Saturday, March 04, 2006

St.Patrick's Month

Some years ago, my mother, who worked with the elderly (and she was no spring chicken herself), was talking to an elderly Jewish lady who was aghast at the duration of St. Patrick's Day celebration in Greater Boston.

"How long does this go on, a whole week?"

"Oh no. It's usually more like a month."

Noting some things Irish. First of all, while Cardinal-designate O'Malley is still very deep in my doghouse, and won't be getting out until he accedes to the legitimate aspirations of Boston's TLM community and agrees to keep Holy Trinity open (at least), I do have to give him some credit for granting the customary indult for celebration of St. Patrick's Day, as March 17th falls on a Lenten Friday this year. So the smoked shoulder (more genuinely Irish than corned beef) and Jameson's will be in circulation.

Second, the Chieftans are coming to town, and will be playing Symphony Hall on March 11th. And that is not all the good Irish music news. The Makem Brothers and the Spain Brothers will be appearing in Melrose on March 17thg with Tommy Makem. This is an annual gig for them, as well as a local one since Tommy and his sons are based out of southern New Hampshire, a mere 40 minute trip up Route 93.

Saturday After Ash Wednesday

Station Church:
S. Agostino in Campo Marzio

My devotions for a Lenten Saturday:
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer
Stabat Mater Dolorosa
Litany of Our Lady of Sorrows
Sorrowful Mysteries

Friday, March 03, 2006

Didn't Everyone Already Know This?

The Soviet Union was ultimately responsible for the attempted assasination of Pope John Paul the Great.

I thought it was so obvious that everyone already understood this.

Thanks To Daniel Mitsui

For reminding us that today used to be the feast of the Crown of Thorns.

O Sacred Head Surrounded
By Crowns of Piercing Thorns
O bleeding Head so wounded
Reviled and put to scourn
Death's pallid hue comes o'er
Thee. The glow of life decays
Yet angel host adore Thee
And tremble as they gaze

I see Thy strength and vigor
All fading in the strife
and death with cruel rigor
Bereaving Thee of life
O agony and dying
O love to sinners free
Jesus all grace supplying
O turn Thy face on me.

Friday After Ash Wednesday

Station Church:
Ss. Giovanni e Paolo al Celio

Devotions For a Lenten Friday Holy Hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Devotions To the Holy Cross
Stations of the Cross

I, for one, prefer to do the Stations by themselves at a different time from the other devotions. If you are doing the Stations on your own, as I may be today, try reading St. Josemaria Escriva's reflections in conjunction with St. Alphonsus Liguori's format. It takes more time, but I think it may be worthwhile in bringing the meaning of the devotion home.

By the way, though today is only a fast day if you want it make it a personal one, it is a day of abstinence.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I've Discovered Abbot Gueranger

Still looking around for a paper copy, as the fragments on the internet are not adequate. But I have a few excerpts up in the new The Liturgical Year file at Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group. Of particular interest now are The History of Lent, and The Practice of Lent. I would link to them, but that wouldn't help you unless you are both signed into Yahoo, and a member of the group.

I hope to collect a great many excerpts for Dom Gueranger for inclusion here.

Seven Catholic Charities Board Members Resign

They just could not go on if the Massachusetts Catholic bishops wanted an exemption from state law that would allow Catholic Charities to not place children in gay households.

Looking at the list of names, you could almost call this the "Channel 5 Rebellion."

Paul LaCamera, general manager, the WBUR group: formerly a news producer at Channel 5.

Brian Leary, partner, Gadsby Hannah: former sports anchor and news anchor at Channel 5.

Micho Spring, chairman, Weber Shandwick New England: former commentator on Channel 5's Five on 5 Sunday morning news discussion show.

Then throw in Peter Meade, executive vice president, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts: former radio talk show host on WBZ.

Colette Phillips, president and CEO, Colette Phillips Communications: she's in media, too.

Donna Gittens, chief executive officer, causemedia: ditto.

And then there is Geri Denterlein, president of Denterlein Worldwide Public Affairs: lobbyist?

So everyone who resigned was tied into the lamestream media (and Channel 5 is mighty lame) or liberal advocacy. Good. Another step closer to severing the Gordian Knot that is the Catholic Church's relationship to the Democrat Party. Now if only Cardinal-designate O'Malley had the fortitude to find prominent orthodox Catholics to replace these CINOs on the board, all would be well. He won't though. Watch for more of the same.

Thursday After Ash Wednesday

Station Church:
S. Giorgio al Velabro.

Devotions For a Lenten Thursday Holy Hour:

Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Devotion To the Holy Face

All of these can be found at Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group in the Files section, Catholic Prayers File, Lenten and Passiontide Prayers subfolder.

Ven. Pope Pius XII

March 2nd is both the birthday and deathdate for our late Holy Father Pius XII of happy memory.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Lent Is Less Than 12 Hours Old

And I'm already having the caffeine withdrawal headache of the ages.

Requiescat In Pace

This one slipped by me unobserved. Dennis Weaver, known to all as Marshal Sam McCloud from the old ABC Sunday Night Mystery Movies series, and from the Steven Spielberg made-for-TV that has become a classic: Duel. He also did a long stint as Chester on the old Gunsmoke (before I was born, mostly). He died on February 24th from cancer at age 82. He is survived by his wife of 61 years. Knotts, McGavin, and Weaver in a few days! Requiescat in pace.

Men Of Harlech

A traditional Welsh martial song.

Hark, I hear the foe advancing
Barbed steeds are proudly prancing
Helmets in the sunbeams glancing
Glitter through the trees.

Men of Harlech, lie ye dreaming
See ye not their falchions gleaming
While their pennons gaily streaming
Flutter in the breeze.

From the rocks resounding
Let the war cry sounding
Summon all at Cambria's call
The haughty foe surrounding

Men of Harlech, on to glory
See your banner famed in story
Waves these buring words before ye,
"Welshmen scorn to yield!"

Mid the fray see dead and dying
Friend and foe together lying
All around the arrows flying
Scatter sudden death.

Frightened steeds are wildly neighing
Brazen trumpets loudly braying
Wounded men for mercy praying
With their parting breath.

See they're in disorder,
Comrades, keep close order
Ever they shall rue the day,
They ventured o'er the border.

Now the Saxon flees before us,
Victr'ry's banner floateth oe'er us,
Raise the loud exulting chorus,
"Welshmen win the field!"

The Royal Welch Fusiliers about to give the American rebels something they will not like

Part of another version is sung by members of B Company, 24th Regiment of Foot (South Wales Borderers) defending Roarke's Drift against 5,000 Zulus at the climax of the movie, Zulu. It is the emotional highpoint of the film, and was quite well done.

Saint David's Night

We have reached the first of the three spring-time feasts of the patron saints of the British Isles. Saint David (Dewi Sant) is the patron saint of Wales. Welsh troops fighting English troops (I believe on Saint David's Day, if Shakespeare was correct) in the medieval period needed something to distinguish themselves from the enemy. They pulled up coarse grass which rather resembled leeks, and stuck it in their caps. Thus the leek became associated with all things Welsh.

Tonight would be the grand dinner in the officers' mess of the Royal Welch Fusiliers (formerly the 23rd Regiment of Foot), a regiment with, shall we say "unique," folkways.

The Regimental mascot is traditionally a goat with gilded horns. The goat actually went into battle with the grenadier company at Bunker Hill and survived. The 23rd Regiment had a splendid fighting record in the American Revolution, and was considered one of three "elite" line regiments selected for Cornwallis' southern campaign.

Light Infantrymen of the Royal Welch Fusiliers on the march back from Concord

On Saint David's Night guests and new members of the mess, after considerable draughts of the "water of life" stand (if they can still stand) with one booted foot on their chair, and one on the table, and eat an entire leek (yes, including the hot part) while saying "For God and Saint David," in Welsh. I've done this. Happy Saint David's Day to my friends in the Royal Welch Fusiliers.

Drummers of the 23rd Regiment

Saint David

According to tradition, St. David was the son of King Sant of South Wales and St. Non. He was ordained a priest and later studied under St. Paulinus. Later, he was involved in missionary work and founded a number of monasteries. The monastery he founded at Menevia in Southwestern Wales was noted for extreme asceticism. David and his monks drank neither wine nor beer - only water - while putting in a full day of heavy manual labor and intense study.

Around the year 550, David attended a synod at Brevi in Cardiganshire. His contributions at the synod are said to have been the major cause for his election as primate of the Cambrian Church. He was reportedly consecrated archbishop by the patriarch of Jerusalem while on a visit to the Holy Land. He also is said to have invoked a council that ended the last vestiges of Pelagianism. David died at his monastery in Menevia around the year 589, and his cult was approved in 1120 by Pope Callistus II. He is revered as the patron of Wales.

Ash Wednesday

Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.

Station Church:
S. Sabina all'Aventino

Fish Eaters on Ash Wednesday

The Cornell Society For A Good Time on whether to display your ashes.

The Catholic Encyclopedia on Ash Wednesday.

Devotions For a Lenten Wednesday Holy Hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer
Seven Prayers of St. Gregory


March's Calendar illustration from Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry depicts the beginning of the spring planting season. Sheep are grazing in the upper left under the watch of a shepherd and dog. Vines are being trimmed within a walled enclosure just below the sheep. Spring crops may be in the process of harvest on the right, while the main fields are being plowed for the annual grain crop in the foreground.

Important feasts during the month of March include:

1st St. David
2nd Venerable Pope Pius XII, and St. Charles the Good
3rd St. Katherine Drexel
5th St. John Joseph of the Cross
6th St. Rose of Viterbo
8th St. John of God
9th St. Gregory of Nyssa
15th St. Louise de Marillac and St. Longinus
17th St. Patrick and St. Joseph of Arimathea
18th Bl. Fra Angelico
19th St. Joseph
20th St. Cuthbert
24th St. Catherine of Sweden
25th Lady Day (Annunciation) and St. Dismas
27th St. John Damascene
30th St. John Climacus
31st Bl. Jane of Toulouse

The First Friday of March is March 3rd.
The First Saturday of March is March 4th.

Wednesday March 1st is Ash Wednesday. The entire month of March this year is in the liturgical season of Lent.

The Lenten Embertide is Wednesday March 8th, Friday March 10th, and Saturday March 11th.

Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has published the following prayer intentions for the month of March:

General: That young people who are searching for the sense of life may be understood, respected and accompanied with patience and love.

Missionary: That, throughout the Church, there may grow that shared missionary awareness, which favors the collaboration and exchange of those who work in the missions.

Important novenas customary to March include:
The Annunciation Novena (March 17th-25th)
I greet thee, Ever-blessed Virgin, Mother of God, Throne of Grace, miracle of Almighty Power! I greet thee, Sanctuary of the Most Holy Trinity, Queen of the Universe, Mother of Mercy and refuge of sinners!

Most loving Mother, attracted by thy beauty and sweetness, and by thy tender compassion, I confidently turn to thee, miserable as I am, and beg of thee to obtain for me from thy dear Son the favor I request in this novena:

(Mention your request).

Obtain for me also, Queen of heaven, the most lively contrition for my many sins and the grace to imitate closely those virtues which thou practiced so faithfully, especially humility, purity and obedience. Above all, I beg thee to be my Mother and Protectress, to receive me into the number of thy devoted children, and to guide me from thy high throne of glory.

Do not neglect my petitions, Mother of Mercy! Have pity on me, and do not abandon me during life or at the moment of my death.

From March 10th to March 18th, the Novena to Saint Joseph.

From March 8th to March 16th, the Novena To Saint Patrick

From March 12th to March 20th, The Novena to Saint Benedict (though St. Bendict's feast has been moved).

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

What Can You Do To Help

in preventing Holy Trinity, the home of Boston's indult Mass, from becoming high-priced condos for homosexual couples (it is located in Boston's gay neighborhood, the South End), or being smashed by the wrecking ball?

Pray. Write to the Archbishop. Write to Rome. Keep abreast of developments here and here.

Shrove Tuesday

Fasting's Eve, Mardi Gras, Carnival, or Shrove Tuesday are names for this day before the beginning of Lent. The great fast of Lent begins tomorrow. Since pre-modern Europe observed what we would call a stringent fast (no meat, or dairy products from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday) the last day before the fast was a time for eating up meat, eggs, cheese, and drinking.

The names reflect that reality. The French "Mardi Gras" means "fat Tuesday." The Latin "Carne Vale" means "good-bye meat." The name "Shrove Tuesday" comes from the expectation that the pious would seek to be shriven (to confess) before undertaking the Lenten fast. "Fasting's Eve" is fairly clear.

Shrove Tuesday celebrations are continued to some extent in New Orleans' Mardi Gras, and Rio's Carnival. Drinking, feasting, and lewd behaviour were common.

But some Shrove Tuesday pastimes have passed away.

This used to be a great day for cockthreshing. A cock would be tethered to a pole, and selected participants would hurl stones at it in an effort to knock it down or kill it. It was also a good day for cockfighting, which continued to be popular into the 18th century. PETA-types would probably immolate themselves to stop that if it were common today (common, at least at the top of society: it is still widely, though secretly undertaken down at the lower levels).

Football games (we would call it soccer) were common on Shrove Tuesday in England. The difference was that in the 15th century, there were no teams and no rules. A football game was, therefore, a free-for-all. With the participants fueled by large amounts of alcohol and fresh meat, lots of people were injured. But it was all in good fun.

The Shrove Tuesday pancake is a slightly later tradition. The pancake requires milk, eggs, and butter, all of which had to be consumed before Lent started in that age before refrigeration. So the eating of pancakes became a Shrove Tuesday custom. Pancake races started at least 100 years before the Reformation. The Tossing of the Pancake at England's Westminister School is a natual development of the pancake tradition (a large pancake is tossed in part of the refectory, and the boy who comes out of a general scramble with the largest piece is given a reward).

Enjoy this last free day of Carnival. Tomorrow things take on a more sober cast.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race. Those wild and wacky Anglicans! But wait, this is from the US National Cathedral website. Those wild ecumenical whatevers!

Here is a real Anglican Shrove Tuesday pancake race, from the UK.

Throwing the Shrove Tuesday Pancake at Westminister School, London, 19th century. There was a scramble for it, as those who ended up with the pancake, or portions thereof if it was torn apart in the scrum, got a small cash prize.
More on Shrove Tuesday here at Wilson's Almanac.

Yet more Shrove Tuesday fun over at Fish Eaters.
How about a good pancake recipe?

Here's one from the files of Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group:
2 eggs
1/2 c. whole milk
1/2 c. flour
2 T. brandy
2 T. butter
1 lime

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place an iron skillet in the oven and get it very hot. Beat eggs until fluffy. Add milk, brandy, and flour. Melt butter in the hot skillet, coating bottom and sides. Pour in the batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 mins (or until golden brown and puffy). Remove from oven and squeeze fresh lime juice over the pancake to deflate it. Dust with confectioners's sugarm maple syrup, and butter and serve immediately.

And what goes better with pancakes than

and lots of it. I dearly love my bacon.

Plus, you need real maple syrup and good creamy butter.

Houston/Galveston Handed Over To Co-Adjutor Archbishop

The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Fiorenza of the Archdiocese of Houston/Galveston. The co-adjutor, Archbishop Daniel DiNardo, succeeds.

No Tridentine Parish Contemplated For Boston

This means war, because a Tridentine parish is just what Holy Trinity already is in fact, if not on paper, and what the parishioners of Holy Trinity demand. I was afraid that making the Archbishop a Cardinal before he did the right thing by Holy Trinity was a mistake. Now, he has nothing to worry about from Rome, unless a general indult virtually orders him to establish a Tridentine parish.

Letter of Bishop Lennon to a Holy Trinity parishioner:

(617) 254-0100
FAX (617) 783-2947
15 February 2006

Dear ____________:

First I wish to express my regrets that your 21 August 2005 is being
acknowledged in such a tardy manner; however, I only recently have
received it from the Office of the Archbishop with a request to respond
to it. I note that your letter regards Holy Trinity Parish in Boston
and specifically your request that the Archbishop invite either the
Fraternity of Saints Peter and Paul or the Institute of Christ the King
to come to the Archdiocese of Boston to service the Tridentine
Please know that the Archbishop has received requests similar to your's
in the past and has consistently responded that in accord with the
request of Ecclesia Dei the Archdiocese of Boston provides the
celebration of Mass in the Tridentine Rite and has the qualified
priests to celebrate this Mass. It is not the intention of the
Archbishop to begin a Tridentine Rite parish, thus at this time he does
not envision the necessity nor the advantage of inviting priests from
either of the two groups that you mention to the Archdiocese as we can
provide for the celebration of the Mass on a weekly basis.
With my best wishes, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Richard G. Lennon
Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia

I guess there is no shortage of priests in the Archdiocese, unless the issue is justifying parish closings for cash.

Monday, February 27, 2006

No Color Change For Lent

I have been weighing my options with regard to making a color change in the template for Lent. I had in mind a light purple for the background, and a darker one for the header, and maybe pink for the borders. But I have decided to keep the current jaunty color scheme with its cornsilk, gold, royal blue, and bright scarlet. I think they are much easier to read text than off a purple background.

But at Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group, I have been in a modified pre-Lent color scheme since Septuagesima, and will change to a more deeply penitential color arrangment sometime on Wednesday.

Now Is the Acceptable Moment

Rorate Caeli on reconciliation between the SSPX and Rome.

Cool New Look

Over at St. Peter's Helpers.

And check out the excellent post on the Holy Shroud of Turin.

Taking Things To the Next Step

For those of you who have been clamoring for more information on mortification of the flesh, one of our fellow Evil Trads, The Inquisitor General, has taken the next step, and found out where one can purchase such things. Not on my list of purchases for Lent, I assure you.

Collop Monday

Originally, the word "collop" meant only a dish of fried eggs and bacon. But it came to mean slices or steaks or chops of meat of all kinds.

Because of the stringent fasting and abstinence requirements of pre-Vatican II Lents, traditional European society consumed the existing meat and dairy stocks in a huge celebration known as Shrovetide or Carinval, the Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.

The meat and dairy products could not be eaten for six and a half weeks, and could not be frozen or refrigerated as we would do today. So, a huge feast was held to finish off meats so that they would not go to waste. Monday before Ash Wednesday was a day for eating collops of meat, especially, though eating as much meat as possible would have taken place on all the days of Shrovetide.

Beef Wellington: it isn't just for Collop Monday breakfast anymore!

Sirloin Tip Pie: Collop Monday elevenses

Veal Parm: A light Collop Monday dinner

A Smithfield ham, the perfect thing for Collop Monday tea

Chateaubriand, just the right touch for Collop Monday supper

And for that late-night Collop Monday snack, how about filet mignon?
It is, after all, "carne vale" or good-bye to meat (or the flesh).

A trip to the butcher would have been much the same 600 years ago

Except now, there are comely butcheresses who look equipped to handle all your carne vale needs.

Requiescant In Pace

Over the weekend, while I was resting my sore throat, drippy sinuses, and agitated lungs, I heard news that comedian Don Knotts, famous to all as Deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show had died of natural causes in his 80s, as had actor Darrin McGavin, who is best known to me as Kolchack: The Night Stalker. Two more icons of my youth gone. Requiescant in pace.

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