Friday, April 20, 2007
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
Thursday, April 12, 2007
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or our esteemed President (email@example.com) and we'll let you know what's involved :-)
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
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.