Friday, December 21, 2007

First Christmas in our new (Ecclesiastical) home, Deo Gratias!

The three Masses for Christmas in St Kevin's Church, Harrington St, Dublin 8 are as follows:

9pm Christmas Eve, Mass at Night
9am Christmas Day, Mass at Dawn
10.30 am Christmas Day, Mass in the Day

All weekday Masses during the Octave of Christmas will be 9am instead of the usual 8am.

On Monday, December 31st (New Year's Eve) there will be a Solemn Te Deum and Benediction at 7.00pm.

Further information from the Chaplain, Rev. Gerard Deighan at 087 288 46 38 or

Friday, December 14, 2007

My one and only ...

My one and only tagger, that is. My soon to be life-long and solemnly vowed better half has tagged me again, with one of those impossible list everything you know about yourself memes, and with the proviso that you tag half the world! Well actually only 8 people, but as I couldn't even manage SIX people last time, I'll just say (pre-emptively) that if you read this and are as yet untagged for this particular exercise, consider yourself tagged now!

Apparently I have to list 8 random facts or habits about myself, and then tag lots of other people. Well I've copped out of the last part already so here goes with the eight.

1. I like to be precise, and yes, that is almost synonymous with pedantic. But only almost...

2. I'm a coffee, tea and occasionally wine snob. It has to be real, (i.e. ground coffee, leaf tea and the wine must always be red, wet & alcoholic). Accept no substitutes!

3. I'm a bibliophile: the more books the better. It'll be even better when I get to read them all! I don't collect first editions or fine bindings just to look at them; I get books to read or to give away as presents. I refuse to recognise any other reason for owning a book, although if it happens to be nice to look at (or even smell too) that's no harm.

4. Pipe smoker. Only very occasionally but it's good for unwinding after lots of stressful goings-on, and is also a poke in the eye for the neo-pagan health fascists who seem to be everywhere these days. (After all, as my sainted Dad used to say, "life is a sexually transmitted disease with a 100% mortality rate".)

5. Stationery junkie. I like paper and envelopes and note cards and personal calling cards (I always have some with my name, address, phone number, email &rl in my card case, in my jacket pocket) and copperplate fount in mid-blue for my personal letterhead. (A PC with a half-way decent printer is a great blessing!) As addictions go it's more fun than most and less harm than almost any other.

6. When I get tired and I mean really tired my sense of humour (an erratic thing at best) either goes into overdrive or disappears completely. (My poor fiancée is sometimes reduced to reassuring me in a voice-suitable-for-the-sickbed-of-a-close-friend that she was only joking; the fact that I will, in fact, see the joke later, i.e. after 8 hours sleep never seems to help at the time ...)

7. I am capable of footnoting anything, even a conversation. I often lose people's attention that way ... By way of a footnote to items 1 and 5 in this list, yes, fount is the correct spelling for the word pronounced "font" and the contraction "&rl" is not a typo, it's the Irish form of "etc". And yes it is "Irish" or more specifically "Erse"; the language is emphatically NOT called "Gaelic" which is either a form of football or the Celtic language of Scotland. (The latter is pronounced "Gaah-lic" rather than "Gay-lic" incidentally.) Unless you happen to be American, in which case all bets are off!

8. I am terrible for finishing things properly, and often have no idea how to bring a project to a proper conclusion. Like now, for instance.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The imposing presence of our Chaplain ...

Our Chaplain, the Reverend Gerard Deighan, is featured in all his praedicatorial and sacerdotal splendour in a photo here . There is also a very informative report on our settling in to our new home at St Kevin's Church, Harrington St. Deo gratias!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Tasteless joke alert!!!

If you've seen this and seen this lady's response to it along the lines of
you could probably teach a cat to bark, L. Cat's are sooooooooo smart. I bet you couldn't teach a dog to miow.

Teaching a dog to miaow is easy. Take your dog. Tie him to the back of your Ferrari or other high speed vehicle and then hit the accelerator - Miiiaaaaoooowww!

Teaching a cat to go "woof" is a little more difficult. Take your cat. Tie him/her/it up. Pour lighter fluid all over and then apply a lighted match. Result: Woof!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Summorum Pontificum

Well we got our long awaited motu proprio which gives us very wide scope for TLMs at the drop of a hat. Or maybe not ... Various Irish Dioceses seem to be adopting a cautious wait and see approach. Some are trying to introduce restrictive regulations, like Cloyne but as ever there is a solution. If you have asked (respectfully and charitably) and you have been refused, you can always appeal to Rome. Damian Thompson of the Daily Torygraph's Holy Smoke blog recommends writing "in measured language". The inimitable Fr Z (spelled ZED but pronounce ZEE, go figure) goes a little further. He gives the following summary of his own excellent advice: "Be brief, send evidence, leave out the obvious, don’t vent". He also gives an address
His Eminence
Dario Card. Castrillon Hoyos
President of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei"
Palazzo del Sant’Uffizio

So remember, just because you're (justifiably) angry or miffed or whatever, prudence, temperance and charity are still obligatory. Think carefully about what you need to say and follow Fr Zuhldorf's advice.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Res Latinae

All things Latin are coming back into vogue with the restoration of the Usus Antiquior to a place of honour in the Church. Our Pontifex Maximus having given us this great gift, many people are now looking for accessible Latin texts. Besides the celebrant's Missal (Altar Missal forthcoming from PCP, God bless them) there are also bilingual Missals available from various places. (The second bilingual link leads to Angelus Press, an SSPX operation; I don't agree with SSPX/Angelus generally but their Missal has larger print than Baronius and is easier to read especially for the older Mass-goer.)

As well as a Missal for full and actual participation in the Mass itself, one of the most important books for a Christian is the Bible. So is it available in Latin? Yes, as I explained here. I've since discovered that a combined Vulgate & Douai-Reims New Testament is available here, from Loreto Publications, the same firm that reprinted Deferrari & Barry's Lexicon of St Thomas Aquinas. (Though buying D&B from PCP might make more sense, as it's almost $20 cheaper!) Remember that the Douai-Reims-Challoner is as close and literal a translation of the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate as you're likely to get, so you'll always have a crib ready-to-hand for when you get stuck!

Finally, what if you have no Latin at all but would like to learn? There are two options for the Irish would-be Latinist. Firstly, set aside 8 weeks and approximately €2,5000 and do it in University College Cork. Alternatively, and more modestly, you can download a complete, absolute beginners Missal-based course in Latin from the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales. (Not to be confused with our own LMSI.) The LMSEW site seems to be down at the moment but this link will take you to an archived version of the page. It has the whole course in discrete .PDF modules or as a single .ZIP file, and is available for free download. So for all those budding Latinists, there is hope yet!

Their site is back up again, so Simplicissimus is available here too!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Apparently, I should play the harp! (I can't even play chopsticks!)

You Should Play the Harp

You are a sensitive soul, with a great admiration for beauty.
You definitely have what it takes to make beautiful music, but most instruments are too harsh for you.

You are subtle, shy, and even a bit spoiled. You're very picky about most aspects of your life.
It's just your style to play an eccentric, hard to transport instrument like the harp that few people consider.

Overall, you have the relaxed demeanor of a leisurely upper class person, and your music would reflect that.
Your calm yet soulful harp playing would be sure to help people forget their troubles for a while.

Your dominant personality characteristic: your zen-ness

Your secondary personality characteristic: your quiet independence

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Calling all Thomists ...

Two things of interest to the Aquinas fan in your life. One I am simultaneously delighted and bitter about. Preserving Christian Publications (whom Fr Z seems to like a little) have the incomparable Aquinas Lexicon (by Deferrari and Barry) for $70! When I got mine, six months ago, I paid almost $100. But then after it got translated into Monopoly Money, it wasn't so bad. Anyway for those living in Euro or Sterling land, this is a bargain not to be missed.

Also if you're around Maynooth, Co Kildare in three weeks time, specifically on the 25th of October (that's a Thursday) at 7.00pm the Cairde Thomáis Naofa are having a seminar in Renehan Hall, St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth.

It opens with Gaven Kerr, Queen’s University, Belfast on The Limitation of Infinite Esse and the Self-Revelation of Being. (Gaven is an old friend, and a very good philosopher indeed.) At 8.00 p.m. then Professor Enrique Martinez, University of Navarre, Spain is going to talk about "Thomas Aquinas and the Incommunicability of Personal Being: A Consideration of Some Personalist Criticisms".

Well worth going, if you're at all philosophically minded.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Tagged by Therese

I've been tagged by Therese. Since she's a friend of my intended I'd better respond.

1. Do you attend the Traditional Latin Mass or the Novus Ordo?

TLM all the way! It's in St Audoen's on Sundays and NOW in St Kevin's, Harrington St on weekdays.

2. If you attend the TLM, how far do you drive to get there?

40 minute bus ride

3. If you had to apply a Catholic label to yourself, what would it be?

Just Catholic, actually

4. Are you a comment junkie?

So-so, it depends how interesting the topic is ...

5. Do you go back to read the comments on the blogs you’ve commented on?

Often but not always

6. Have you ever left an anonymous comment on another blog?

Once, by accident. I went back and claimed it though, as soon as I realised.

7. Which blogroll would you most like to be on?

The Dawn Patrol, since I'm already on Lowdenclear's!

8. Which blog is the first one you check?

The Curt Jester

9. Have you met any other bloggers in person?

TWO. Dawn Eden when she was last in Dublin. I've met Lowdenclear (I proposed marriage to her, in fact) but that was before I read her blog or she mine.

10. What are you reading?

PHECC Training Standards! Not exciting but it's for a report due tomorrow! Also, IaIIae for a course of lectures I'm giving. Oh and Jesus of Nazareth, by the Holy Father.

Bonus Question! Has your site been banned by Spirit of Vatican II?

Sadly, no but one day, hopefully!

I think I'm supposed to tag FIVE bloggers!! I don't know five bloggers but as this was an exercise designed to get to my fiancée, I'll just tag her instead.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

You say to-may-toe, I say to-mah-toe!

Fr Z of What Does The Prayer Really Say? wants everyone to put in their tuppence worth or rather their two cent worth (the plural of cent has of course been banned by the EU) regarding what to call a Mass according to the Editio Typica of the Missale Romanum of 1962! There are only three choices but this is the runoff round. By the way, if you have to ask who Fr Z is, I'm not going to tell you! Go read his blog and you'll understand why the trad blogsphere takes him so seriously.

Arch-Radical Paleo-Traditionalists ...

For those who may not have seen it or indeed wondered where it disappeared to, here are the two surviving traces of the web presence of the Society of Saint Pius I!! To be any more trad, you'd have to be Jewish TM.

When something this good disappears, you have to wonder whether helicopter-borne Cardinal assassins had something to with it, a la Dan Brown ...

Res Biblica ...

Some time ago I posted on the availability of the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate (aka the Latin Bible used by the Church until 1970 or so) in hard copy. I mentioned for those who might be interested that Baronius Press were going to produce a new edition of the SCV. This isn't going to happen now. They have this to say on their website:

Clementine Vulgate

Although we did plan to publish a Clementine Vulgate Bible, we have had very few requests for this. Another possibility would be to produce a Clementine Vulgate/ Douay-Rheims combined Bible. Those who may be interested in having such a publication should contact us, as we would have to gauge the demand for such a Bible prior to producing it.

So there you have it. You can have the scholarly German Bible Society edition, without punctuation. Or you can have the Spanish edition which I'm told has muchos patristic citations and references to Denzinger, and luxuries like full stops and things. (I still maintain that the publishers BAC don't bind their books terribly well though.) If you want a leatherbound, high quality version (albeit with a facing page Douai-Reims-Challoner text) then you'll have to ask Baronius Press nicely!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Isn't the Internet grand?

I came upon the perfect way to settle that nagging question "Am I a nerd?" here.
The answer was: says I'm a Kinda Dorky High Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!
It's nice to have settled that! Hat tip to the Man With the Aquinas Quote.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Matrimony ...

I'm planning to commit matrimony in a year or so! Of course for the readers of this blog (all three of you) this is hardly news but then the Lady who said yes to my proposal is no stranger to you either. We're planning to have a TLM with all the bells and whistles or at least all the smells and bells. It'll be in St Kevin's, Harrington St, all going well but only if Herself doesn't change her mind first ...

That last bit is pretty unlikely but I just want to see if she reacts :-)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Abortion has come to the fore again

Abortion or more precisely life issues generally have come to the fore again recently. For anyone in Ireland, specifically the Republic, the question of the new ethical guidelines for medical doctors are a current worry. The Medical Council are looking for submissions from the public but the timeframe is very tight. Submissions have to be in by 5.00pm on Friday September 7th 2007. Email is ok ( or online at the Medical Council website. If you're not sure what to say or how to put a submission together then look at this. The nice people at Family and Life have put together a guide for making a submission which takes you through the relevant points. So anyone who wants to defend the prolife ethos of Irish Medical practice needs to get their skates on.

The other abortion related ethical discussion I came across today was on Dawn Eden's blog. Apparently a pro-abortion activist in the US set herself up as an authority on Muslim religious law and practice. Specifically she told a Muslim woman that an abortion before 4 months gestation was unproblematic because the "fetus" didn't yet have a soul. (This is reminiscent of some fairly silly "ensoulment" debates in Catholic circles regarding the same issue.)

Since there is no central religious authority, questions of Muslim religious law and practice are often hotly disputed. Of course, what the abortionist didn't tell her unfortunate client is that there is a consensus that abortion is always sinful for a Muslim. She talked about "put[ting] Mohammed's proscription about killing your children in some historical context". The opinion of at least one influential group learned in such matters is that whatever the context, abortion is almost always wrong. It looks like there is one thing that anyone of any religion can rely on. Pro-abortion folks are the last people to turn to for religious guidance.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Te Deum Laudamus!

Here is the Motu Proprio we've been waiting for since (in my case) 1986. It's in Latin or in English here.

(Please note that I have edited this post to remove the link to the US Catholic Bishops Conference version of Summorum Pontificum. I've replaced it with a link to a text that seems to be a more accurate translation.)

Now I'm off to recite the Te Deum (because I sing very badly indeed). If you feel like joining me the words are linked here in Latin and English

Friday, July 06, 2007

Gloria, Gloria, Motu Proprio!

It's looks like it's finally here, albeit through a slightly devious route. Rocco Palmo, a Catholic journalist from Philadelphia, has some of the text at his blog Whispers in the Loggia. Much of it is very welcome, but it is as some predicted a cautious document. It's not the be-all and the end-all that some feverish predictions had us waiting for but it will make life easier for many, many trads. More importantly, it'll be a step forward for the Church as a whole, if it leads to more freedom for those of us attached to the '62 Missal and more reverent celebrations for those who prefer the 1970 Missal. It might even lead to a sudden outbreak of fraternal charity between the two, which would be no small achievement!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

At last ....

So the much talked-of and speculated about motu proprio is finally going to see the light of day! I'm not following one of the usual rumour mills on this; instead I'm going by this which is the news service of this. So it is official, and from the horse's mouth! An English translation of the Italian text linked above can be found here courtesy of Rocco Palmo, an American journalist.

My only regret (now that it is officially here-ish) is that it wasn't released on time for Pentecost and the 25th Walking Pilgrimage from Paris to Chartres. The usual Irish contingent was there, although we were sorely tried by what our Paris fixer so eloquently called the plague of rain and mud! (For those who want to see more of le Pelèrinage 2007 there are photos here and here and here. The pictures in the first album belong to Ciarán MacGuill de Clichy and in the last to Jean-Peter Adams.)

So if all goes well, we should have a new juridical situation for the Traditional Mass, sooner rather than later. I'm going to follow Fr John Zuhlsdorf's Five Rules for When the Motu Proprio comes and will encourage everyone else to do likewise. Other than that we should thank firstly God, and then our Most Holy Lord, Benedict XVI by the grace of God, Pope and Servant of the Servants of God.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I'm a bit shocked to discover that ...

I'm still 39% Charismatic/Pentecostal!! Me?

You scored as Roman Catholic,You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Roman Catholic


Neo orthodox




Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan






Reformed Evangelical


Classical Liberal


Modern Liberal


What's your theological worldview?
created with

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tagged again ....

I've been tagged and, no surprise at all, it was that lady again! (By the way, anyone who feels like supporting her sponsored abseil down the side of a high building in Belfast can do so here. It's in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care, which doubtless can use all the help it can get!)

Anyway, now that I am back from Chartres here is what she asked for.

My ten favourite movies (in no particular order):

1. To Kill a Mockingbird (Gregory Peck at his finest!)

2. The Browning Version (the Michael Redgrave version, emphatically not the one with Albert Finney)

3. Dirty Harry (hey I'm a bloke, it's allowed!)

4. Charade (Carey Grant being harassed by Audrey Hepburn, classic!)

5. Persuasion (Ciarán Hinds taking an hour and a half to realise that Amanda Root was just what the doctor ordered all along.)

6. The Dead Poet's Society (I used to wish I had an English teacher like that.)

7. Any of Christopher Lee's three Fu Manchu films from the late 1960s (If only to spot all the Irish locations ... )

8. The Wicker Man (For anyone who thinks that a revival of paganism would be a good thing, this is well worth seeing.)

9. Down Periscope
Let's Kick this Pig!

10. The Night Mail (let's face it when Britten wrote the score and W. H. Auden wrote a poem especially for it, it's got to be a little bit special.)

21 words to describe me: Hmm ... I'll have to give that one a little thought ...
OK I've thought, so here goes:
Traditional Catholic, realist philosopher, bibliophile, francophile, oenophile, technophobe, teacher, pedant, hopeful pessimist, acolyte, first responder, martinet, volunteer, mensch (I hope), patriotic, eurosceptic, curious, (somebody's) boyfriend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Graecum est non legitur ...

During the Middle Ages in the West a misunderstanding of all things Eastern (by which I mean the Christian East) was de rigeur. We've gotten beyond that thank God, and during the Pontificate of John Paul II of blessed memory, Eastern Catholics finally began to be appreciated by us (i.e. their Western, Roman-rite brothers). For those in or around Dublin who aren't already aware of it, the following event might be of interest. (It comes courtesy of Peadar Laighléis, President of the LMSI.)

I just received an announcement from Monsignor Ó Céileachair which I am happy to pass on.

Sunday 27 May will see a Pontifical Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in St. Alphonsus Chapel, Drumcondra, Dublin 9 at 3pm. The St. Alphonsus Chapel is the beautiful chapel of the Redemptoristine Convent which was sold for development several years ago (c. 2000); in which applications were unsucessfully made to rezone it for commercial use; which was almost destroyed by fire in 2001; and which was put on the market again some months ago (some people alerted me to that). As I have said, the chapel is beautiful and though it was originally Latin rite, it is particularly sympathetic to the Eastern liturgy. This is the first time it has been used as a chapel since the Redemptoristines moved out late in the last Millennium.

The principal celebrant of the Pontifical Divine Liturgy will be one of the least known bishops in the Irish hierarchy, Bishop Hlib, Apostolic Visitor to the Eastern Catholics in Ireland. The Liturgy will commemorate:

1. The 15th anniversary of the Greek Catholic congregation in Dublin;
2. the 30th anniversary of Bishop Hlib's ordination to the priesthood;
3. the 40th anniversary of Father Archimandrite Ó Céileachair to the priesthood; and
4. the 75th anniversary of the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin where Blessed Nicholas Charnetsky (bishop and martyr) offered the first Catholic Divine Liturgy in Ireland.

All are welcome, and you may pass it on.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Three book meme ...

I've been tagged (first time ever incidentally) by this lady and as I'd do almost anything she asks, here goes:

1. Three non-fiction books everyone should read:

Summa Theologica or at least some of it (or should that be Summa of it?). It's the single greatest work of the High Middle Ages and is one of the greatest achievements of Christian Theology in any age. (If the full text is too complicated, you can a sense of it from Walter Farrell's Companion to the Summa).

The Last Days of Socrates (one book in the Penguin edition but four dialogues in the original). The original philosophical martyr - even if it was only a natural truth that he died for, he still chose to die rather than betray it. The relevant Dialogues are all available here (courtesy of the kind people at Project Gutenberg).

Parkinson's Law or the Pursuit of Progress. This was originally written as a spoof but apply it to any large business or government organisation and see exactly how accurate it is! For those of us who are a bit cynical about the massive EU/EC bureaucracy and indeed the forthcoming (whether-we-like-it-or-not) EU Constitution, C. Northcote Parkinson assures us that as soon as the final grand flourishes are put to it, it'll collapse just like the League of Nations!

2. Three works of fiction that everyone should read:

Obviously The Lord of the Rings. Enough said!

After that, well, it'd have to be the Phantom Tollbooth. Read this and you'll never look at ordinary life in the same way again.

Finally for the intelligent but hopeless romantic there is nothing like Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy. You get to the end wanting to know what happened to these people (who almost feel like friends rather than literary characters).

3. Three authors everyone should read:

G. K. Chesterton - the man who makes most sense out of the nonsense so rampant in his time and ours.

C. S. Lewis for children's fiction, Christian apologetic (even if Mere Christianity is a bit of a cop-out) and above all for the Discarded Image. It's good enough to rival Régine Pernoud's Pour en Finir avec le Moyen Age (or as the otherwise wonderful people at Ignatius Press call it ... well no I can't even say it myself!)

Ronald Arbuthnot Knox. I hate most of his fiction (Memoirs of the Future and his detective stories) but his Let Dons Delight is the best bit of academic fiction I've ever read. His apologetics is very good indeed, and Enthusiasm is about the best analysis going of the charismatic impulse in Western Christianity.

4. Three books that nobody should read:

The Catcher in the Rye. Self-indulgent nonsense. It bored me silly as a teenager, and when I tried it years later, it was even worse!

The Emperor of Ice Cream. Just awful. I felt like gouging my eyes out after being forced to read this garbage in school. This is another one I tried to re-read as an adult and found it worse than first time around.

Lastly for sheer unmitigated nonsense Jean-Paul Sartre's Existentialism and humanism takes the biscuit. Almost no-one ever reads it any more but that's no harm. It's so bad that it makes Richard Dawkins' published delusions look intelligent!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Buxom and bonny ....

A good while ago I picked up a copy of the 1847 printed edition of the Exeter Pontifical, a 14th Century episcopal liturgy manual compiled by Edmund Lacy, then Bishop of Exeter. It's almost entirely in Latin, naturally, and records lots of local usages which have long since fallen by the wayside. Some of the more interesting ones include a blessing for books (ideal for yours truly), a blessing for the shield and staff before a duel (!), and even the form for consecrating a King or Queen. (When we finally set things to rights I'll be well prepared!)

What was interestingly familiar was the marriage service. It had shades of Cranmer's Prayer book though of course it is more accurate to say that Cranmer has shades of it! Though being a Catholic, which is to say Sacramental, marriage service it's a bit more earthy than the fastidious Anglican sensibility would allow for. Thus we find the following exchange "Here Ich N. take ye N. to my weddud wife, to haven and to holden fro yys day forward, for betre, for wors, for rycher, for porer, in syknesse, and in helthe, tyl deth us departe, yf holy chyrche hyt wol ordeyne, and thereto I plyzth my treuthe.

That's fairly recognisable - if the spelling seems a bit awkward, try saying it out loud and it will sound familiar. However when we get on to the wife-to-be's lines they are a bit, well, odd ... She says and I quote "Ich N. take ye N. to my weddyd hosebound, to haven and to holden fro yys day forward, for betre, for wors, for rycher, for porer, in sekenesse, and in helthe, to be boneyre and buxom in bedde and at boorde, tyl deth us departe, yf holychurch hyt wol ordeyne, and ther to I plyzth my trewthe."

Romantic? Not much. Practical, yes, very! I'll say nothing about the bit, a little further on, where the priest/bishop blesses the "lectum" i.e. the marriage bed, and then blesses the spouses while they're in the bed and he (finally) disappears. Like I said, earthy. Of course, every time I hear the word 'buxom' I have visions of Barbara Windsor in something like this. In fact all 'buxom' meant originally was obliging or pliant. In return for being buxom and bonny she got the following promise from him "Wyth thys ryng Iche ye wedde, and with my body ich ye honour, and with al my gold ich ye dowe, in nomine Patri, et Filii et Spirit us Sancti, Amen." So he provided the money and she provided the home comforts. It's one way of doing things I suppose ...

Monday, April 16, 2007

If you haven't already ...

In case you hadn't heard todays is the Holy Father's 80th Birthday! For those who (like I did) forgot to send him a proper birthday card, you can at least send him best wishes electronically. Just follow the link and fill in the form. Here's to hoping we'll be doing this for many years to come. (Hat tip to the Curt Jester.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Recovered, finally ...

I've thoroughly recovered from Holy Week at this stage but then it was (as far as the Traditional Mass in Dublin goes) the best ever. We had the whole Triduum with some extras, like Tenebrae on Spy Wednesday and Stations of the Cross on Good Friday; the latter included Meditations on the Way of the Cross by the Servant of God John Henry Newman. The Triduum itself was intense and very moving, and also very musical. We had the Lassus Scholars and their junior colleagues The Piccolo Lasso providing much of the music under the directio of their incomparable Foundress. Their rendition of Allegri's Miserere (Psalm 1) would move the Angels - were they capable of it - to envy.

As welcome as these visitors always are, it's important not to forget our own regular choir or rather Guild of Choristers with their indefatigable leader Robert Daly. (Yes he's the gentleman with the intense expression in the photo; his seriousness about the music is matched only by his geniality and affability when "off duty".)

Apart from that the liturgy itself went like a dream. The Holy Week ceremonies are usually a lot of work and this year was no exception. But somehow, we (the altar servers and general liturgical factota) seemed to be able to manage it all with less panic than in previous years. Our pastor (not his official title but it reflects what he actually does) commented that a few years repetition has given us a certain finesse in these matters. Well, thank God for that! About the ceremonies themselves the less said, the better. You really have to be there to understand how they work and what they mean. They'll be on at the same times (more or less) in the same place next year, so you know where to come! (NB The reason why the map is in Polish is because we share the Church with the Polish chaplaincy in Ireland. This led to some rapid change-overs from their congregation to ours and back again over Easter but we all came through it unscathed!)

The other high-point (of a non liturgical kind) was persuading this lady to make the trip to Dublin for the Solemn Liturgy of Good Friday. She nearly killed me for "persuading" her to drive into the (almost) City Centre - which she hates! However, all's well that ends well. Both she and her friend K seemed to get a lot out of it. What they also got a lot of was information and explanations out of me; I'm just hoping that they were actually as accurate as I thought they were at the time. Anyway, after all that fun and excitement, the next big event will be the Ascension rapidly followed by Pentecost which means - Chartres! Or rather it means three days of walking & praying to get there and not incidentally three days of your humble servant chivying the poor patient Irish pilgrims! Be that as it may if you feel like joining in there's just time to sign up. Contact me ( or our esteemed President ( and we'll let you know what's involved :-)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Apparently, I'm St Melito of Sardis!

You’re St. Melito of Sardis!

You have a great love of history and liturgy. You’re attached to the traditions of the ancients, yet you recognize that the old world — great as it was — is passing away. You are loyal to the customs of your family, though you do not hesitate to call family members to account for their sins.

Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!