Monday, 24 September 2012

The Year of Faith and 75 years of Bilbo Baggins

Listening to the Archbishop's pastoral letter about the upcoming Year Of Faith on Sunday, it struck me that we could really do with a slightly more catchy slogan to go with what is such a great idea. The only thing I could remember from the letter were that the year would be under the patronage of Blessed Dominic Barberi, the Passionist who so badly desired the conversion of England....great! Also, something about the New Evangelisation, but I don't remember what was specified on how we're meant to do this, or who is most in need of the evangelising, and something else about picking up a "pack" if you came to the opening Mass at St Chad's Cathedral.

Maybe the Holy Father could have done with some input from branding agencies, Or the Olympics organisers  or someone, anyone! to give promotions for the Year a bit of a lift."S.O.S. Year of Faith" or "Year of Faith, You better Believe it! " O.K. Maybe a bit cheesy, but snappy, right? O.K. Very cheesy and not at all snappy...more like a Wotsit than a Dorito...well, you try, then!

. But is it a coincidence that the Year of Faith coincides with the 75th anniversary of the first publication of The Hobbit? I think not! So we could blend the two seamlessly together using some choice quotes from the one to give people a better picture of the other..... Not that I've been up all night thinking about this, but what about:
'"Year of Faith" : Because not all those who wander are lost'. (O.K.,so it's not exactly from The Hobbit, but, have a little faith!!). Or what about  "because not all those who wonder are lost"?

Actually, why not use the  whole quote it's perfect and I love it:

The Year of Faith, because......
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken
The crownless again shall be King.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

An Ordination and the JHNILM Conference

Spent weekend at the beautiful ordination at the Birmingham Oratory of Father Roger Raven. His Grace , Archbishop Bernard Longley presided, I was mitre bearer. (I only found out after that the cross on my back would have been the arrow target in olden days...I may not have agreed to carry His Grace's 'hat', if I'd have known!..Has someone got it in for me?!)...
At the same time due to unfortunate timing, the JHNILM was holding its first conference and almost bilocating after Mass, mom whizzed the girls down to the Oratory Primary school for a singing lesson with Jeremy de Satge. Also unfortunately, this meant that the girls had not had anything to eat. "Whoops!", as Mom would say. A minor oversight. I dont think I'm exaggerating when I say that Mr de Satge apparently worked a minor miracle getting the girls to sing at all....they gave a short recital with some of the Oratory school pupils of Ave Regina Caelorum at the end of the lesson. I wasn't there, but Mom said the school pupils were really good, but that, without wanting to be unkind, there was a definite off tune sound coming from the general area where my sisters were standing...I did only say a minor miracle.
The good thing for Mom was that she completely forgot she was meant to be coming back for me as I had been in the queue for one of Father's first blessings after the Ordination. So, while i was hanging around the Oratory car park, she was being lured by the promise of a cup of steaming coffee, into one of the talks going on while the girls were in their lesson. So I should have said the two good things for mom, or even three, forgetting me, and as a result, coffee, sitting down, and a really good lecture by Ben Whitworth on the use and abuse of hymns in the Mass.(That's actually four). Knowing that Bara Brith  was there,she did say she was a bit distracted at times trying to work out who the famous blogger was out of the group that was there! She said it was areally good talk, refreshing, but a very interesting history especially of Cardinal Newman's active involvement in various attempts to introduce hymns into the Mass, and his reation when his own poems from The Dream Of Gerontius made their appearance as hymns. (He didn't approve!). To sum it up, hymns with meaningful word are really good, but the emphasis should be on using them more for devotional worship, processions and not straight after communion or as replacements for the sung propers  of the Mass. There was the idea of a new or old...collection being  put together of liturgical music for use in parishes. I somehow dont think "Colours of Day" would be in there, though!

Best line of the  talk, Mom said "There is a place for 'Shine, Jesus, Shine', but it's not in the Mass". Mr Whitworth did not specify where that place might be!

 I was thinking which other hymns might end up in such a place, and these sprang into mind: Colours of Day
                     Go The Mass is ended
                     Lord of the Dance....
             and Colours of Day
Feel free to add any other contenders in the combox!

Friday, 14 September 2012

5 Years of Summorum Pontificum, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Beatitudes!

Happy 5th Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum to everyone out there who has benefitted from  the Holy Father's gift to the Church
In one of  Father's sermons this week,  he pointed out that the Archbishop of Canterbury is actually right!! Well, we all sat up then and began to listen! Apparently, in his autobiography, the Archbishop of Canterbury has called on Christians to stop whining, just because it's not quite so comfortable being Christian in the current secular culture. Stop whining!! What great advice!. But the Archbishop's advice is so right on the nail: Stop whining, no matter how far you gotta drive to Mass!!
Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will know the rest...

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A request from one of my readers!

I have received an e-mail from one of my readers, asking me to find out from any of you good people out there, whether any of you know of any contemplative religious orders for women, that are exclusively extraordinary form. Please leave a comment! Thanks.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

No Hope for the Catholic Church?

Anyone having any doubt about the future of the Liturgy in this country might like to know what I was doing today! Without giving too much away, I was privileged to serve a Novus Ordo Mass, where there were almost as many maniples as there were priests!
Afterwards, I stayed behind to act as server, while Father and 2 other priests from far flung corners of the Birmingham diocese began practicing the Extraordinary form of the Mass, while members of the parish prayed their Rosary. What can I say? The Fathers are coming along  nicely!! And one of them is already an experienced Deacon and Subdeacon. Average age of the Reverend Fathers?Young!!! Another such practice has taken place observed by a young seminarian.
As Fr Z says, "Brick by Brick"...though I'm not sure the Reverend Fathers would like to hear themselves described that way!!!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

More about Fontgombault.

Of course, the main part of any retreat is the food, and I was not disappointed!! The lunches were amazing! After Grace was chanted, which took 2-3 minutes, a section from The Rule of Saint Benedict, then you could eat! First there was either soup or fruit, the soups were great, but the Monks put a lot of salt into them! The fruit was also lovely. Most of the meals for the main course had boiled potatoes and another vegetable and at lunch with something else. I don't think I disliked  a single meal! After that there was pudding, which was either fruit or something else sweet. I think most of the food that they eat at the Monastery is grown by the Monks, with some exceptions, like on the Sunday there was rice which I don't think is possible to grow in mid France. At the end of lunch there was coffee which I drank for the first time there and liked it, but you had to drink it very fast and it was hot. After all the guests had finished drinking their coffee, the Monk who had been chanting in French, concluded his chanting with Tu autem Domine... and then everyone rose and the Monks chanted the after Grace which went on for about 5 minutes, and then there was nothing to do till Terce at 2:40. After Terce you could do work and I did, every day except Sunday.  It was hard, my friends and I worked every day, trying to clear a field full of rubble so that I presume the Monks can plant something there. On Wednesday we worked with a lot of French scouts picking potatoes. After the work was done there were refreshments, which were lovely! Cold mint tea, I think and dark chocolate fingers! Until Vespers at 6:00 there was nothing to do. After Vespers, we normally went to the houses where our families were staying and quite often had a bit of their tea, so we succeeded in getting two teas most days!! The teas in the Monastery were a bit simpler than the lunches with mainly only vegetables for the main course, and no coffee at the end. After tea there was nothing until Compline at 8:35 so my two friends and I usually prayed the Rosary between tea and Compline. After  Compline, all the Monks and some of the guests said a silent prayer to Our Lady, and then it was bed!