I got a copy and this was the theme tune.
Now Max is seldom wrong (not that he admits anyway) so I looked it up, and it is the Our Father in Swahili, composed by Christopher Tin for the computer game. Wiki here.
The version here is by Brigham Young University choir. Latter day Saints (Mormons to me and you). The site for their uni is pretty damned impressive. I wish we could get Catholics with such fervour. This is my favourite version to date (I have listened to far too many).
And it is bound to be sung on the Chartres Pilgrimage next year, so come along and hear a bunch of scouts and a demented chaplain abroad singing it!
Friday, 23 June 2017
|Priest with Biretta at rakish angle.|
|Priests and brothers of the friars|
An Australian, a Benedictine and a Norbertine walk into a bar...
...only to find the Norbertine had already been there, so there were no crisps left!