Friday, November 25, 2005

Shopping Ideas

Today is the first Christmas shopping day.

One thought occurred to me: to remind my Boston-area readers that Matthew Sheehan's Religious Goods on Chauncy Street (right behind Macy's/Jordan Marsh) in Boston is still holding the 50% off store closing sale. The plan is to liquidate all the existing inventory in the brick-and-mortar facility, then go nation-wide with an on-line business. And for the Fontanini fanatic (I have come to love them) they stock Fontanini nativity pieces, and those, too are 50% off.

And then, ladies, you can buy the guys in your life great toy soldiers. I know I'm much happier recieving military miniatures than, say, shirts, or ties, or other practical things.

And if you are Boston, check out the Christmas windows at our various retailers. Tonight, the Filene's Tree is lit for the last time as Filene's will cease to exist after Christmas. Last year, the Filene's Tree at Downtown Crossing was much nicer than the official City of Boston tree on the Common. And Filene's windows this year will be on the theme of the children's story, Olive, the Other Reindeer. Never read it. Last year, it was the more familiar Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus.

Across Summer Street, the store that used to be know as Jordan Marsh (but now, sadly, is called Macy's) is just recycling last year's window display, on Jean Shepard's The Christmas Story.

Two years ago, Shreve, Crump, and Lowe, Boston's elite jeweller for generations, had excellent Christmas windows, which allowed you to watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, and It's A Wonderful Life. This year, they have moved a block or so down Boylston Street, and the "Christmas" windows are a salute to Arrowsmith, a group I have never heard, and don't think I would like if I did. It is part of an ad campaign called "Classic Rocks Since 1796." Not Christmasy at all. A very poor display.

Sox Shore Up The Starting Rotation

Josh Beckett is now officially a member of the Boston Red Sox.

After Thanksgiving

Well, it was a very nice Thanksgiving Day, spent with good friends, good food, and decent cigars. The weather was even nice enough to allow smoking nice big stogies outside. There was a smidgeon of snow very early in the day, but bright blue skies and mild temps later.

This weekend is one of those times when the blog is in between seasons. It is still November, and therefore, it is very appropriate to pray for our own dead and all the Holy Souls in Purgatory. The heavy emotional baggage of Thanksgiving is past. The preparation (spiritual and otherwise) for Christmas has not started in earnest. Emotionally, November is winding down, almost out of steam. And Advent does not start until Sunday. Christmas is a month away.

So we have a couple of days that are sort of open.

What to fill space with today and tomorrow?

Well, our collegue over at In Nomine Domini found some very cool pics of the Holy Father, one of which I just had to reproduce:

One thing I did not mention in my discussion of the Holy Father's management style that I really liked was his discussion with the Brazilian bishops. His snap decision to go where the Church needs him, and be in Brazil in May, 2007 was great. And it takes a lot of confidence for a 79 year-old man to plan anything 2 years down the road! You have to admire that.

Michael D. has his doubts about the authenticity of the Vatican dcoument we have all been discussing.

Over at Catholic Church Conservation, there are 8 more photos of liturgical practices that don't belong in Catholic worship, from pagan rites, to bottled water on the altar, to priests saying Mass in sneakers.

Steve the Evil Traditionalist and his wife are, as of the other day, still waiting for the blessed event.

There is a good discussion of black vestments over at The New Liturgical Movement. Speaking of which, I popped into Arch Street today for morning prayer, and the altar in the first floor chapel is laid out in BLUE for Advent (with an Advent Wreath where the Tabernacle ought to be on the old altar). I recall a discussion in the last few years in which it was proved to my satisfaction that blue has never been an approved liturgical color in the US. Besides which, Advent does not start until the vigil Masses tomorrow afternoon. And there are two remaining Time After Pentecost Masses remaining to be said in that chapel before Advent starts.

Great rant over at The Cafeteria Is Closed on the holiday formerly known as Christmas and the liberal governmental and corporate pukes who are trying to steer us away from talking about Christmas. And I totally agree.
Jerry Falwell and company, though we are miles apart theologically, when it comes to practical politics, is dead on.

The Document: Worth Two Cheers, But Not Three

The New Oxford Review provides us with a somewhat rough translation of the document on ordaining homosexuals to the priesthood and diaconate.

Well, it is pretty much as has been rumored: no one with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies," no supporters or advocates of the "gay lifestyle", no one who has committed a homosexual act within the last 3 years.

It applies to not just the diocesan priesthood, but also to the orders. It does not cover religious brothers or nuns, only those seeking ordination.

In one regard, it is a retreat and a defeat. The three-year period. Why three years? Why not ten, or fifteen? Why not a total ban? That would be much more effective from a liability-limitation standpoint.

Why is it a retreat? The 1961 document, so often quoted in conservative and traditional circles, said it was not advisable to ordain homosexual men. Period.
So, in that regard, with a three-year waiting period, and with a granting of grace for those whose youthful homosexual acts or feelings were just the result of delayed maturity (Charles Ryder?) we have lost ground.

But, think about that for a moment. That document's standards have been more or less ignored. Is it really a defeat if a high standard that is being more or less completely ignored is scrapped for a different standard, when an enforcement mechanism is put in place (the visitation of American seminaries now taking place)?

It is fair enough to say that pro-homosexual bishops and superiors have plenty of wiggle-room. They are the judges of what is "deep-seated homosexual tendecies" that would bar a man from the priesthood, and what are merely transitory manifestations of delayed maturity, that only delay entry into the priesthood for 3 years.

So, pro-gay bishops and superiors will continue to rubber-stamp ordination of gays, if they want to. And conservative bishops and superiors can still deny ordination of men they think are too gay, and can decide where that line lies.

If it were me drawing the line, any gay orientation discovered in the formation process would be too much of a risk, and would lead to a termination of the formation process. Some bishops will do that. Others will not. Unfortunately, the nature of the problem leads to a variety of interpretation for almost any act or inclination. And the inherent structure of the Church, with each bishop virtually Pope of his diocese, subject only to very limited review from Rome, means that there will be a variety in how this is implemented.

You will end up with rainbow dioceses and black dioceses. And what will be the result? The rainbow dioceses, over time, will fall away from Church teachings, will become more and more protestant in regard to sexual morality, will have a gayer and gayer priesthood, with lower and lower attendence in the pews, fewer and fewer priests.

Black dioceses will remain faithful to the traditional teachings of the Church. Their priests will be more solid and reliably Catholic, and better leaders. They will see more vocations. The attendence in the pews will not diminish, and the Church will flourish.

In other words, there will be a marketplace effect. And you can see what result that will have.

But that marketplace effect has been taking place for years anyway. These standards at least provide some groundrules. When there are no standards being enforced, any standards are welcome.

I think that, on the whole, they are a good balance. Politics, whether secular or ecceliastical, is the art of the possible. And one ought always to avoid allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good. These standards reaffirm that there is no "right" to ordination. They reaffirm traditional Church teaching on the gravely sinful nature of homosexual acts, that the inclination is a disordered one, and that the Church needs to love and nurture homosexual people as individuals (but not ordain them!). A good indication that these rules are at least tending in the right direction is that, on Wednesday the gay rights lobby let out an incessant howl of indignation at them.

They are somewhat of a disappointment. A complete ban, a Boy Scouts of America solution, would have been safer for Catholic kids, Catholic parents, and for the Church itself with regard to liability in civil lawsuits.

But given what we have to work with, the bishops now in place, the superior generals serving now, the astonishing percentage of homosexuals already ordained, especially in the orders, this framework is probably the best that could be achieved.

And even then, as my marketplace discussion indicates, it will be up to individual bishops to enforce, though the visitation currently underway will be a help in identifying problems currently existing. So, in some places (Los Angeles is making noises to this effect already) these standards will be a dead letter. I suspect that Lincoln, Nebraska, under Bishop Bruskewitz, will follow them closely, and may even be more strict. The FSSP will probably do the same. The Jesuits and Franciscans may ignore these rules as best they can. And I suspect that, over time, those orders and dioceses that ignore them will wither, because, in part, that is what happens to religious institutions that stray from tradition, as seen throughout the last 150 years. And those that follow them will, ceteris paribus, flourish.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm outa' here until Friday, when we'll take a serious look at the Vatican document on gay seminarians.

May all enjoy their Thanksgiving. Eat way too much turkey and pumpkin pie, and save some white meat for me!

Two Primary Accounts of the First Thanksgiving

The first is from Governor William Bradford's history of the Plymouth Colony. The second is from Mort's Relation.

"They begane now to gather in ye small harvest they had, and to fitte up their houses and dwellings against winter, being well recovered in health & strenght, and had all things in good plenty; for some were thus imployed in affairs abroad, others were excersised in fishing, aboute codd, & bass, & other fish, of which yey tooke good store, of which every family had their portion. All ye somer ther was no wante. And now begane to come in store of foule, as winter aproached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degree). And besids water foule, ther was great store of wild Turkies, of which they took many, besids venison, &c. Besids they had aboute a peck a meale a weeke to a person, or now since harvest, Indean corne to yt proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largly of their plenty hear to their freinds in England, which were not fained, but true reports.

"William Bradford. "Bradford's History Of Plimoth Plantation." Boston: Wright & Potter Printing Co., State Printers... 1898. p. 127

"Our Corne did proue well, & God be praysed, we had a good increase of Indian Corne, and our Barly indifferent good, but our Pease not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sowne, they came vp very well, and blossomed, but the Sunne parched them in the blossome; our harvest being gotten in, our Governour sent foure men on fowling, that so we might after a more speciall manner reioyce together, after we had gathered the fruit of our labors; they foure in one day killed as much fowle, as with a little helpe beside, served the Company almost a weeke, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Armes, many of the Indians coming amongst vs, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoyt, with some nintie men, whom for three dayes we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed fiue Deere, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed upon our Governour, and upon the Captaine, and others. And although it be not alwayes so plentifull, as it was at this time with vs, yet by the goodneses of God, we are so farre from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

E.W., Plymouth, in New England, this 11th of December, 1621. in A RELATION OR Journal of the beginning and proceedings of the English Plantation settled at Plimoth in NEW ENGLAND, by certaine English Aduenturers both Merchants and others. LONDON,Printed for John Bellamie,..1622. pp. 60-61

The Selkirk Grace

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And so the Lord be thanket.

Today Is the Biggest Travel Day of the Year

Over the river and through the wood
To Grandfather's house we go.
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh
Through white and drifted snow.
Over the river and through the wood --
Oh, how the wind does blow!It stings the toes
And bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood
To have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring,Ting-a-ling-ling!
Hurrah forThanksgiving Day!
Over the river and through the wood,
Trot fast, my dapple gray!
Spring over the groundLike a hunting hound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood,
And straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go
Extremely slow --
It is so hard to wait!
Over the river and through the wood --
Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for fun!Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Psalm 66/67

A Psalm of Thanksgiving

May God have mercy on us, and bless us: may He cause the light of His countenance to shine upon us, and may He have mercy on us.

That we may know Thy way upon earth: Thy salvation in all nations.

Let people confess to Thee, O God: let all people give praise to Thee.

Let the nations be glad and rejoice: for Thou judgest the people with justice, and directest the nations upon earth.

Let the people, O God, confess to Thee: let all the people give praise to Thee:

The earth hath yielded her fruit. May God, our God bless us,

May God bless us: and all the ends of the earth fear Him.

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.

No Blogging Tomorrow

No blogging tomorrow. Today is almost on auto-pilot, with a fair amount of archived material, or Thanksgiving-themed items from various parts of the Internet. Friday I may have something original, or perhaps Saturday.

A Thanksgiving Wish

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of my readers and loved ones a happy and joyous Thanksgiving. Even in tough times (and we are not quite out of the woods yet) and in war, we have much to be thankful for in this wonderful country.

May God, in His mercy, through the graces imparted by Our Blessed Lady, grant us reconciliation, peace, harmony, and renewed joy. May He bind up old wounds, help us grow and mature, and always live in the light of the Gospel and in His grace.

God bless you all.

A Thanksgiving Prayer

On this Thanksgivng Day, Lord, we Thy people count our blessings, which Thou hast given us. With joyful gratitutude, we raise our voices in praise of the Author of Creation.

We thank Thee for the gifts of life, free will, and good health of both body and mind.

We thank Thee for the bountiful food we eat, the warm clothes we wear, the shelter of our homes, the love and comfort of our families.

We thank Thee for gainful and challenging employment.

We thank thee for a free country, made prosperous by Thy grace and the effective exercise of our free will.

We thank Thee for the rights to earn our bread, speak our minds, elect our leaders, choose our friends, protect our families, and worship Thee.

We thank Thee for those who make our freedom possible: EMTs, doctors and nurses, firemen, policemen, soldiers, airmen, sailors, marines, Coast Guardsmen, agents, analysts, and national leaders.

We thank Thee for the sacrifice of so many brave young men who have given the last full measure of devotion, and for all who have served, so that we may live free in this land Thou hast provided for us.

We thank Thee for the gift of Faith which helps us to understand that we shall transcend all difficulties through Thy grace.

We thank thee for Thy Church here on earth, divided as it is, troubled by sin, beset by Satan, yet ultimately triumphant.

Most of all, Lord, we thank Thee for Thy Sacrifice on Calvary, which opened the gates of Heaven to us, giving us the promise of eternal life.

We adore and thank Christ, Oh Christ, and we praise Thee, because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sounds Like A Good Decision

The Holy Father cut back the autonomy of the Franciscans at Assisi.

Sounds as if they were running amok, making the "propgressive" zeitgeist the guide, not Holy Mother the Church.

Sacrificing chickens on the altar? I doubt Saint Francis would have approved of that. Besides, St. Francis would have tried to convert the animists, not allowed them to use the church for their own heathen rites.

The Ratchet Phenomenon

Good analysis of the liberal equivalent of the old Brezhnev Doctrine: "What we have, we hold. What you have is negotiable."

Check it out over at Fumare.

Harvest Home

The Horkey by Robert Bloomfield

The first Thanksgiving was really just an English Harvest Home celebration, and probably occurred in either late September, or October, when the harvest is all in here in Massachusetts.

Thirteen Mexican Martyrs Beatified

Victims of the anti-Catholic government of the 1920s.

Life Teen Founder Arrested

Alleged paederast. What else? Check in with Dom for the details.

Frankly, I have been subjected to a couple of LifeTeen Masses, and am not surprised at this revelation. LifeTeen, for those of you who have never been so unfortunate as to have experienced one, is just about everything traditionalists of every stripe disdain in the 1970 Rite.

Recall what Evelyn Waugh's correspondent, English Cardinal Heenan, said about the new Mass after witnessing a demonstration in the late 1960s: no one would go but women and children. The point being that there is little in it to appeal to the transcendant, which men want to see in their worship. Well, multiply that by a factor of four, and you have a LifeTeen Mass. Lots of hand-holding, standing around the altar, bad rock music, "groovy" vestments, talking down to the kids, and taking often gross liberties with the approved text of the Mass.

So it doesn't surprise me that a fellow who designed a program of infantile liturgies that appeal to 14 year-old girls and boys would be a paederast. His world view is not that of a man.

Thanksgiving In Massachusetts, 1779

My scholarly analysis of an extensive diary entry by Juliana Smith, daughter of a rural Massachusetts minister at the time of the Revolutionary War.

This woodcut is from the 1820s or so.

Turkey Or Eagle?

Benjamin Franklin caused a minor commotion in objecting to the adoption of the bald eagle as the symbol of the United States. He preferred our favorite Thanksgiving fare, the turkey.

"For my part, I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen representative of our country; he is a bird of bad moral character....For in truth the turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird withal, a true original native of America. Eagles have been found in all countries, but the turkey is peculiar to ours...he is besides (though a little vain and silly, it is true), a bird of courage who would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British Guard who should presume to invade his farmyard with a red coat on."

Others, including John Adams, objected that the turkey was notoriously stupid as well.

But the country has settled into a happy compromise.

"May one give us peace in all our states,
The other a piece for all our plates."

The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers

By Felicia Hemans

The breaking waves dash'd high
On a stern and rock-bound coast,
And the woods against a stormy sky
Their giant branches toss'd;

And the heavy night hung dark,
The hills and waters o'er,
When a band of exiles moor'd their bark
On the wild New-England shore.

Not as the conqueror comes,
They, the true-hearted came;
Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
And the trumpet that sings of fame:

Not as the flying come,
In silence and in fear;–
They shook the depths of the desert gloom
With their hymns of lofty cheer.

Amidst the storm they sang,
And the stars heard and the sea!
And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
To the anthem of the free.

The ocean-eagle soar'd
From his nest by the white wave's foam;
And the rocking pines of the forest roar'd–
This was their welcome home!

There were men with hoary hair,
Amidst that pilgrim band;–
Why had they come to wither there,
Away from their childhood's land?

There was woman's fearless eye,
Lit by her deep love's truth;
There was manhood's brow serenely high,
And the fiery heart of youth.

What sought they thus afar?
Bright jewels of the mine?
The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?–
They sought a faith's pure shrine!

Ay, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod!
They have left unstain'd what there they found–
Freedom to worship God.

More New England Food Doggerel

How important was the pumpkin to the early American settlers?

An early 18th century rhyme answers that question.

For pottage and puddings and custards and pies
Our pumpkins and and parsnips are common supplies;
We have pumpkin at morning and pumpkin at noon,
If it was not for pumpkin, we should be undone

Pumpkin keeps well, and was often dried for use throughout the winter and into the spring. It was not an uncommon thing for Yankee farm families to be subsisting on dried pumpkin, salt pork, fermented cider, and baked beans well into May.

One incident from the Battle of Lexington demonstrates this. The night before the battle, a patrol of British officers and their servants rode down what is now Massachusetts Avenue in East Lexington (with a mission of stationing themselves at likely spots on the road to stop messengers from getting to Concord). They stopped at a house and helped themselves to supper, which was, of course, dried pumpkin, baked beans and brown bread, it being early spring, the meat supply pretty much exhausted, the shad run not having started yet, and the spring crops not available yet. The family was outraged, and reported the incident as a British atrocity of the day.

Cooking Pumpkin

All spelling and punctuation as in the original:

"But the Huswives manner is to slice them when ripe, and cut them into dice, and to fill a pot with them of two or three Gallons, and stew them upon a gentle fire the whole day, and as they sink, they fill again with fresh Pompions [pumpkins], not putting any liquor to them; and when it is stewed enough, it will look like bak'd Apples; this they Dish, putting Butter to it, and a little Vinegar, (with some Spice, as Ginger, &c) which makes it tart like an Apple, and so serve it up to be eaten with Fish or Flesh. It provokes Urin extreamly and is very windy."

From The Old Farmer's Almanac Colonial Cookbook, 1976

Saint Cecilia

Raphael, 1514, Bologna
Song For Saint Cecilia's Day
by John Dryden

From harmony, from heavenly harmony
This universal frame began:
When Nature underneath a heap
Of jarring atoms lay,
And could not heave her head,
The tuneful voice was heard from high,
"Arise, ye more than dead!"
Then cold and hot, and moist and dry,
In order to their stations leap,
And Music's power obey.
From harmony, from heavenly harmony
This universal frame began:
From harmony to harmony
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
The diapason closing full in Man.

What passion cannot Music raise and quell?
When Jubal struck the chorded shell
His listening brethren stood around,
And, wondering, on their faces fell
To worship that celestial sound.
Less than a god they thought there could not dwell
Within the hollow of that shell
That spoke so sweetly and so well.
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?

The trumpet's loud clangour
Excites us to arms,
With shrill notes of anger
And mortal alarms.
The double double double beat
Of the thundering drum
Cries "Hark! the foes come;
Charge, charge, 'tis too late to retreat!"

The soft complaining flute
In dying notes discovers
The woes of hopeless lovers,
Whose dirge is whispered by the warbling lute.

Sharp violins proclaim
Their jealous pangs and desperation,
Fury, frantic indignation,
Depth of pains, and height of passion
For the fair disdainful dame.

But oh! what art can teach,
What human voice can reach
The sacred organ's praise?
Notes inspiring holy love,
Notes that wing their heavenly ways
To mend the choirs above.

Orpheus could lead the savage race,
And trees uprooted left their place
Sequacious of the lyre:
But bright Cecilia raised the wonder higher:
When to her Organ vocal breath was given
An Angel heard, and straight appeared -
Mistaking Earth for Heaven.

The Golden Legend on Saint Cecilia
Catholic On-Line's biography

Massachusetts And Pies

Pies are not only the primary dessert for Thanksgiving, but are very popular year-round throughout New England. Unlike the author of the following doggerel, I love pies. Bring them on. The more, the merrier.

In Massachusetts, sad to say
From Gloucester down to Cape Cod Bay
They feed you 'til you want to die
On mincemeat and pumpkin pie.
Until at last it makes you cry,
"What else is there that I can try?'
They look at you in some surprise
And feed you apple and custard pies.

And this little ditty was written at least a century before Boston Cream Pie came into prominence.

Mmmmmmm. Mince pie. Yummy!

The Pumpkin

by John Greenleaf Whittier

Oh, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun,
The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run,
And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold,
With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold,
Like that which o'er Nineveh's prophet once grew,
While he waited to know that his warning was true,
And longed for the storm-cloud, and listened in vain
For the rush of the whirlwind and red fire-rain.

On the banks of the Xenil the dark Spanish maiden
Comes up with the fruit of the tangled vine laden;
And the Creole of Cuba laughs out to behold
Through orange-leaves shining the broad spheres of gold;
Yet with dearer delight from his home in the North,
On the fields of his harvest the Yankee looks forth,
Where crook-necks are coiling and yellow fruit shines,
And the sun of September melts down on his vines.

Ah! on Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West,
From North and from South come the pilgrim and guest,
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored,
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before,
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

Oh, fruit loved of boyhood! the old days recalling,
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
When we laughed round the corn-heap, with hearts all in tune,
Our chair a broad pumpkin,--our lantern the moon,
Telling tales of the fairy who travelled like steam,
In a pumpkin-shell coach, with two rats for her team!

Then thanks for thy present! none sweeter or better
E'er smoked from an oven or circled a platter!
Fairer hands never wrought at a pastry more fine,
Brighter eyes never watched o'er its baking, than thine!
And the prayer, which my mouth is too full to express,
Swells my heart that thy shadow may never be less,
That the days of thy lot may be lengthened below,
And the fame of thy worth like a pumpkin-vine grow,
And thy life be as sweet, and its last sunset sky
Golden-tinted and fair as thy own pumpkin pie!

The Importance of Cider

Here is a story from 17th century Lynn, Massachusetts about the appeal of apple cider. In this case, though, it is the hard, fermented variety.

Mr. Whiting was minister of the Puritan church in Lynn during part of the 1600s.

"Mr. Whiting had a score of apple trees from which he made cyder. And it hath been said yt an Indian once coming to hys house and Mrs. Whiting giving him a drink of ye cyder he did sett down ye pot and smacking his lips say yt Adam and Eve were rightlie damned for eating ye appills in ye garden of Eden, they should have made them into cyder."

Here is some good information for making cider at home safely.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I Just Manually Counted Them

In the last year or so, I have posted 202 recipes to the files section of Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group.

A great many of them are appropriate for the holidays.

Entertaining This Thanksgiving?

This is what I would serve.

I'm not the sort who changes up what he does every Thanksgiving. For me, the ritual of the same festive foods, eaten in combination only at this time of the year, year after year is neither oppressive nor boring. I am thrilled to serve the same foods to my guests, if I have any, and to myself. It is not Thanksgiving without my pumpkin pie, my mincemeat, my carrot pudding, even my pepperoni appetizers. Such meals recall not only Thanksgivings past in my own household, but traditional New England Thanksgivings going back to 1621. Rootedness is something the human psyche needs, and something badly lacking in today's society.


What Would The Pilgrims Have Eaten?

Good Post on General Franco

Over at De Civitate Dei.

Nice Franco images, too, though Andrew Cusak has a series that wins the Franco Prize on that score.

Slideshow of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Sacramento

Really nice work. Far more traditional and Catholic than the work of Vosko, et al.

Courtesy of Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Sunday, November 20, 2005

A Lovely Mass

I was lucky enough to be at Holy Trinity for Mass this afternoon. It was the Solemn High Mass, beautifully chanted, and wonderfully sacrificed by Father Higgins.

I think it is the last Solemn High Mass before the scheduled December 15th closing date.

Please join me in praying that Holy Trinity church remains open as the Latin Mass parish/oratory/chapel of the Archdiocese of Boston (and we can have a Mass every week for our German friends, too, I'm sure). Nothing to report, so far. The daily digests of the Save Holy Trinity Yahoo Group have been very much off-topic and non-substantive for weeks. Let's hope something is going on behind the scenes.

There is almost no reason to close Holy Trinity, except for the Archdiocese to reap a profit from the sale of its valuable real estate to cronies of the current administrator, or others, and the malice of Boston chancery rats towards the Latin Mass. The parish has no debt, gets no subsidy from the Archdiocese, is in decent enough shape physially, does not have a priest permantly and exclusively assigned, and is growing. And it is the only reasonable place for the f\growing Indult Mass community to gather

And Since You Need Pies For Thanksgiving

I'll add my Pumpkin and Apple Pie recipes. You have the Mince Pie recipe below.

For a real taste of old New England, allow me to suggest my Molasses Pie. It is reminiscent of southern Pecan Pie, but with molasses instead of corn syrup.


What better way to spend the Sunday before Thanksgiving than baking pies, making mincemeat, and curing fruit in brandy?

Stir-Up Sunday

Int he normative rite today, it is the feast of Christ the King. However, in the Tridentine Rite, it is just the last Sunday after Pentecost. In both rites, the church speaks to us of the end times. For Christ the King, the Gospel is about the Last Judgment, and the criteria for salvation. For the Last Sunday After Pentecost, the Gospel is about the time of tribulation before Doom.

The collect of the old Mass (and in the traditional Anglican service for today) begins, "Stir up, O Lord..."

That collect has taken on an ironic second, culinary meaning, as the last Sunday before Advent begins is usually the last time to make your Christmas cakes and puddings, so that they will cure properly before Christmas. Of course, here in America, we have Thanksgiving this week, so most of the culinary effort is directed towards this week. But, while you are cooking anyway...

In years past, I have given the recipes for:


Christmas Cake

Plum Pudding

Besides, you need Mince Pie for Thanksgiving, too.

All links are to the appropriate recipe in Reca Ratio: The Yahoo Group's Files section.

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