Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Quimper Cathedral - Should I be tell them or will you?

On holiday we had a lovely trip to Quimper (lots of nice, eccentric streets to amble along, gravity-defying medieval buildings, crepes and cider - you get the picture). One of the highlights was the excellent Cathedral of St Corentin.

The boys really enjoyed the sheer scale of it and the mix of styles, though the wrecovated sanctuary is a typical Gallic mess worthy of a rocket-propelled grenade and appalled even the decidedly non-religious Mrs P. Weekday Mass is celebrated at the old high altar on an inadequate fake Louis XIV table that wouldn't look out of place in the props for'Allo 'Allo!

Down one set of side altars there is an exhibition of Religious Dress of the Past. I think the good bishop of Quimper is in for a shock. For a start your Lordship, you will be needing those vestments very soon, I would have thought, which will give you chance to ditch the horse blankets.

Also, your Lordship when you do start using them, do put the stoles under the chasubles etc rather than over them.

Finally, your Lordship, there are plenty of priests who wear such religious dress, today. The Holy Father rather prefers it to, say, a pair of light slacks and a polo shirt.

Finally, if you can't think of anything better than an exhibition for these vestments (hey -how about using them for the liturgy?) why not pass them on to someone who will use them. I'm sure there are plenty of parish priests with enough French to write to the eveque to see if he wants to offload these vestments to those who will gladly use them.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Happy days

Mom loves the both of them
You see it's in the blood
Both kids are good to Mom
Blood's thicker than the mud

Sly and The Family Stone
Family Affair

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

One chasuble at a time

Well a very interesting development at Mass this morning. The Curate came in procession and rather than the usual (modern) gothic(ish) chasuble he was wearing this rather smart ensemble (well actually it was something very like it from Gammarelli's). From a purely practical point of view I am sure it was a relief on a hot Sunday morning to wear natural silk without sleeves rather than a hideous horse blanket in man-made fibres. To be fair Monsignor invested well in the vestments we have - they look very dignified for Mass and not at all horse-blanket-like. I wish the same could be said of most modern vestments. Many complimentary comments were made after Mass.

It is easy to sound a bit camp about all this stuff ("Oooooh! What a bona chasuble!) but the fact is that beautifying and re-enchanting the liturgy is part of the Benedictine reforms. A gauntlet is being thrown down, parish by parish and sooner or later the Tabletistas will have to realise that the liturgy is of central inportance and that 40 years of playing fast and loose with the Mass is changing.

Get with the programme, hippies.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

A Good Girl

The Bad Black Dog died the day before we went on holiday. The photo was taken the day before she died. She'd been on the decline for months - walks became harder and harder as her back legs gave in, as they tend to in labradors. But she still had a zest for life and a good appetite.

In her prime she had been a great dog - gentle with small kids, affectionate but not slobbery. We got her from a farm Up North (of Inverness) aged one year and for a time she was very scared of men. Her timidity went (she would constantly nudge your hand with her wet nose if walking to heel for the first few months) but it took her a year to utter her first "woof". Like most labradors she was a food thief (and remained so until very near the end). Despite her name (largely a result of chewing and thus wrecking my wife's shoes whenever left alone in her early years) she was really a Very Good Dog.

The house feels very empty without her and it's strange not having her to take out morning and night. We've lost a member of the family.

I may be wrong but I suspect the Church has little or nothing to say about the fate of animals after death. I can't imagine Heaven without the Bad Black Dog at my side to have some share in the Beatific Vision, which is my joyful hope.

Night, night. Good girl.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Home Thoughts From Abroad: Cake and fine wine

"Miss Blennerhassett, phone the police"

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Home Thoughts From Abroad: Was there anything else?

"Tell them to go to hell."

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Home Thoughts From Abroad: ...it is now..it's 4

"...some people are on the pitch...they think it's all over...it is now...it's 4!"

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Home Thoughts From Abroad: Jonny Wilkinson

Hard luck, Aussies. *sniggers quietly behind hand*

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Home Thoughts From Abroad: Brideshead Revisited

Look out for Fr Finigan in the very last scene....

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Home Thoughts From Abroad: The Greatest Try Ever

"...this is Gareth Edwards....what a score!"

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Home Thoughts From Abroad: Mr Cholmondley-Warner

"..or at the music hall, watching a vulgar act...."


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Home Thoughts From Abroad: I Was Glad

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Home Thoughts From Abroad: Tommy Cooper

Spoon, jar. Jar, spoon.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Home Thoughts From Abroad:The History Boys

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Home Thoughts From Abroad: Trooping The Colour

Escort to The Colour will advance. By. The. Centre. Slow.....March!

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Ideal Physician

Give me a doctor partridge-plump,
Short in the leg and broad in the rump,
An endomorph with gentle hands
Who'll never make absurd demands
That I abandon all my vices
Nor pull a long face in a crisis,
But with a twinkle in his eye
Will tell me that I have to die.

-WH Auden, Collected Poems

A long time ago, Fr Tim Finigan invited all manner of comments about smoking and the like from Joee and Matt. They should read their own journals to see what they might be in the future.