Saturday, December 29, 2012
Il Est Ne
Loreena McKennitt - Noël Nouvelet!
Bring A Torch Jeanette, Isabella
Pavarotti, O Holy Night
The Chieftains, The Breton Carol
From The Golden Legend
From Catholic On Line
Remember the especial vehemence with which English protestants attacked the cult of Saint Thomas a Becket, because Henry VIII saw it as a potential rallying point for anti-royal Catholic revolt. So celebrate this great martyred with special emphasis.
Friday, December 28, 2012
First of all, General Norman Schwartzkopf, the US and Coalition commander in the brilliantly conceived and executed First Persian Gulf War, which resulted in the crushing of the Iraqi military, the liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi oppression, and the de facto partitioning of Iraqi territory into areas the severely restricted Iraqi military could use, and those it could not, died yestrday at the age of 78.
The Coventry Carol
1. Lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
By, by, lully, lullay.
Lullay, Thou little tiny Child.
By, by, lully, lullay.
2. O sisters, too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day;
This poor Youngling for whom we sing,
By, by, lully, lullay.
3. Herod the King, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day;
His men of might, in his own sight,
All children young, to slay.
4. Then woe is me, poor Child, for Thee,
And ever mourn and say;
For Thy parting, nor say nor sing,
By, by, lully, lullay.
In Herod's time, a slaughter of holy innocent babes was an outstanding once-in-a-lifetime event. For us, the murderous sin of abortion has made the slaughter of holy innocents a daily, constant massacre. So desensitized to the slaughter of our babies are we now that a gunman two weeks ago thought nothing of brutally gunning down classrooms full of kindergarterners and First Graders.
God help us!
The Boar's Head Carol/Here We Come A'Wassailing
Pavarotti, from the famous 1978 concert at Notre Dame du Montreal
The Clancy Brothers, The Christ Child Lullaby
Thursday, December 27, 2012
This is the feast of one of my special patrons, Saint John the Evangelist. John is my confirmation name.
From The Golden Legend
A prayer to Our Blessed Lady and to her adopted son, Saint John (translation by Michael W. Martin):
O UNSPOTTED and forever blessed, unique and incomparable virgin Mary, Mother of God, most graceful temple of God, sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, gate of the kingdom of heaven, by whom next unto God the whole world liveth, incline O Mother of Mercy thy ears of piety unto my unworthy supplications, and be merciful to me a most wretched sinner, and be unto me a helper in all things.
O most blessed John, the beloved and friend of Christ, which by the same Lord Jesus Christ was chosen a virgin, and among the rest more beloved, above all instructed in the heavenly mysteries, for thou wast made a most worthy Apostle and Evangelist: thee also I call upon with Mary, the mother of the same Lord Jesus Christ our Savior, that thou wouldst vouchsafe to afford me thy aid with hers.
O ye two celestial jewels, Mary, and John. O ye two lights divinely shining before God. Chase away by your bright beams the clouds of my offenses.
For you are those two in whom God the Father through His own Son, specially built His own house, and in whom the only-begotten Son of God as the reward of your most sincere virginity confirmed the privilege of His love while hanging on the Cross, saying thus to one of you: "Woman, behold thy son," and then to the other, "Behold thy mother."
In the sweetness therefore of His most sacred love, through which by our Lord's own mouth, as mother and son you were joined to each other, I, a most wretched sinner, commend this day to you my body and soul, that at all hours and moments, inwardly and outwardly, you would vouchsafe to be unto me steadfast guardians and devout intercessors before God.
I indeed firmly believe and accept beyond any doubt that one who wants to be yours will belong to God and one who does not want to be yours will not belong to God, for you can obtain whatever you ask from God without delay. By virtue of your most powerful worthiness, beg, I beseech you, for the well being of my body and soul.
Plead, I beseech you, plead for me by your holy prayers that the loving Spirit, the best giver of graces, may vouchsafe to visit my heart and dwell therein, the self same Spirit who may thoroughly purge me from all filth of vice, lighten and adorn me with sacred virtues: who would cause me to stand perfectly and to persevere in the love of God and my neighbor, and, after the course of this life, may this most benign comforter bring me to the joys of His elect, He, who with God the Father and the Son is co-eternal and consubstantial with them and in them, liveth and reigneth as Almighty God, forever and ever.
Bangers and Mash and Fezziwigger Dancers, Sir Roger de Coverley
The Clancy Brothers, The Holly Bears A Berry
The Chieftains, Past Three O'Clock
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Liam Clancy in an early solo version
And just so that your Irish Christmas needs don't go unfulfilled, here are the Clancy Brothers singing Jingle Bells In Gaelic:
The Chieftains, The Bells Of Dublin
The Clancy Brothers, Curoo, Curoo
THIS JUST IN:
The West Clare Wren Boys. West Clare: I wonder if the assembly includes any Fitzpatricks from Lahinch, or Shanahans from Letterkelly
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Celtic Woman, Carol Of the Bells
The Clancy Brothers, Christmas In Carrick
Mannheim Steamroller, Silent Night
Monday, December 24, 2012
It is a time for beginning the Christmas feast, after the first Christmas Masses have been said. It is the occasion for opening a single Christmas Eve gift, for reading the Nativity Story, for putting the Chrisat Child in the crib, for lighted candles, enjoying the Christmas Tree, and the most treasured Christmas albums, lighting the single white candle in the center of the Advent wreath. It is a night of hanging stockings, leaving cookies and milk for old Saint Nick, for roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding, for eggnog and mince pie. It is a time for family and homely entertainment amid holly and ivy, candles (even if electric) in the window, and for peace.
After the dinner on Christmas Eve, it is the time to sit back. The frantic pace of shopping, baking, cooking, wrapping, sending greetings, and entertaining is over. The spiritual preparation is done as well. A good confession has been made, and God willing, you can be housled in something close to a state of grace, baring only the veial sins committed since the confession. Sometimes, I wish I could just pop into the confessional seconds before receiving the Blessed Sacrament, as that is the only way this sinner can be clean enough for Him.
Days of rest are ahead. Now is the time to be with those you love best. The anxiety and stress of modern Christmas is a thing of the past.
I wish all of my readers the most Joyous and Blessed Christmas, and the most Happy and Most Prosperous New Year!
Sunday, December 23, 2012
So I've been wicked good to date.
But here we are past the Fourth Sunday of Advent. The Embertide is over. The liturgical preparation is complete. You should have your examination of conscience well in hand, and be ready for a good confession in the next few days so you can make a truly worthy Communion for Christmas. That is the hard work of Advent. Not rigging up the lights (though when you put 3,000 lights on a 7.5 foot tree, there is a lot of work to that), not baking the cookies, or wrapping the gifts, or sending the cards, but spiritual preparation for the birth of the Lord, made as if happening for the first time through the readings of the Mass.
I know everybody is going to be too distracted to be reading blogs for the next few days, with trying to finish up work projects for the end of the year, and with preparations for Christmas.
So I think it is time to kick back and start to enjoy Christmas.
An instrumental of The Sussex Carol
Frank Kelly, Christmas Countdown
Joe Dolce, The Twelve Days Of Christmas (Italian Style)
Blackmore's Night, I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In
Maedieval Baebes, The Holly And the Ivy
A British group called Blur singing The Gloucestershire Wassail
The Irish Rovers, Good King Wenceslaus:
Trillium singing Mrs. Fogarty's Christmas Cake
Ending with a bang, Trans-Siberian Orchestra with Wizards In Winter
From The Liturgical Year, by Abbot Prosper Gueranger, OSB:
THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
(If this Sunday fall on December 24, it is omitted, and in its
place is said the Office of Christmas Eve)
We have now entered into the week which immediately precedes the
birth of the Messias. That long-desired coming might be even
tomorrow; and at furthest, that is, when Advent is as long as it
can be, the beautiful feast is only seven days from us. So that
the Church now counts the hours; she watches day and night, and
since December 17 her Offices have assumed an unusual solemnity.
At Lauds, she varies the antiphons each day; and at Vespers, in
order to express the impatience of her desires for her Jesus, she
makes use of the most vehement exclamations to the Messias, in
which she each day gives Him a magnificent title, borrowed from
the language of the prophets.
Today, she makes a last effort to stir up the devotion of her
children. She leads them to the desert; she shows them John the
Baptist, upon whose mission she instructed them on the third
Sunday. The voice of the austere Precursor resounds through the
wilderness, and penetrates even into the cities. It preaches
penance, and the obligation men are under of preparing by self-
purification for the coming of Christ. Let us retire from the
world during these next few days; or if that may not be by reason
of our external duties, let us retire into the quiet of our own
hearts and confess our iniquities, as did those true Israelites,
who came, full of compunction and of faith in the Messias, to the
Baptist, there to make perfect their preparation for worthily
receiving the Redeemer on the day of His appearing to the world.
See, then, with what redoubled earnestness the Church, before
opening the book of her great prophet, repeats her invitatory:
The Lord is now nigh; come, let us adore.
From the Prophet Isaias.
The land that was desolate and impassable shall be glad, and the
wilderness shall rejoice, and shall flourish like the lily. It
shall bud forth and blossom, and shall rejoice with joy and
praise; the glory of Libanus is given to it, the beauty of Carmel
and Saron. They shall see the glory of the Lord, and the beauty of
our God. Strengthen ye the feeble hands, and confirm the weak
knees. Say to the fainthearted: Take courage, and fear not. Behold
your God will bring the revenge of recompense: God himself will
come and will save you. Then shall the eyes of the blind be
opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall
the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be
free: for waters are broken out in the desert, and streams in the
wilderness. And that which was dry land, shall become a pool, and
the thirsty land springs of water. In the dens where dragons dwelt
before shall rise up the verdure of the reed and the bulrush. And
a path and a way shall be there, and it shall be called the holy
way: the 1melean shall not pass over it and this shall be unto you
a straight way, so that fools shall not err therein. No lion shall
be there, nor shall any mischievous beast go up by it, nor be
found there: but they shall walk there, that shall be delivered.
And the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and shall come into
Sion with praise, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads:
they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and mourning shall
Oh, the joy of Thy coming, dear Jesus! How great it must needs be,
when the prophecy says it shall be like an everlasting crown upon
our heads. And could it be otherwise? The very desert is to
flourish as a lily, and living waters are to gush forth out of the
parched land, because their God is coming. Come, O Jesus, come
quickly, and give us of that water, which flows from Thy sacred
Heart, and which the Samaritan woman, the type of us sinners,
asked of Thee with such earnest entreaty. This water is Thy grace;
let it rain upon our parched souls, and they too will flourish;
let it quench our thirst, and we will run in the way of Thy
precepts and examples. Thou, O Jesus, art our way, our path, to
God; and Thou art Thyself God; Thou art, therefore, both our way
and the term to which our way leads us. We had lost our way; we
had gone astray as lost sheep: how great Thy love to come thus in
search of us! To teach us the way to heaven, Thou hast deigned to
come down from heaven, and then tread with us the road which leads
to it. No! there shall be no more weak hands, nor feeble knees,
nor faint hearts; for we know that it is in love that Thou art
coming to us. There is but one thing which makes us sad: our
preparation is not complete. We have some ties still to break;
help us to do it, O Saviour of mankind! We desire to obey the
voice of Thy Precursor, and make plain those rugged paths, which
would prevent Thy coming into our hearts, O divine Infant! Give us
to be baptized in the Baptism of the waters of penance; Thou wilt
soon follow, baptizing us in the Holy Ghost and love.
O Emmanuel, our King and our Law-giver, Longing of the Gentiles, yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God!
O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos Domine Deus noster.