{    Cnytr   }

{Sunday, March 29, 2009  }

.:{St. Josaphat Seminary Ikonostasis and a Lack of Pews}:.

Posted at the request of BWJ

Originally from St. Andrew's Ukrainian Catholic Church in PA, which closed down. Thus, St. Andrew's is the ikon on the farthest right. Usually that place is reserved for the namesake of the church or chapel.

It can't be seen very well, but the small ikons across the top of the ikonostasis are the 12 major feast days of the East:

1. The nativity of the Theotokos
2. The presentation of the Theotokos
3. The annunciation
4. The Nativity of the Lord
5. The presentation of the Lord
6. Theophany (the baptism of the Lord)
7. Transfiguration
8. Palm Sunday
9. Ascension
10. Pentecost
11. Dormition of the Theotokos
12. Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Please note the lack of pews. Pews are a Protestant invention, and are especially hindering in the Divine Liturgy and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, in which profound bows are called for.

Profound bows are very interesting to this Westerner. They involve a crossing of oneself (the Eastern way -- the original way, as the Western way is a confusion -- involves touching the right shoulder and then the left shoulder), getting down upon one's knees, and either kissing the ground or touching one's forehead to the ground. Profound bows usually come in groups of three.

They are ... very very Eastern. I confessed to being a bit surprised at first and thinking the profound bow looked very much like a Muslim thing (!).

Thus, a very necessary lack of pews.
posted by Lauren, 5:44 PM | link | 7 comments

.:{Cnytr goes Multicultural}:.

In a cool Catholic way, of course ...

This afternoon at Holy Family Ukrainian Catholic Church in Washington, DC was a lovely pysanka workshop. Pysanka are traditionally-decorated Ukrainian eggs. The tradition of decorating eggs in this manner is one of the traditions "baptized" by the Christianity of Byzantium. Egg-decorating of even clay eggs has existed for over a thousand years, but by being Christianized has taken on a significance near to the "writing" of icons (as icons are "written" and not "painted").

The symbolism involved in the intricate designs of pysanka would make any symbologist drool -- woven designs for nets, for the "fishers of men", intricate numerology, varieties of crosses and triangles, etc. There is even one symbol -- a kind of underlying spot or a series of dots -- that are supposed to represent the tears of the Virgin Mary. Evidently the story goes that the Virgin Mary herself made pysanka, and brought them to Pilate and the soldiers who crucified her son, and as she made them she wept for her son. The tears fell upon the eggs and and created many beautiful designs.

Eggzellent, thought the Cnytr, we can work with this.

A short tutorial on pysanka:

One uses a lighted candle, a hollow stylus, beeswax and, of course, an egg. One scoops the beeswax into the stylus (which has an unpronounceable name), melts it over the candle, and draws the design upon the egg via the wax. Since the egg is white, everything covered in wax in this stage will remain white. One dyes the egg (starting with yellow) and begins to melt more wax upon the shell. Everything covered in wax there remains yellow, and so on and so forth until the egg is dyed black an the wax is melted off the egg.

The tradition of decorating the egg is supposed to involve patience and prayer ... again, much in the tradition of icon-writing.

It also involves forethought.

Here was my sketched-out design for the egg:

The thought was to have two crosses, some net and/or triangle designs, and drops of blood.

Generally I wanted to do things in fours, like the four ages of the world. The cross saves the world, through the una stilla -- the one drop of blood which is sufficient to save the world. From St. Thomas Aquinas' Adoro te Devote:

Pie pellicane Jesu Domine,
Me immundum munda tuo sanguine:
Cujus una stilla salvum facere
Totum mundum quit ab omni scelere.

Deign, O Jesus, Pelican of heaven,
me, a sinner, in Thy Blood to lave,
to a single drop of which is given all the world
from all its sin to save.

[Not a good translation, but it conveys the general meaning. ~L]

Yes, I attempted to Westernize an essentially Eastern tradition.

My companion (Lizzy of the Alle Psalite blog, who saved my book in France!) chose a nice simple design for her egg. Here is it after the initial dying in gold/yellow:

Annnnnnnnnd mine, after the wax started blobbing everywhere:

Um. Fail. Fail egg.

Lizzy's completed egg:

...And Cnytr's:

Perhaps I was a smidge over-ambitious.

No matter. I got my nets for the fishers of men, my triangles for the Trinity...

...my cross motif, and the all-important una stilla:

Thus, the cross of Christ, on which our God-who-became-man died, is to fish for all the men of the world (unto the ages of ages) and save them with just one drop of blood.

Sub hoc signo vinces.

Слава Ісусу Христу!
posted by Lauren, 5:09 PM | link | 4 comments

.:{Yes, Prime Minister on Modernism}:.

I think I just snorted tea all out my nose.

HT: Fr. Z.
posted by Lauren, 9:37 AM | link | 1 comments

.:{Father Foster Archives}:.

If you're looking for the 2005 archives of "The Latin Lover", Fr. Coulter has some of them online here. A more detailed account of the archive (with all the shows I've missed SINCE 2005) here.

This show is the one where he speaks of Holy Week and Palm Sunday. Listen to this to hear Fr. Foster sing Pueri Hebraeorum

"The children of the Hebrews, carrying branches of olives, went to meet to Lord, crying out and saying, "Hosanna in the highest! Oh ... I have tears in my eyes..."
posted by Lauren, 9:20 AM | link | 0 comments

.:{Fr. Reggie Foster speaks in Latin!}:.

And just in case you can't understand the Latin, the subtitles are in Portuguese. Narration in German. Have fun with that, meinen lieblings.
posted by Lauren, 9:17 AM | link | 0 comments

{Saturday, March 28, 2009  }

.:{Psalm 141 Video}:.

A terrible video with good audio, which was really the point of the video anyway (first time using iMovie). I don't take very many pictures during the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, and when I do they're without flash, so these photos are pretty blurry. Apologies.

These are some shots of various Byzantine Liturgies with the St. Josaphat Seminary in the National Shrine's Byzantine chapel. The last chapel seen is in St. Josaphat's Seminary itself. The Ikonostasis is formerly of St. George's, a parish in Pennsylvania which closed.

This is the same Borniansky setting listed below, but it is sung by the seminarians, unlike in the mp3 to which I linked which includes women singing as well.
posted by Lauren, 11:43 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Akathistos Saturday}:.

The fifth Sunday in Lent for our Eastern Catholic bretheren is called the "Akathistos Saturday", "Akathistos" from the Greek term meaning "not sitting", as it must be recited standing, as when the Gospel is read, to render proper reverence. This blogger idly wonders whether this particular Saturday always follows the Annunciation or whether it happened to work out this way in this particular year.

Those who have followed this blog for way too long may know of this blogger's interest in the Eastern Catholic rites, and especially this the (5th century, Byzantine) Akathist hymn, from as early as 2003, Lauren's visit to Greece in 2004 (argh, still kicking myself for not photographing Hosios Loukas), a slightly incomprehensible blog in 2005 about the Orientale Lumen conference and Greek vespers (being held in DC again this year), and the recent posts in 2009 since this blogger began regularly attending Eastern rite liturgies.

It has been a great joy and wonder to participate in these liturgies. I hope to share with you at least a little of the awe and wisdom I hope to gain from them.

Posted above is a small excerpt from the first Ikos of the Akathist hymn:

Rejoice, O star who manifest the Sun;
Rejoice, O womb of the divine incarnation;
Rejoice, O you through whom creation is renewed;
Rejoice, O you through whom the Creator becoms a babe;

Rejoice, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure!

This blog (evidently run by a parish priest and his supporting staff) has a little more information on Akathistos Saturday, taken from Saint Barbara Byzantine Catholic Church (Dayton, OH) bulletin for March 2, 1997:

On the fifth Saturday of Lent our Easter Church has a special service in honour of the most Pure Virgin Mary. This service, which is celebrated only in the Easter Church, is called Akathistos, a Greek word meaning 'not sitting'. Hence, the name Akathistos Saturday.

Akathistos Saturday, like the Sunday of Orthodoxy, bears no relation to the Great Fast. It occurs during that time because of historical tradition and practice of the Church. During the Matins service of this Saturday the entire Akathistos of the Annunciation of the most Holy Mother of God is sung. This Akathistos can be called the symbol and crown of the sublime cult of the Mother of God in the Easter Church. For this reason, it deserves special attention.

The Church service of this Saturday was instituted in honour of the Mother of God in thanksgiving for her protection of the capital city of Byzantium - Constantinople - against an enemy invasion on three sepa-rate occasions. The first invasion occurred during Emperor Heraclius (626), when the Persians launched an attack from the East and the Sketes or Avars from the West, and the city was in grave peril. Patriarch Sergius I (610-639) took the beautifully clothed icon of the most Pure Virgin Mary, called the Odigitria (Greek = a guide), or Our Lady Guide of Wayfarers, and her robe and went in procession around the city. As the procession drew near to the Church of the most Holy Mother of God, situated in the suburb of Blacherna, he soaked the robe of the Mother of God in the sea. Immediately a storm arose which sank the enemy's ships. The city was saved. The people, acknowledged this as a miracle performed by the Mother of God assembled in the church at Blacherna, and passed the whole night in prayer, singing the hymn of praise, i.e., the Akathistos, in honour of the Mother of God.

The chapel where the hymn took place is dedicated to the Protection of the Mother of God, hence the reason why she is holding a robe in her hands ... something I was wondering nearly the entire hymn:

In the Jubilee year 2000, this hymn was celebrated in the church of S. Maria Maggiore by Pope John Paul II on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, where it was sung in all the languages of the Eastern church (Greek, Old Slavonic, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Romanian and Arabic).

This item from the Vatican news service has more:

In the Byzantine liturgy from which it is taken, the Akathistos was originally celebrated on the fifth Saturday of Lent, which was therefore called "Saturday of the Akathistos": and this not only because of its proximity to the feast of the Annunciation, in which a passage from the Akathistos still appears, but also because this Hymn, a matchless gem of Marian theology and spirituality, links the mystery of Christmas to the mystery of Easter, the birth of the Word made flesh to the Passover of his Death and Resurrection and our rebirth through the sacraments of regeneration, the motherhood of Mary at Bethlehem to her maternal presence at the baptismal font. [...]

It sets forth in song the mystery of the Incarnation (stanzas 1-4), the outpouring of grace upon Elizabeth and John (stanza 5), the revelation to Joseph (stanza 6), the adoration of the shepherds (stanza 7), the arrival and adoration of the Magi (stanzas 8-10), the flight into Egypt (stanza 11), the meeting with Simeon (stanza 12). These are events which transcend the historical facts and become a symbolic reading of grace poured out, of the creature receiving grace, of the shepherds proclaiming the Gospel, of those from distant lands who come to faith, of the People of God which, rising from the baptismal font, goes forth on its light-filled way towards the Promised Land and comes to a profound knowledge of Christ.

The second part (stanzas 13-24) sets forth and sings of what the Church at the time of Ephesus and Chalcedon professed concerning Mary, within the context of the mystery of her Son the Saviour and of the Church which gathers all who are saved.

This hymn is truly a gem of poetry and Marian theology. I asked an Eastern friend of mine recently about the Western tradition of the rosary. He said that whilst many Eastern Catholics recite the rosary, it is not a part of their tradition. He then described this Akathistos hymn as "our rosary".

And if you can't get enough of those Ukranian melodies, here is some kind of Slavic Marian hymn sung after the Akathistos. I don't know what it is or what it means, but I love the harmonies.

Слава Ісусу Христу!
posted by Lauren, 10:30 PM | link | 1 comments

{Friday, March 27, 2009  }

.:{Excellent Quote from Holy Whapping}:.

I see nothing wrong with being 'modern' if that means adapting old designs to new realities and bringing forth new beauty, but I don't see why that means knocking off all the interesting bits off a building and leaving it a inhuman cube. Humans cannot stand that much "reality." Like nudity, it is more often a sin against charity than chastity, more disappointing than attractive, once the initial novelty wears off.

Check out the whole post at the Shrine of the Holy Whapping.
posted by Lauren, 3:48 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{How does Christ's death save us? Gregory of Nyssa answers.}:.

For since, as has been said before, it was not in the nature of the opposing power to come in contact with the undiluted presence of God, and to undergo His unclouded manifestation, therefore, in order to secure that the ransom in our behalf might be easily accepted by him who required it, the Deity was hidden under the veil of our nature, that so, as with ravenous fish, the hook of the Deity might be gulped down along with the bait of flesh, and thus, life being introduced into the house of death, and light shining in darkness, that which is diametrically opposed to light and life might vanish; for it is not in the nature of darkness to remain when light is present, or of death to exist when life is active.

~Gregory of Nyssa, Great Catechism, Chapter XXIV
posted by Lauren, 3:44 PM | link | 0 comments

{Wednesday, March 25, 2009  }

.:{Prayer request}:.

Fr. Z reports predictions of record floods (crests of up to 41 feet!) in ND, and posts the "blessing against floods".

O God, Who dealest justly with the wicked, and dost not will the death of sinners, humbly we entreat they Majesty! Protect with heavenly aid they trusting servants from perils of flood, and keep them constantly under thy heavenly protection. May they at all times serve thee, and never through any temptation be separated from thee. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Deliver them, O Lord.
posted by Lauren, 4:16 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{The Akathist Hymn in Greek ( Ὁ Ἀκάθιστος Ὕμνος )}:.

And to those who are interested in such things, here is (largely) the same hymn, but in Greek.

Click "Επόμενη σελίδα" to go on to the next page.
posted by Lauren, 3:09 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Hail, O Star who manifests the Sun!}:.

As soon as the angel had received his command, he hastened to Joseph's house and said to the ever-virgin: "Behold, heaven was brought down to earth when the Word Himself was fully contained in you! Now that I see Him in your womb, taking a servant's form, I cry out to you in wonder: Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure!"

An Archangel was sent from heaven to greet the Mother of God, and as he saw you assuming a body at the sound of his bodiless voice, O Lord, he stood rapt in amazement and cried out to her in these words:

Hail, O Mother of Lamb and Shepherd!
Hail, O Fold of rational sheep!
Hail, O Protection against unseen foes!
Hail, O Key to the Doors of Paradise!
Hail, for the heavenly rejoice with the earth!
Hail, for the earthly meet the heavens in song!
Hail, the Unsilenced Voice of the Apostles!
Hail, the Undaunted Might of Martyrs!
Hail, O Steadfast Foundation of Faith!
Hail, O Shining Emblem of Grace!
Hail, O you through whom death was despoiled!
Hail, O you through whom we were clothed with glory!
Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! [...]

Hail, O Mother of the Star Without Setting!
Hail, O Radiance of the Mystical Day!
Hail, O you who quenched the flame of error!
Hail, O Light of those who search the Trinity!
Hail, O you who unthroned the Enemy of Men!
Hail, O you who showed forth Christ the Lord, Lover of Mankind!
Hail, O you who cleansed us from the stain of pagan worship!
Hail, O you who saved us from the mire of evil deeds!
Hail, O you who made cease the cult of fire!
Hail, O you who dispelled the flames of Passion;
Hail, O you who guide the faithful toward wisdom!
Hail, O you, Delight of all the Nations!
Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure! [...]

~From the Akathist hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary
posted by Lauren, 2:08 PM | link | 0 comments

{Monday, March 23, 2009  }

.:{Things not said by Jesus ... ever}:.

Here ... although maybe he SHOULD have said the above ...

Via The Ironic Catholic, whose Modest Proposal for ND ought be noted (linked).
posted by Lauren, 11:27 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Why do you sleep?}:.

Lauren: Is the Agony in the Garden in all four gospels?
Zadok: I don't remember
Lauren: Looks like in John is the priestly prayer of Jesus instead of the Agony.
Zadok: St John's Grade: Incomplete
posted by Lauren, 3:33 PM | link | 1 comments

{Sunday, March 22, 2009  }

.:{The Mysteries of the Holy Rosary}:.

This thing I just found -- the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary circa 1903 in someone's Flickr stream.

Only a few of the images are really good (I especially like the Annunciation and the Coronation of our Blessed Lady), but what's most interesting is what these actually are, that is, plates in a picture frame with a cord on the bottom. Pulling on the cord results in a change of picture.

I can imagine a very pious setup involving this and a prie-dieux. Pity the guy who owns this isn't Catholic.
posted by Lauren, 12:08 AM | link | 2 comments

{Saturday, March 21, 2009  }

.:{O Lord, I believe and profess}:.

Se dat suis manibus

O Lord, I believe and profess that You are truly Christ, the Son of the living God, Who came into the World to save sinners, of whom I am the first. Accept me as a partaker of your mystical supper, O Son of God, for I will not reveal Your mysteries to our enemies, nor will I give you a kiss as did Judas, but like the thief will I confess to You.

+ Remember me, O Lord, when You shall come into Your kingdom.
+ Remember me, O Master, when You shall come into Your kingdom.
+ Remember me, O Holy One, when You shall come into Your kingdom.

May the partaking of your holy mysteries, O Lord, be not for my judgment, or condemnation, but for the healing of soul and body.

O Lord, I also believe and profess that this, which I am about to receive, is truly Your most precious Body and Your life-giving Blood, which, I pray, make me worthy to receive for the remission of all my sins and for life everlasting. Amen.

+ O God, be merciful to me a sinner.
+ O God, cleanse my sins and have mercy on me.
+ O Lord forgive me for I have sinned without number.

~The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
posted by Lauren, 11:45 PM | link | 1 comments

.:{Господи, помилуй (Lord, have mercy)}:.

—Let my prayer rise like incense before You
and the lifting of my hands, like an evening sacrifice.
—Set a guard, O Lord, before my mouth,
and a portal around my lips.

—Incline my heart away from evil dealings,
from finding excuses for sinful deeds.
—In company with men who work iniquity
let me not partake of what they choose.

—May a just man chasten me with justice and reprove me;
may the oil of the wicked never touch my head.
—Yet even then shall I pray for their welfare.
Their rulers were swallowed near the rock.

—My words will be heard for they were sweet.
As a lump of clay broken on the ground,
so their bones were strewn near the grave.
—To You, Lord, O Lord, my eyes are lifted up;
in You have I hoped: let not my soul be lost.

—Keep me from the snare that was set up for me
and from the stumbling—blocks of wicked men.
—The wicked shall fall into their own nets
while I remain alone until I can escape.

Setting of Ps. 140 by Dimitri Borniansky here in Old Church Slavonic, here in English. Buy the mp3 here on amazon.com.

Sung at the Great Incensing in the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

Via the Crescat.

Update: www.easternchurchmusic.com has the refrain of the Borniansky Ps. 140, sung by DC's own Ukranian National Shrine of the Holy Family (right next door to the National Shrine).
posted by Lauren, 10:57 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{There are many more intelligent things from Fr. Z I could have posted ...}:.

...but I simply can't help myself when he posts birdies.
posted by Lauren, 10:29 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{The Shadow of the Beloved}:.

'In his shadow, for which I longed, I am seated, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.' Justly did she long for the shadow of the one from whom she would receive both refreshment and nourishment. For the other trees of the wood may indeed provide a comforting shadow, but not a life giving food, not the enduring fruits of salvation. There is only one 'author of life', 'one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus', who says to his bride: 'I am your deliverance'. 'It was not Moses,' he said, 'who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.' Consequently she longed most specially for the shadow of Christ, because he alone would not only refresh her from the fever-heat of vices, but would fill her too with delight in the virtues. 'In his longed-for shadow I am seated.' His shadow is his flesh; his shadow is faith. The flesh of her own Son overshadowed Mary; faith in the Lord overshadows me. And yet why should his flesh not overshadow me too, as I eat him in the sacrament? And even the holy Virgin herself experienced the shadow of faith, for to her was said: 'Blessed are you who believed.' 'In his longed-for shadow I am seated.' The prophet says: 'A spirit before our face is Christ the Lord, in his shadow we live among the pagans.' In the shadow among the pagans, in the light with the angels. We are in the shadow as long as we walk by faith and not by sight; and therefore the righteous man who lives by faith is in the shadow. But happy is he who lives by his understanding, because he is no longer in the shadow but in the light. David was a righteous man and lived by faith, for he said to God: 'Give me understanding and I shall live', knowing that understanding would follow on faith, that the light of life would be revealed to the understanding, and life to light. The first thing is to come to the shadow, and then to pass on to that of which it is the shadow, because he says: 'Unless you believe you will not understand.'

~Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermon 48 on the Song of Songs

About the image: Communion of the Apostles by Lucca Signorelli. Signorelli is said to be the student of Fra Angelico, and completed his painting of the Final Judgment in the church in Orvieto. One corner of the fresco shows the two painted together:

posted by Lauren, 12:30 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{St. Joseph's Day Procession}:.

In Santa Marinella, outside Rome.

From Orbis Catholicus.
posted by Lauren, 12:14 PM | link | 0 comments

{Thursday, March 19, 2009  }

.:{Why is this disturbingly like my life and my companions?}:.

posted by Lauren, 10:02 PM | link | 1 comments

.:{More St. Joseph on Facebook}:.

The following are images I've posted on a St. Joseph group in Facebook.

The comment this one got was:

The French actually says "get up and take the child and his mother to Egypt".
It's cool that some people say that Joseph was afraid to take Mary as his wife cos he knew just by looking at her how holy and pure she was and doubted his ability to be the head of the holy family.

Ah, yes, our humble St. Joseph.

Byzantine image; St. Joseph and our Lady being told they must return to Bethlehem for the census.

1505 Nuremburg setting of the betrothal of the holy spouses by Albrecht Durer.

The holy spouses with the high priest.

A more modern setting by DeWitt.

Giotto's betrothal of Mary and Joseph. Notice Joseph's staff -- it has a flower on it.

The tradition goes that so many men wanted to marry our Lady that the high priest said that such a matter could be determined by God. He ordered them all to bring their staffs and throw them onto the ground before him. When they did, Joseph's started to flower, so he was chosen to be the spouse of the blessed Virgin, as this was a sign of God's favoring the holy man.
posted by Lauren, 1:53 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Facebook on St. Joseph}:.

Today, my status is:

Lauren [...] wishes everyone a happy and blessed St. Joseph's day, even though she has a bone to pick with this particular saint.

(Kind of an in-joke)

But I have gotten so much grief from this status today, including the following:

Fr.N[...] at 11:17am March 19
Alright little lady, what's the beef??? Give the guy a break, he's been through a lot, okay?

Lauren [...] at 11:37am March 19
Dude, he had an EASY time of it -- his kid was the Son of God, so that's easy right there, and if Jesus was ever difficult at age 2 or 11 (doubtful), he could say to Mary, "He's YOUR son!" And then, he's the patron saint of a happy death. Minus the confusion re:Mary at their betrothal, the guy has got it good. AND he's the model for husbands[...]!

Peter M[...] at 1:42pm March 19
Hey, St. Joseph went through a lot. On several occasions he had to pack up his entire life and flee to another country.
Angel: "Hey Joseph."
Joseph: "Yeah?"
A: "Message from God."
J: "Lay it on me."
A: "Herod is going to kill your family. Go to Egypt."
J: "Sure. When?"
A: "Now."
J: "K."

Stays there for 9 or 10 years, gets into the whole Alexandrian rhythm ...
Angel: "Hey Joseph."
Joseph: "Yeah?"
A: "Message from God."
J: "Lay it on me."
A: "Herod's dead. Go back to Israel."
J: "Sure. When?"
A: "Now."
J: "K."

And just when he's about to get home...
Angel: "Hey Joseph."
Joseph: "Yeah?"
A: "Message from God."
J: "Lay it on me."
A: "Herod's son is also a total scumbag. Go to Galilee."
J: "Sure. Now?"
A: "Yeah, now."
J: "K."
posted by Lauren, 1:46 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{And to all Italians out there ...}:.

Buona festa di S. Giuseppe!

I should expand this post: according to sources I know of more reliable than Wikipedia and ItaliansRUs (to which I am SO not linking) but unable to find at the moment, in the middle ages, it was the intercession of St. Joseph that saved Sicily from a drought/famine. Therefore to this day, the feast of S. Giuseppe is widely celebrated in the Italian communities. Special pastries (above) are baked, and bread is often blessed on the altar after mass. I'm told that other meatless foods are also blessed (as in the old calendar, today was a double of the second class, thus not exempting one from the Lenten fast, and St. Joseph's feast always falls in Lent, where the feast was established in the 10th century). Other Italian customs today include a St. Joseph's altar in three tiers with St. Joseph set at the top, and other things representing St. Joseph, the Holy Family or the Last Supper placed upon it, as well as statues, devotional items and prayer requests. The table is then blessed and then, at the end of the day, there is a shout of Viva la tavola di San Giuse! ("Giuse" must be a southern Italian shortening of "Giuseppe") and ... evidently in some places ... the table is smashed! This seems to be an especially popular thing in New Orleans.

If you can't pin a dollar to St. Joseph yourself today, consider visiting the Virtual St. Joseph Altar and making a donation!

Or, read Pope Leo XIII's encyclical on devotion to St. Joseph.

Update: MORE emendations on this crazy Italian feast day, according to Fish Eaters, after smashing the table:

The cry "Viva la tavola di San Giuse!" begins the feasting and is heard throughout the day. When the eating is done, the St. Joseph's altar is smashed, and then three children dressed as the Holy Family will knock on three doors, asking for shelter. They will be refused at the first two, and welcomed at the third, in memory of the Holy Family's seeking of hospitality just before Christ was born. This re-enactment is called "Tupa Tupa," meaning "Knock Knock."

The day ends with each participant taking home a bag that might be filled with bread, fruit, pastries, cookies, a medal of St. Joseph, a Holy Card and/or a blessed fava bean. Keep your "lucky bean," [Note: one of the few crops that would grow during that drought in the Middle Ages. ~L] and let it remind you to pray to St. Joseph.

Pazzi Italiani!
posted by Lauren, 1:12 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{St. Joseph}:.

Angelus Dómini appáruit Joseph, dicens : Joseph, fili David, noli timére accípere Maríam cónjugem tuam ; quod enim in ea natum est, de Spíritu Sancto est : páriet autem fílium, et vocábis nomen ejus Jesum.

But the Angel of the Lord appeared unto Joseph, saying : Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost, and she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his Name Jesus.

Not is today replete with lovely antiphons in the old breviary, St. Joseph has his own lovely hymn and, beginning at Lesson iv, a homily by St. Bernard, Abbot, and another by St. Jerome. First, St. Bernard:

Who and what manner of man this blessed Joseph was, we may conjecture from that title which the providential ordering of God bestowed upon him. He was chosen to the honour of being called, and of being supposed to be, the father of God. What he was we may also conjecture from the very name Joseph, which is to be interpreted as Increase. Wherefore let us liken him to that great man after whom he was named, the Patriarch Joseph. This latter sojourned in Egypt, even as he did. From this latter he not only inherited a name, but an example of chastity which he more than equalled, so that he was like unto the Patriarch Joseph in grace and innocence.

If the Patriarch Joseph (sold by his brethren through envy, and forced into servitude in Egypt) was a type of Christ sold by his brethren and handed over to the Gentiles, the other Joseph (forced through the envy of Herod to flee into Egypt) did in actual fact bring Christ amongst the Egyptian Gentiles. The first Joseph (keeping faith with his lord) would not carnally know his lord's lady. The second Joseph (spiritually knowing the Lady who was the Mother of his Lord to be virgin) kept faithfully virgin toward her. To the first Joseph was given to know dark things in the interpretation of dreams. To the second Joseph was given in sleep to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.

The first Joseph laid by bread, not for himself only, but for all the people. The second Joseph received into his keeping the Living Bread which came down from heaven, and he kept the same, not for himself only, but for all the world. Without doubt, good and faithful was this Joseph who espoused the Mother of the Saviour. Yea, I say unto you, he is that faithful and wise servant whom the Lord hath made ruler over his Household. For the Lord appointed him to be the comfort of his Mother, the keeper of his own body, and, in a word, the chief and most trusty helper on earth in carrying out the eternal counsels.

And now, St. Jerome:

Why was the Lord conceived of a virgin already espoused, rather than of one as yet unpledged to a man? For one thing, because from the genealogy of Joseph, the lineage of Mary as a descéndant of David, and thus of her Child, could be the more easily established. For another, because by this betrothal Mary would be saved from being stoned by the Jews as an adulteress. Again, because thereby Mary was given a guardian during the flight into Egypt. To these reasons the Martyr Ignatius addeth another, namely ; that the virgin birth might take place unknown to the devil, who would naturally suppose that Mary had conceived by Joseph.

Before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. That is, she was found so to be by Joseph, not by any one else, for he already had almost an husband's privilege to know all that concerned her. But when it is said : Before they came together : it doth not follow that they ever did come together carnally. The Scripture is to be understood merely in the sense that up to this time they had not done so.

I love the implication that the Incarnation was a kind of conspiracy, a secret infiltration so that man might be snatched from right beneath the devil's nose!

Also, while the tendencies of this day tend to depict St. Joseph as a young man, there is a tradition that when he and Mary were married, he was very old, as the an old man is less susceptible to the urges of the flesh than a young man, and Mary would have been "safe" with him. I've always approached that tradition with a raised eyebrow myself (I've known some creepy old men), but it explains the images of patriarch-like Joseph holding the Christ child.

Grant, O Lord, we beseech thee, that we may be assisted by the merits of the spouse of thy most holy Mother : and vouchsafe to give us at his intercession ; those things which by our own power we cannot obtain. Who livest and reignest with the Father.
posted by Lauren, 12:55 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Dallas Student Cage Fight}:.

Unfortunately, this news item did not happen at my former university, the University of Dallas. It might have been more interesting if it had. I'm imagining a cage match between the Kantians and the Thomists, between the Fratantuonians and the Mauerites, between Freshman Me and my Philosophy Prof (who was a Platonist, and probably not even a Neo-Platonist, wtf???) and between the English majors and everybody else (hey, you have to get that Junior Poet and Senior Novel angst out SOME how!)

Seriously, though, this sounds like something out of The Office:

Dwight: Oh, look, Jim. There's a sales manager position open in Stamford. Want me to call Jan and tell her you're interested? I could put in a good word for you, 'cause I'll still be working here. Transfer! Transfer! Everybody! Transfer! Transfer! Transfer! Transfer!
Michael: Okay... you two, in the conference room with me. Nobody leaves until we work this out. Cage match!

[cut to Michael]

Michael: Cage matches? Yeah, they work. How could they not work? If they didn't work, everybody would still be in the cage.
posted by Lauren, 11:43 AM | link | 0 comments

.:{I Am the Rose of Sharon}:.

One of the most misunderstood and under-read books of the Bible, in my opinion, is the Song of Songs, or the Song of Solomon. At first blush, it appears rather odd ("nard"? "something about drinking wine from a navel"? What??). But with the beautiful commentary of many including Origen, St. Thomas Aquinas and, of course, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, I believe there is much to be gained from this beautiful poem, telling at once of Solomon's love for his bride (historical/literal sense), or in general holy love between man and woman (spiritual sense), Christ's love for the Church (allegorical sense), and Christ's love for the individual soul and how we ought to respond (anagogical/moral sense). I find it to be fruitful reading for all persons in all walks of life -- including cloistered monks! (This can sometimes be quite a comical thought when reading St. Bernard's commentary on the SoS when he speaks of the signification of the breasts of the bride [and bridegroom] ... how ya like THEM apples, huh?).

The above-linked video is of the William and Mary chorus singing "I Am the Rose of Sharon", based on SoS 2:1-11, composed by William Billings in a most pleasing 18th century way which sounds much older than it actually is (it reminds me of "A Virgin Unspotted" -- not Billings' own verson). It so happens that I am learning this piece for a performance choir I've recently joined, which has re-stimulated my interest in the text itself. I also thought it appropriate posting as the first day of spring is fast approaching us ("for lo! the winter is past, the rain is over and gone").

The text in the song is as follows (RSV, which differs from the text in the song):

I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. As a lily among brambles, so is my love among maidens.

As an apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Sustain me with raisins, refresh me with apples; for I am sick with love. O that his left hand were under my head, and that his right hand embraced me! I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the hinds of the field, that you stir not up nor awaken love until it please.

The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle, or a young stag. Behold, there he stands behind our wall, gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice. My beloved speaks and says to me: "Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.

St. Bernard's Sermon 48 speaks of the Lily among Thorns:

‘As a lily among thorns so is my love among maidens.' Maidens who are vexing are not good. [Tell me about it. ~L] Consider the evil produce of this curse-laden earth of ours. 'When you till it,' he said, 'it will grow thorns and thistles for you.' Therefore while the soul is in the flesh it dwells among thorns and suffers of necessity the disquietude of temptations, the pangs of tribulation. And if, according to the Bridegroom's word, she is a lily, let her consider how vigilant and careful she should be in guarding herself, hedged all around with thorns whose sharp points threaten her on every side. For the tender flower cannot resist even the lightest prick of the thorn, it is no sooner prodded than pierced. Do you not see how rightly and unavoidably the prophet exhorts us to serve the Lord with fear, and the apostle to work out our salvation with fear and trembling? For they learned by their own experience the truth of this observation, and as friends of the Bridegroom they would never hesitate to apply to themselves the words: 'As a lily among thorns so is my love among maidens.' Or as one of them said: 'I am turned in my anguish while the thorn is fastened'. Well pierced is the one who is thereby converted. You are well wounded if you repent. Many, when they feel the pain, correct the fault. Such a one can say: 'I am turned in my anguish while the thorn is fastened.' The thorn is the fault, the thorn is the pain, the thorn is the false brother, the thorn is the bad neighbor.

'As a lily among thorns so is my love among maidens.' O shining lily! Tender and delicate flower! Unbelieving and seditious men surround you: see that you tread with care among the thorns. The world is full of thorns. They are in the earth, in the air, in your flesh. To live among them and not be harmed is the fruit of God's power, not of your virtue. But he said: 'Have confidence, for I have overcome the world.' Therefore although you foresee trials that menace you like thorns or thistles, let not your heart be afraid, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us'. Consider the lilies of the field, how they thrive and bloom amid the thorns. If God cares so much for the grass that today is alive and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he care for his beloved and dearest bride? In short, 'the Lord preserves all who love him'. 'As a lily among thorns so is my love among maidens.' It is no small proof of virtue to live a good life among the wicked, to retain the glow of innocence and gentleness of manners among the malicious; above all to show that you are peaceful with those who hate peace and a friend to your very enemies. That will clearly lay your claim in a special way, with a certain proprietary right, to the likeness of the lily, which does not cease to embellish and beautify with its own brightness the very thorns that pierce it. And in this way does the lily not seem to you somehow to achieve the perfection of the Gospel, by which we are commanded to pray for our calumniators and persecutors, to do good to those who hate us? Do likewise, therefore, and your soul will be the Lord's own friend and he will praise you for what you are, saying that 'as a lily among thorns so is my love among maidens'.

I highly encourage the reading of the whole of Bernard's text. This particular excerpt reminds me very much of a pious book I read in my youth, The Catholic Girls' Guide by Fr. F.X. Lasance (the google books link has the entire text available for PDF download!).

Additionally, the Song of Songs is very short. I also encourage reading as many versions of it as possible. They are all very different and they're all good... it's nearly impossible to translate poorly such lovely poetry (of course, I say this not knowing Hebrew). For example, when I read scripture I usually read the RSV for accuracy and the Douay-Rheims for poetry (as I unfortunately do not own a corrected Douay-Rheims which is full of Jerome's charming mistranslations). The Douay-Rheims has a different take than the RSV:

I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

As the apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow, whom I desired: and his fruit was sweet to my palate. He brought me into the cellar of wine, he set in order charity in me. Stay me up with flowers, compass me about with apples: because I languish with love. His left hand is under my head, and his right hand shall embrace me. I adjure you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and the harts of the field, that you stir not up, nor make the beloved to awake, till she please.

The voice of my beloved, behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills. My beloved is like a roe, or a young hart. Behold he standeth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices. Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come. For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone.

Read. Enjoy. Get your hands on any translation you can find! And Happy St. Joseph's day!
posted by Lauren, 10:11 AM | link | 0 comments

{Tuesday, March 17, 2009  }

.:{Fun Facts about Ireland}:.

...from a favorite conservative blog of mine, In My Arrogant Opinion. My favorites:

* The national sport of Ireland is “hurling”, a similar to field hockey, with much shoving, brawling, and hitting with sticks. It’s been described as “what would happen if last call lasted for an hour”.

* Unlike the Scottish bagpipes, the Irish uilleann pipes do not have a pipe going directly to the mouth. However, there IS usually a straw going directly to a pint of Guinness, so sometimes it can be hard to tell.

posted by Lauren, 10:48 AM | link | 0 comments

.:{St. Patrick Himself}:.

And last but not least, a few things relating to Patrick himself.

[By the by, I've a few other Irish things to post about as soon as I get my act together here. But not today]

For today's readings from the old breviary, click here.

For St. Patrick's autobiographical and very clever Confession, click here. Excerpt:

Therefore be amazed, you great and small who fear God, and you men of God, eloquent speakers, listen and contemplate. Who was it summoned me, a fool, from the midst of those who appear wise and learned in the law and powerful in rhetoric and in all things? Me, truly wretched in this world, he inspired before others that I could be-- if I would-- such a one who, with fear and reverence, and faithfully, without complaint, would come to the people to whom the love of Christ brought me and gave me in my lifetime, if I should be worthy, to serve them truly and with humility.

According, therefore, to the measure of one's faith in the Trinity, one should proceed without holding back from danger to make known the gift of God and everlasting consolation, to spread God's name everywhere with confidence and without fear, in order to leave behind, after my death, foundations for my brethren and sons whom I baptized in the Lord in so many thousands. [...]

And after a few years I was again in Britain with my parents [kinsfolk], and the welcomed me as a son, and asked me, in faith, that after the great tribulations I had endured I should not go an where else away from them. And, of course, there, in a vision of the night, I saw a man whose name was Victoricus coming as it from Ireland with innumerable letters, and he gave me one of them, and I read the beginning of the letter: 'The Voice of the Irish', and as I was reading the beginning of the letter I seemed at that moment to hear the voice of those who were beside the forest of Foclut which is near the western sea, and the were crying as if with one voice: 'We beg you, holy youth, that you shall come and shall walk again among us.' And I was stung intensely in my heart so that I could read no more, and thus I awoke. Thanks be to God, because after so many ears the Lord bestowed on them according to their cry.

From the Book of Ballymote, a fourteenth-century Irish manuscript written in Ballymote Castle, County Sligo containing, among other things, a key to the ogham alphabet
posted by Lauren, 10:38 AM | link | 0 comments

.:{The Irish and the End of the World}:.

The above is a detail from the 10th century Muiredach cross in Co. Louth; this side of the cross depicts the Last Judgment; please note the weighing of souls. The devil beneath the scales is trying to tip them, and St. Michael is getting Medieval on him. Also note the Phoenix, symbol of Resurrection, above the Judging Christ.

And speaking of eschatology, I have a post (from which most of the links to photos have expired) with an excerpt from Nennius' uninformative but interesting account of St. Patrick in The History of the Britons here.

Remember, folks, when Ireland sinks into the sea (Global Warming? could the Goracle be right!?), the rest of the world has only seven years before Judgment Day.

Indeed, if there's any end-of-the-world predicting to be made, it ought to be done by the Irish, seeing how much has been made of the so-called "Prophecy of St. Malachy", a cool but false document (a 12th century forgery in fact) predicting the patterns of the popes before the end of the world. The list (found here) currently lists Benedict XVI as the "Glory of the Olive", as there is a branch (a branch mind you) of the Benedictines known as the "Olivetans" (which somehow came to be identified with the whole order), and since Ratzinger's ascension to the chair of Peter was so hailed by the faithful, he is called the "Glory", thus the "Glory of the Olives".

No. Fail.

Come on, that's the biggest stretch since the 6+ extant skulls of St. John the Baptist (this is the one from when he was a child).

The full entry pulled off the above-linked site is

The Benedictine order traditionally said this Pope would come from their order, since a branch of the Benedictine order is called the Olivetans. St Benedict is said to have prophesied that before the end of the world, a member of his order would be Pope and would triumphantly lead the Church in its fight against evil. While the Holy Father chose the name "Benedict", this does not seem enough to fulfil the prophecy. Nor is it clear how Benedict XVI (a Bavarian) is "Glory of the Olives". Since he is said to have remarked in the Conclave after saying he would take the name Benedict that it was partly to honour Benedict XV, a pope of peace and reconciliation, perhaps Benedict XVI will be a peacemaker in the Church or in the World, and thus carry the olive branch.

I shake my head at this, and I believe in the Donation of Constantine.

By the way, here is a crazy site that engages in numerology in a most amusing manner, and, puzzlingly, proclaims that the prophecy of St. Malachy has something to with the final resting place of the Holy Grail (a thing in which I also most ardently believe for a number of metaphysical and theological reasons)* and then, puzzlingly, forgets to tell us how.

The Catholic Encyclopedia also has a good summation of the Prophecies of St. Malachy.

Amusingly, a reader once asked about this in a comment during "Papal April". As mentioned above, this blogger believes many things, but is thoroughly unconvinced by the Prophecies of St. Malachy.

Especially since St. Malachy didn't make them.

* Note: If anyone suggests Mary Magdalene = Holy Grail, I will send albino ninja Opus Dei tertiaries to your house.
posted by Lauren, 10:08 AM | link | 0 comments

.:{St Patrick: When Baptisms Were Tough}:.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to one and all, most especially my dear Irish sacerdotal friends with whom I studied in Rome.

I have various and sundry things to post today, starting with the connection to the image above.

It's an amusing anecdote which I think I first heard from one such Irish clergy friend of mine (as opposed to reading it somewhere) and is recounted in the Catholic Encyclopedia's entry on St. Patrick:

St. Patrick next proceeded to Munster. As usual, his efforts were directed to combat error in the chief centres of authority, knowing well that, in the paths of conversion, the kings and chieftains would soon be followed by their subjects. At "Cashel of the Kings" he was received with great enthusiasm, the chiefs and Brehons and people welcoming him with joyous acclaim. While engaged in the baptism of the royal prince Aengus, son of the King of Munster, the saint, leaning on his crosier, pierced with its sharp point the prince's foot. Aengus bore the pain unmoved. When St. Patrick, at the close of the ceremony, saw the blood flow, and asked him why he had been silent, he replied, with genuine heroism, that he thought it might be part of the ceremony, a penalty for the joyous blessings of the Faith that were imparted. The saint admired his heroism, and, taking the chieftain's shield, inscribed on it a cross with the same point of the crozier, and promised that that shield would be the signal of countless spiritual and temporal triumphs.

Yes. Back in the days when Christianity was not a religion to be messed with, princes thought getting stabbed in the foot was part of baptism!

By the by, the "Cashel of the Kings" or the "Rock of Cashel" in question:
posted by Lauren, 9:04 AM | link | 0 comments

{Monday, March 16, 2009  }

.:{1962 Vespers - Office of the Dead}:.

Rev. Jerome Hall, S.J.
11 March, 2009

Requiescat in pace.

(Vespers reproduced here in English for private recitation, in traditional D-R translation from the Latin.)

Our Father.
Hail Mary.

Ant. I will walk before the Lord * in the land of the living.

Psalm 114

I am well pleased, because the Lord hath heard * the voice of my prayer;
Because he hath inclined his ear unto me; * therefore will I call upon him all my days.
The sorrows of death compassed me round about, * and the perils of hell gat hold upon me.
Sorrow and trouble did I find; * then called I upon the Name of the Lord.
O Lord, deliver my soul : * gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
The Lord preserveth the simple: * I was brought low, and he delivered me.
Return unto thy rest, O my soul; * for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.
For he hath delivered my soul from death, * mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
I will walk before the Lord * in the land of the living.
Eternal rest * grant unto them, O Lord.
And let perpetual light * shine upon them.

Ant. I will walk before the Lord * in the land of the living.

Ant 2. Woe is me, O Lord, * that I am constrained to dwell among them that are enemies unto peace.

When I was in trouble, I called upon the Lord, * and he heard me.
Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, * and from a deceitful tongue.
What reward shall be given or done unto thee, thou false tongue? * even mighty and sharp arrows, with hot burning coals.
Woe is me, that I am constrained to dwell with Meshech, * and to have my habitation among the tents of Kedar!
My soul hath long dwelt among them * that are enemies unto peace.
I labour for peace; but when I speak unto them thereof, * they make them ready to battle.
Eternal rest * grant unto them, O Lord.
And let perpetual light * shine upon them.

Ant 2. Woe is me, O Lord, * that I am constrained to dwell among them that are enemies unto peace.

Ant 3. The Lord shall preserve thee * from all evil ; yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul.

I have lifted up mine eyes unto the hills; * from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh even from the Lord, * who hath made heaven and earth.
May he not suffer thy foot to be moved; * neither let him slumber that keepeth thee.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel * shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is thy keeper, the Lord is thy defence * upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not burn thee by day, * neither the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; * yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in, * from this time forth for evermore.
Eternal rest * grant unto them, O Lord.
And let perpetual light * shine upon them.

Ant 3. The Lord shall preserve thee * from all evil ; yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul.

Ant 4. If thou, Lord, wilt be extreme * to mark what is done amiss, O Lord, who may abide it?

Out of the depths I have cried unto thee, O Lord; * Lord, hear my voice.
O let thine ears be attentive * to the voice of my supplication.
If thou, O Lord, shalt observe our iniquities, * Lord, who may endure it?
For with thee there is merciful forgiveness : * and by reason of thy law, I have waited for thee, O Lord.
My soul hath relied on his word * my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch even until night : * let Israel hope in the Lord.
Because with the Lord there is mercy, * and with him plentiful redemption.
And he shall redeem Israel * from all his iniquities.
Eternal rest * grant unto them, O Lord.
And let perpetual light * shine upon them.

Ant 4. If thou, Lord, wilt be extreme * to mark what is done amiss, O Lord, who may abide it?

Ant 5. Despise not, O Lord, * the works of thine own hands.

I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; * for thou hast heard the words of my mouth.
Even before the Angels will I sing praise unto thee, * I will worship toward thy holy temple, and I will give glory unto thy Name.
Because of thy loving-kindness and truth; * for thou hast magnified thy holy Name above all things.
In what day soever I shall call upon thee, hear thou me; * thou shalt endue my soul with much strength.
May all the kings of the earth give glory unto thee, O Lord; * for they have heard all the words of thy mouth.
Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the Lord, * for great is the glory of the Lord.
For the Lord is high, yet looketh he upon the lowly; * and the high he knoweth them afar off.
Though I walk in the midst of tribulation, yet shalt thou quicken me; * and thou hast stretched forth thy hand upon the furiousness of mine enemies, and thy right hand hath saved me.
The Lord shall render for me; * yea, thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever; despise not then the works of thine own hands.
Eternal rest * grant unto them, O Lord.
And let perpetual light * shine upon them.

Ant 5. Despise not, O Lord, * the works of thine own hands.

V. I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me.
R. Blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord.

Magnificat Ant: All * that the Father hath given unto me shall come unto me, and him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.

My soul doth magnify the Lord, † * and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded * the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth * all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me; * and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him * throughout all generations.
He hath shewed strength with his arm; * he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, * and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; * and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel; * as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.
Eternal rest * grant unto them, O Lord.
And let perpetual light * shine upon them.

Magnificat Ant: All * that the Father hath given unto me shall come unto me, and him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.

Our Father ...

V. From the gates of hell.
R. Deliver his soul, O Lord.

V. May he rest in peace.
R. Amen.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto thee.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.
O God, who in the ranks of the Apostolic Priesthood didst cause thy servant Jerome to stand before thee in the high place of Priest : grant, we beseech thee, that he may be joined unto the company of such in everlasting blessedness. Through Christ our Lord.

V. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.

V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.

posted by Lauren, 4:56 PM | link | 3 comments

.:{More blogging-for-bloggers}:.

Matt, didn't you have a Dominican nun like this in a story you wrote?

Furthermore, if I were to start a religious order, it would be that one.
posted by Lauren, 4:48 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{What does the prayer really REALLY say?}:.

Cacciaguida finds a very important point about Friday's EF liturgy:

Note from yesterday's liturgy, being Friday of Ember Week in Lent (Extraordinary Form): The Communion prayer, based on Ps. 6:11, was:
Erubescant, et conturbentur omnes inimici mei: avertantur retrorsum, et erubescant valde velociter.

Let all my enemies be ashamed [lit. blush, get red] and be very much troubled: let them return back and be ashamed, especially the velociraptors.
Clearly, the Old Mass was velociraptor-aware.

Take note, Fr. Zuhlsdorf!
posted by Lauren, 4:42 PM | link | 0 comments

{Friday, March 13, 2009  }

.:{A photo once most appropriate to this blog}:.

Is it bad that I am MORE interested in this photo than with the accompanying talk posted on CatholicMil?

The site, btw, erroneously calls our beloved Archbishop "Blessed" when, rather, he is simply "Servant of God" (which comes before "Venerable", which itself is before "Blessed" which is before canonization...).

I would apologize for the Fulton-fest as of late, but ... I'm not at all remorseful!!! Ha! Haha!!!

And BY the by again, I'm very very interested in any footage of Fulton Sheen with John Paul II during his visit to the USA in 1979 (the trip on which he called Sheen a "loyal son of the church", and told him, essentially, "bene scripsisti dixistique de Domino Jesu Christo"!). Do any of my readers know if such footage is extant? Or any snippets of the Archbishop at all during that time?
posted by Lauren, 10:43 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{This Is The Mass}:.

I've just stumbled across a flickr stream containing a most lovely book, This Is the Mass by Henri Daniel-Rops. First published in 1958, it contains an explication of the (Tridentine) mass, along with photos of Archbishop Fulton Sheen celebrating the mass. It also contains Sheen's intro.

All of this ... on a flickr stream. All 122 pages of the book.

Or you could buy it for less than the cost of shipping ($2.50; shipping is something like $3.99) on Amazon.com . Either way, a most intriguing find.
posted by Lauren, 10:23 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Peter and the Annunciation}:.

Our Blessed Lord said to Simon Peter, "Blessed art thou." We have heard those words before. They were once spoken by an archangel. The archangel approached Mary to ask her if she would give God a human nature with which he could redeem the world. The angel saluted her: "Blessed art thou"! Why blessed? Because she we to be giving the Divine privilege of the motherhood of Christ. Now like unto the annunciation, our Blessed Lord says to Simon Peter, "Blessed Art Thou." Mary was blessed because she was to be the mother of Christ, the head of the mystical body, so Peter is blessed because is to be the Vicar of Christ, and the visible head of the mystical body.

~Fulton Sheen, Peter - Vicar of Christ, from Your Life is Worth Living

posted by Lauren, 9:16 AM | link | 1 comments


A bit of humor worthy of the Holy Whappers -- LOLsaints.com. The link is going on the sidebar.
posted by Lauren, 7:14 AM | link | 0 comments

{Thursday, March 12, 2009  }

.:{On the Cultus Mentioned Below}:.


As mentioned in the comment on the previous post, I can claim a cultus because Google says I have two followers!!

Now instead of letting this go to my head, like Mark Shea, I intend to offer my life heroically either in a life of penitence and blogging, fasting on half a bean every other month and keeping companion only with my parakeet called William Byrd (get it? get it??), or else I will enter a religious blogging community and will for the rest of my life compose holy hymns, psalms and really bad multi-lingual poetry.

No, seriously, I was being ironic in that post.
posted by Lauren, 10:43 PM | link | 1 comments