Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Other Day, I Was Thinking That Prince Harry Is the Best of the Current Crop of Princes

And this confirms it.

When he is out of Sandhurst, where his academic career has been, shall we say, "eventful" he will join the Blues and Royals (the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, Blue), and is likely to end up in Iraq. And he is more than willing to go.

"There's no way I'm going to put myself through Sandhurst and then sit on my arse back home while my boys are out fighting for their country."
Quotation courtesy of Dymphna's Well.

Prince Harry has more Windsor in him, and less Princess Diana, and I think that is all to the good. He reminds me a bit of his grandfather, Prince Phillip, who I rather like. Unfortunately, his older brother is softer, and he is the one who will be king someday, presumably after their father. Prince Harry has excellent qualities, aside from a little wildness, that will serve him well.

Just Discovered

Allow me to advert your attention to The Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs, by Father Francis X. Weiser, S.J. Father Weiser was assigned to Holy Trinity parish (yes, now the indult parish) here in Boston back in the day. And the Holy Trinity Holy Name Society maintains a great lecture series in Father Weiser's memory.

Found via The Lion and the Cardinal.

Father Cuenin's Liberal Flock Drive Out Father Coyne

Admittedly, it was going to be a hard sell, sending the public face and spokesman of the Archdiocese during the worst of the Scandal to one of the most liberal parishes in the Archdiocese.

But Father Coyne is a company man, and tried his best where he was sent. But it just could not work. So he has asked to be transferred.

Given the timing here, I just hope Father Coyne does not end up at St. James/Holy Trinity. The last thing we need is blind, unconsidered obedience to Father O'Regan's previous decision to close Holy Trinity without a thorough re-examination of the facts, and in light of the likely changes in availability of the traditional Latin Mass coming from Rome. I could see Father Coyne being given marching orders to take over for Father O'Regan and wind down Holy Trinity. Like it or not, Father Coyne's reputation as a company man before anything else precedes him.

The Return of Latin

The Washington Times notes the Latin resurgence.

I am sort of out of the loop here. I attend the 1962 indult Mass here in Boston, or I attend an early morning Novus Ordo "low Mass" (where there is virtually no music).

In the suburban parishes, is Latin being integrated into the liturgy more than it was three years ago? At the parish in Salem I attended, Latin/Greek was used during Lent (sometimes) for the usual parts of the Mass (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei), though often in dreadful modern Haugen/Haas arrangements. Are you actually seeing more Latin in the average suburban parish these days? I wonder.


Candlemas Day
by Robert Herrick
Kindle the Christmas brand, and then
Till sunset let it burn;
Which quench'd then lay it up again
Till Christmas next return.

Part must be kept wherewith to tend
The Christmas log next year;
And where 'tis safely kept, the fiend
Can do no mischief there.

This poem describes the custom of taking down the last of the Christmas holly on Candlemas, and burning it. It should certainly be dry enough by now.

However, an alternate custom was to reserve the last of the holly and use it as kindling for the fire for the Shrove Tuesday pancakes. This year, that would mean keeping the dried-out holly around almost another 4 weeks.

This is the feast of the Purification of the Virgin, which, under Jewish Law comes 40 days after childbirth. And Candlemas is 40 days after Christmas. The Church also (rather oddly, I think) adds the Feast of the Presentation. Odd, because under Jewish Law, the baby Jesus would have been presented and circumcised on the eighth day after his birth, or the Octave of Christmas. So, there were two Temple-related events after the Nativity, the Presentation on January 1st, and the Purification or Churching of Mary, on February 2nd. The Holy Family must have remained in Bethlehem (though they probably moved out of the stable, as the Magi story speaks of a "house") to be close to Jerusalem and the Temple for these two events. It can only be after this that the Flight to Egypt and the Slaughter of the Holy Innocents took place.

How did Candlemas get its name? Today was the day to bring to church the year's supply of candles, especially candles with a semi-sacramental nature, like the candles placed in the window on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years, and Epiphany in Irish homes, candles for the Advent wreath, candles for the home sick visit kit, or candles used in home shrines to be blessed.

One of the European superstitions connected with Candlemas was that a fair, clear Candlemas meant a longer winter, where a cloudy Candlemas would mean the nd of winter was at hand. In Europe, the end of February is often quite spring-like, where here in the US (especially here in New England), it tends to be more wintery, as our seasons run about 3 weeks behind the European seasons.

Here is a German saying:
When it storms and snows on Candlemas Day,
Spring is not far away;
if it's bright and clear,
Spring is not yet near.

This gave rise to the legend that if the groundhog sees his shadow on February 2nd (now better known as Groundhog Day) it means 6 more weeks of winter (as opposed to only 4 more weeks if he does not see it).

And folks, in Pennsylvania, Punxatawney Phil could see his shadow this morning, so that indicates we have about 6 more weeks of winter weather to look forward to.

Check out our friends at Fish Eaters for more on Candlemas customs.

Also, see The Golden Legend on the Purification of Our Blessed Lady.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Saint Brigid

A very brief biography of Saint Brigid

How to make a St. Brigid's Cross.


February's calendar page from Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry shows a winter scene, with lead-grey skies, snow-covered fields and farm buildings, bare branches, birds scratching for whatever they can find, and people either unhappily venturing out by necessity, chopping more wood, or staying inside by the fire to keep warm. Even the sheep are more than happy to just stay under cover. In Europe as here, February is often the coldest month of the year.

Important feasts during the month of February include:

1st St. Brigid
2nd Candlemas, Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mother
3rd St. Blaise
4th St. Jeanne de Valois and St. Theophilus the Penitent
5th St. Agatha
6th St. Vaast
7th Bl. Pope Pius IX
8th St. John of Matha
9th Bl. Anna Catherine Emmerich
10th St. Scholastica
11th St. Benedict of Aniane,
12th Our Lady of Lourdes, Bl. James Fenn, John Nutter, John Munden, & Thomas Benstead (martyrs)
13th St. Martinian the Hermit, Bl. Jordan of Saxony
14th SS. Valentine, SS Cyril and Methodius
16th St. Gilbert of Sempringham & St. Julian of Nicomedia
17th St. Finan of Iona
18th St. Bernadette of Lourdes
21st St. Peter Damian & Bl. Noel Pinot (martyr)
23rd St. Polycarp & St. Milburga
27th Bl. Mark Barkworth and Roger Filcock (martyrs)
28th SS. Gregory II & Hilary (Popes)

The First Friday of February is Friday, February 3rd.
The First Saturday of Bebruary is Saturday, February 4th.

The liturgical season being observed throughout February this year is the Season after Epiphany.
Septuagesima Sunday (70 days under Easter) is February 3rd.
Sunday in Shrovetide, or Quinquegesima Sunday is Sunday February 26th.
Collop Monday is Monday, February 27th.
Shrove Tuesday (or Mardi Gras) is Tuesday, February 28th.
Of course, March 1st is Ash Wednesday ushering in the season of Lent.

Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI's prayer intentions for the month of February, 2006 are:
General: That the International Community may be ever more aware of the urgent duty to bring an end to the trafficking of human beings.

Missionary: That in the Missions the lay faithful may recognize the need to serve their own coun­try with greater commitment also in its po­litical and social life.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

You Can Call Him "Justice Alito"

Confirmed by the Senate 58-42. No filibuster.

Happy days are here again...


Rumors are flying around the internet that a solution to the SSPX/Vatican rift is in sight, with Monsignor Fellay getting a red hat and being put in charge of some sort of Apostolic Administration over the Latin Mass (or at least over the SSPX).

My point has always been that the SSPX tail should not be allowed to wag the Latin Mass dog. The vast majority of people who are attached to the Latin Mass attend indult Masses staffed by either diocesan priests, or by priests of the FSSP, ICKSP, CRNJ, or other licit Latin Mass order. Why should the SSPX's leaders be put in charge of the whole kit and kaboodle of the Latin Mass? There are many good and faithful (and OBEDIENT) priests of the licit orders who would qualify for either promotion to bishop or even to the College of Cardinals, and who deserve the promotion more than the SSPX leaders.

By all means, lift the excommunications as a matter of charity. Grant much wider and more liberal use of the Latin Mass as matters of both justice and charity. Reform the normative rite so that a much greater share of the Latin liturgical patrimony is included there, too. Even regularize the consecration as bishops of the SSPX "bishops" and the ordinations of the "priests" they have ordained. But let's not put them in charge. I think that if a red hat is to handed out for the Latin Mass community, it should go to an FSSP priest, with the current SSPX "bishops" (then real bishops of the Church) as deputies (along with the heads of the ICKSP and CRNJ).

My guess is that the English "bishop" of the SSPX (is his name Williamson?) will reject any deal that does not make him Pope and throw Vatican II into the trash can, which ain't gonna happen. So my bet is that part of the SSPX will remain on the outside looking in, if Fellay allows Williamson(?) and his followers a veto over any deal.

But my understanding is that even these rumors are coming from a French ultratrad site, of very dubious reliability. So, we'll see.

I see that Father Tucker views the situation in the same way and shares my concerns.

Possible Miraculous Cure Attributed To Pope John Paul the Great

A French nun has been cured of Parkinson's Disease (from which John Paul suffered) after praying for the intercession of Pope John Paul the Great. If the investigation into this cure establishes that this is a miraculous cure, our late Holy Father could move up to Blessed John Paul the Great very swiftly.

Saint John Bosco

Here is a brief biography of this founder of the Salesians of Don Bosco, the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians, and the Union of Cooperator Salesians.

"Do you want our Lord to give you many graces? Visit him often. Do you want him to give you few graces? Visit him seldom. Visits to the Blessed Sacrament are powerful and indispensable means of overcoming the attacks of the devil. Make frequent visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the devil will be powerless against you."

Requiescat In Pace

Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King, Jr. has died from complications following a stroke. Requiescat in pace.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Predator

No, not another Arnold movie.

Predator being operated from USS Carl Vinson

The Latin Mass Thrives

Another of those the-traditional-Latin-Mass-is-not-just-for-geezers articles.

Some Slippage In Alito Support Among Senators

Rhode Island's Republican-In-Name-Only Lincoln Chafee has said he will vote against Judge Alito, becoming the only Republican who values NOW, NARAL, People For the "American" Way, and Planned Barrenhood over normative values.

I think the Democrats will end up delaying the confirmation until after President Bush's State of the Union speech tomorrow night. But if Kennedy and Kerry are serious about the filibuster (which, to be fair, Chafee is NOT supporting) then they will lose that weapon, as Republicans will go nuclear and eliminate that option. I agree with Jay about what will happen if that occurs.

Two New Additions To the Blogroll

A hearty welcome aboard to Filipino Flavor! I have thought it odd that we have so few Catholic blogs (in English) from the Philippines, which is the only Catholic country in Asia, and where almost everyone can speak English. Now we have not just a Catholic Filipino blog, but a traditionalist one!

And over among the Anglo-Roman Catholic border marches, there is Canterbury Tales. They do fox hunting!


More Magnificent Monstrances

The Lion and the Cardinal has a bunch of monstrance photos up.

This Saturday at Sheehan's closing sale, I saw some gorgeous monstrances for $4,000-$6,000 (but they were 50% off). But not having that kind of pocket change, and not having any need for a monstrance myself (though I would be happy to donate one of those lovely Eucharistic displays to Saint Clement's Shrine, where the Sunday monstrance is lovely, but the every day monstrance is a very cheap looking, almost tawdry 1970s affair) I had to pass up the opportunity.


Father Tucker is at it again! Nice collection of cope photos.

A Couple Of Days Too Busy To Blog

Not much was going on this weekend, so I took advantage of the relative lull in news to catch up on my reading, finishing Warren Carroll's The Last Crusade, and John Allen's Opus Dei. I was at Matthew Sheehan's Religious Goods Store downtown for their last day as a brick-and-mortar store after 100 years. They say their new website should be complete in 3 weeks.

I also experimented with recipes for bruschetta, caponata, and tapenade.

The recipes are over at Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group, in the Recipes file, the Appetizers subfile.

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