Thursday, June 30, 2011

Occassional psalm

Psalm 122, King's College Choir.

The Tones.

Antiphonale Romanum,

There are some mysteries which are so deep, that men can never fathom the dephths of their meaning. I have realised, that the Fourth mode is one of these mysteries.

Seriously, I've been chanting the office regularly for about three three years now, and yet the fourth mode confuses me. IT FAILS TO MAKE SENSE. I'll start off with an antiphon or responsory or hymn or something, and the whole thing will sound EXACTLY like the the first mode, and then, whoops, last note is different. That's where I was with they hymn Decora Lux last evening. It sounds and appears to be in first mode, and then the last note is different, so it turns out it's not. That makes learning it a bit harder. Sometime I wonder if the fourth mode is actually just a very successful trolling attempt that no one has figured out yet.

And also, everything they say is true: Pius XII/Bea psalter= COMPLETELY UNSINGABLE. Don't waste your time. Stick to the Vulgata or Nova Vulgata.The phrases are far too long for me personally. It seems like your stuck on the dominant for ever. Sometimes they're far too short, and you're on the dominant for a single syllable before going into the termination.

I'm still on the fence about whether the Nova Vulgata is better of the New Nova Vulgata. (Yup, they revised it. The revised version is in Lauds and Vespers, but I have he older version now. The only real differences are in the canticles.)

And now,

Franz Schubert.

This taught me not to trust teh internetz. The way people talk about the church in France, you'd think that every church except the SSPX is having horrible terrible modern music and liturgy at mass, with the exception of maybe the organists of St. Sulpice and Notre Dame de Paris, where they HAVE to keep that going. But Notre Dame de Paris also has the gorgeous choir and two other fine choirs, including a boychoir, all singing wonderful music such as this, along with chant, various schools of polyphony, and things like This.

So yes, Notre Dame is now on my list of Places I have to go before I die. If not for the choir, at least for something like This.

Oh, and I can't help it, I have to post the Kyrie from the Schubert mass to.

Ritual notes.

Hmm, can't beleive this is my second to last Ritual Notes for a year.

Anyway, it was the solemn profession of Brs. James and Scott, at Our Lady Of Lourdes church, at 7:30 PM.


Prelude: Prelude and fugue in D, BWV 532

Entrance: Some sort of early baroque sounding march alternating between the brass quintet and the organ

Proper antiphon, By all Your Saints Still Striving (St.Theodolph- Yeah, Where's my King's Lynn, people?)

Mass: Missa de Angelis

Psalm: Mode III chant

Alleluia: Festival alleluia (Descant on last repetition)

Offertory: Tu Es Petrus, M. Haller)

Mysterium Fidei: Mortem tuam, mode Mode I


Ecce Quam Bonum, Montani

Mother of Mercy, Day by Day

Antiphon to Our Lady: Salve Regina (Chant)

Recessional: O God Beyond All Praising (Thaxted, Richard Proulx's setting with choir only 3rd verse, descant last verse)

Postlude: Another organ and brass piece, this one was late baroque. Reminded me quite a bit of Handel.

There were far too many clergy for me to name them all, but the celebrant was Fr. Francesco Poda,secretary to the Provincial of the Roman Province, there were two deacons who I have seen at the seminary,quite a few priests from the seminary, and many of the priests and brothers from the other houses in the U.S. They all, with the altar servers in choro filled up the first five rows of pews on the east side of the church*.

There was a thurifer and boat-bearer, crucifer, two acolytes, six torch bearers, two M.C.s, and all the rest if the servers. The thurifer and crucifer wore laced surplices, and the other M.C. (One of the older altar servers) wore one of those sheer type lace surplices that became popular in the 30's and 40's.

All the priests seemed to be wearing matching red vestments, the same set that Lourdes usually uses on Good Friday, and the celebrant and two deacons wore albs edged with lace. (The same ones Lourdes uses at the easter vigil.)The two to be professed wore over their habits the white mantle which is worn on solemn occasions under the capuche.

The procession went from the rectory porch around to the church, and when they entered the church, the brass quintet played the march, then the choir sang the hymn. There were some short remarks before the act of penitence and the kyrie by Fr.James.

After the readings, the alleluia and verse were sung by the choir, and the gospel procesison lined up at the foot of the altar. There was a bit of time as the verse was long. The gospel book was incensed, and then the gospel read. After the gospel, the second M.C. took a chair to the footpace of the altar, and kneeling there, held a microphone while an acolyte held the book.Each was called, and then an explanation was given to them, after which they made known their intention to offer themselves forever to God in the order. Fr. Podda gave the homily. After the homily came the rite of profession. Fr. Podda, the two deacons, and the M.C. went to the footpace of the altar again,and the two to be professed stood outside the sanctuary the interrogation and the litany of the saints followed.

During the litany of the saints, all knelt except for the two to be professed, who lay prostrate on the floor outside the sanctuary with their hoods raised to cover the head.After the litany of the saints, there was a collect, and the two each read the profession formula, Fr, Podda Ratifying it. They each placed the Book of Profession on the altar and signed it, as did Fr.Podda and Fr.Matthew. Then the celebrant, the two deacons, and the M.C. went to the footpace of the altar again, and the two who had just made profession knelt on the floor, each holding a lighted candle.The celebrant said the prayer of blessing on consecration over them, and then they were given the signs of presfession with an admonishment after each. (The Breviary, the Rule and Constitutions of the order, and an image of Our Lady, foundress and protectress of the order.)After which, Fr.Podda confirmed them as members of the order, and all the brothers and priests present gave them the sign of peace.

The offertory and canon proceeded as usual. Only four priests concelebrated at the altar, the rest stayed in the pews.The host and chalice were incensed at the consecration, and at the amen, the servers took the torches and incense back to the sacristy.

Communion was gievn to the priests first who came into the sanctuary to take the chalice and receive the host. Afterward, the sanctuary gates were closed and everyone else received kneeling, at the rail. A solemn blessing was given rather than the simple blessing. At the end, there were cake and cookies in the parish hall.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

So that's why the concilium shortened the office.

Maybe IR Doing it Rong, but it takes me an hour and 15 to sing matins and lauds form the liturgia horarum.Today, with the full invitatory tone (Rather than a psalm tone) both hymns (Sacris Solemnis AND Verbum Supernum Prodiens) and the sung responsories, (I usually recite those on Sundays since I don't have access to anything with the responsories for the new offices in it) It took me an hour and 35.

I can't imagine having to add one and 1/2 more nocturns to matins,tripling the amount of responsories, and adding two more psalms to lauds. And don't get me wrong, I think that the reduction of matins to a single nocturn of of two very long lessons and responsories was unfortunate, and the triple nocturn of three or nine lessons is the ideal. But if if takes me the long to do what's essentially one nocturn plus an extra reading from matins of the old office of corpus Christi, I can't imagine how long it would take to sing the entire thing. And I don't sing slow. Slow chant becomes boring. So yeah, that's that.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I don't have any new art.

Here's something I drew months ago.

I guess I should fess up.

As to what my friend, my brother and I did last Sunday. Obviously, I went to a series of conerts, but what I did'nt say was that the 'series of concerts' was actually Punk Island on governor's Island. It was amazing. I got to see In Circles, Bucket Flush, Common Enemy, and Disaster Strikes, among other bands that I wanted to see. It was a great day. I woke up at 5 and sang Matins and Lauds of Trinity Sunday. My brother and i grabbed some snacks from a gas station and caught the trolley from here to 3oth to catch the Megabus ($10 tickets!) After the bus ride, we rode trains to the ferry.

I had somehow forgotten my fear of large bodies of water until we got on the ferry. Luckily, my friend kept me busy talking, so no panic attack. We wandered around a bit, waiting for the bands to start playing, and ended up getting our pictures taken by some random lady. I don't know who she was or where they went, but she was polite and asked, so we obliged.

In Circles was the first band we saw. I loved the vocalist. Her singing was wonderful, I even loved her jokes and guitar tuning problems. After that, we saw The Homeless. That was an interesting act: A bass acoustic, a saxophone, a violin, a Washboard, and an accordion. The girl with the washboard and the violinist had the best voices. Too bad about Morning Glory and Stza Crack though. Shame they didn't come and Stza was there by himself.

But yeah, great stuff. I don't talk about it much, but I do have a bit of a history in punk music. Nothing amazing or spectacular, I was never in like some touring band or anything. But I wasn't straight-laced in high school, I was Straight-Edge. I'll leave you with that much.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I would highly reccomend

This Book. I've been reading it over vacation, and it's absolutely wonderful. His ideas of how to say the office reverently and devoutly are very helpful and you can see from hw he talks of the office and joining with the perpetual hymn of praise in heaven, and uniting ourselves with Christ the High Priest, that he predated but is completely consonant with Paul VI's Sacrificium Laudis.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Part of me wonders,

Whether it would be inherently evil and wicked to go to St.Thomas' fir evensong while we're in New York. Obviously, I'm the only person that would be remotely interested in going, so my brother and mom would have to find somewhere else to go to with their friends. That's probably a terrible thing to do, but it's not like I'd ever have another chance to go. It's at 4PM, so I'll have plenty of time to get to the bus stop once it's done.

It's all a matter of convincing my travel mates.

Okay, I've seen enough to form an opinion.

Please, please, for God's sake and that of your parish, if you are in any way in charge of music at a parish, please DO NOT buy the 4th edition of the worship hymnal. It's a step back. IT STINKS.

It's claimed to be a 'traditional' hymnal, but about 85-90% of the hymns in it are modern compositions. Many good ones have been expunged (Eg.,Hills of the North, Rejoice, Jesus, My Lord, My God, My all, Lift Up Your Heads, O Mighty Gates, Lord Christ, When First You Came to Earth, O for a Heart to Praise My God, O Gladsome Light, O Radiant LightSee amid the Winter’s Snow, Thy Strong Word Didst Cleave the Darkness, ‘Tis Good, Lord, to Be Here.) These are all gone now.The Loss of Jesus, My Lord, My God , My All is particularly depressing. It's quite a well loved hymn at Our Lady of Lourdes, It's one of the few that everyone seems to know by heart.

So yes, stick with Worship III, get yourself some new material for the new mass settings. (And, I'll repeat my call that the Adoremus and Worship III are meant to go together. Worship provides your material for The proper of time fine but is light on hymns for saints and Our Lady. Adoremus is big and beefy on solemnity, saints and festivals of Our lady, but rather light when it comes to the proper of time excepting Advent and Easter. Get them both and everyone will be happy.*)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

And also,


Which I've wanted to learn since I was 16, but lack of money to buy music,lack of talent, and lack of confidence kept me from learning. But now, I has free public domain music, a year of practice, and a bit more confidence.


Things are working out okay.I just need my friend Steve to call me. I feel like I'm being avoided, but out of charity, I'll just have to assume that he's been kidnapped by ninja pirates and forced to work in an Indonesian sweatshop making the little plastic wheels that go on Hotwheels.

Or something like that. As long as I excuse him.

And once again,

A demo of the organ at my Parish, Our Lady of Lourdes. I love this because you can hear the 16' Pousaune + 32' Contrebasse combo that works so well. You can also hear the 32' Contrebombarde in the processional hymn, as well as the chamades.

See, even if the church building was built awkwardly and without an organ in mind, the one that's there now works fine.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


You know, I've been trying to get the box set of Oofuri episodes for almost three years now. At $50, they're WAY outta my price range. BUT THEN, A MIRACLE.

At a nameless store in Centre city, they HAD them. At $20! Perfect! Of course, I had no money. My brother told me that we could come back the next day, and that he'd buy it for me then. Se away we went, and the next day, we left early to go get them. But by then, they were gone. I frantically searched for one, but not a single copy of the boxed set was left. ALL GONE. Mind you, we got there 6 minutes before closing time and were actually kicked out because they were, y'know, closing. That means that in the space of the two and a half hours between the time the store opened and we got there, ALL OF THEM WERE SOLD.

I thought Philly kids did'nt like anime, much less obscure sports animes. D:

And now,

A musical interlude.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Oh yes, I nearly forgot:


That is your hint. You can talk amongst yourselves as to what the means.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ritual Notes.

Not much to comment on. Sadly, our choir director was out of own, so no choral music.

Still the music was lovely: Veni Creator, Come Holy Ghost, Come down o Love Divine, and some nice pieces by Bach to boot. (The second movement from the first organ trio sonata- one of my favourites, (BWV 525. We got the first and third movement last Sunday) and Bach's hymn-prelude on Veni Creator Spiritus. (Bwv 667)


Happy birthday Church!

And now, some music:

Come Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire.*

Come Down O Love Divine.

Confirma Hoc Deus

Prelude, Adagio, and Chorale Varie on Veni Creator: One, Two, Three.

*Have I ever admitted how jealous I am of St. Peter's Parish and their excellent choir? But if you have that kind of money, that's what you can have. *Sigh*

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Tonight, I'm going to see the Phils against Dodgers (I have'nt come up with a rude take on their name like I have with other teams.) I'd like to hope it goes well, but I can face the facts: The phillies have no offense, it'll be a terrible game, they might lose, and then there will be some sort of attack on a Dodgers fan (Probably involving some sort of half eaten food and drinks) that, as a Philadelphian who supports Philly sports, I shall have no choice but to partake in.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Month of the Sacre Heart.

"Passer invenit sibi domum, et turtur nidum sibi, ubi ponat pullos suos,Cor tuum, Domine, Rex meus et Deus meus."

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mary, Queen of Apostles.

"The perfect model of this spiritual and apostolic life is the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of Apostles, who, while she lived on earth the life common to all, filled with labours and care of her family, was always most closely joined with her Son, and cooperated in the work of the Saviour in an entirely singular way. Moreover now, assumed into heaven 'by her motherly love she takes care of the brothers of her Son who are still on the way [to their eternal home] and who are involved in dangers and difficulties, until they are led to the blessed Fatherland.' Let all most devoutly honour her, and commend their life and apostolate to her motherly care."

Apostolicam Actuositatem,Chapter 1.

In the Kalendar, before local feasts were suppressed, there was a feast of Our Lady, Queen of Apostles, that was celebrated on this date.( The Saturday within the octave of the Ascension.)

Though the office for that feast had been supressed, in a way, it has been brought back in the new breviary. It's collect was revived in 1968 as an optional collect in the Common of the Blessed Virgin during eastertide:

"Deus, qui Apóstolis tuis, cum María matre Iesu orántibus, Sanctum dedísti Spíritum, da nobis, ut, ipsa intercedénte, maiestáti tuæ fidéliter servíre et nóminis tui glóriam verbo et exémplo diffúndere valeámus. Per Dóminum."

In the 80's, the mass was also restored in the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (Which same, alsp has the mas of Our Lady of Mercy, patroness of our Order.)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Caelos ascendit hodie

Iesus Christus Rex Gloriae!

Coelos Ascendit gloriae, Stanford.

And more, God is Gone up, Finzi.

And even more, Let God Arise, Howells.

"Make us, O Almighty God, to rejoice with holy joy and pious thanksgiving, for the ascension of Christ thy Son is is our advancement, and where the glory of the head has preceded, even to that hope is called the body. "

-collect of the day.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hey, Mike Stutes!

I'm sorry I doubted you. And, I'm sorry that I told my brother that you would probably actually end up being as bad as Danys Baez.

Just in case there's anyone out there,

Who still has a good opinion of me, let me ruin that for you. Tonight, while I was preparing the chants to sing vespers, all I could think of was how "Attente ac devote" I could manage to say the office and still have the office, rosary, and prayers done before the NHL pregame show.


And I suppose in saying this, I've admitted a deep, dark secret.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Of your charity,

Please pray for the soul of my step sister, Shirley. She passed away Sunday from complications of lupus and many other health problems she had from birth. Please pray for her and also for her 11 years old sons, who are now without a mother.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's as wonderful as I thought.

The music program at the Cathedral-Basilica here in Philadelphia. Some of you may remember about how I was freaking out with joy at the appointment of a new choir master and organist at the cathedral, Dr. John Romeri. The music had been only fair in recent years, not what it ought to be and what it once was. But now, it's absolutely glorious. Here's the lent and Easter schedule for example.

Or, for another, here's the music at the ordinations to the priesthood from yesterday:

Prelude: Piece Heroique, Cesar Frank ( The Cathedral organ scholar played this one)

Introit: Graduale simplex, rendered in English (With psalm 103)

At the entrance of the Cardinal: Ecce Sacerdos, Anton Bruckner

Hymn: The day of Resurrection (Ellacombe) (With Descant)

Mass setting: A community mass, Richard Proulx
Gloria: Peter Jones

Psalm: Psalm 23, John Goss

Alleluia: Festival Alleluia

At the laying on of hands: Surrexit Pastor Bonus, Orlando DiLasso (Cathedral Schola)

At the offertory: Psalm 100 with antiphon, simple gradual.
Hallelujah from the Mount of Olives, Ludwig van Beethoven

At communion: Ego Sum Pastor Bonus, Mode II chant.
Draw Near and take the body of the Lord
Ave verum corpus, Colin Mawby
Regina Caeli, laetare, Antonio Lotti

Recessional: O God, Beyond all praising, Thaxted (With descant)

Postlude: Prelude and Fugue in B- Major, Dupre (Assistant Organist)

Besides the Cathedral Schola Cantorum, there is also now an audition archdiocese-wide choir. It draws the best singers from parishes from all areound the diocese to create a large and extremely competent choir for filling the huge cathedral. There is also now an assistant organist as well as an organ scholar at the cathedral. All in all, the music program is exquisite, with a good sprinkling of Anglican choral music within the normal repertoire of polyphony and chant.

I would suggest stopping in for a Sunday to hear them.


Friday, May 13, 2011

" At length he came upon Eve, the mother of all the living. She was that vineyard whose enclosure her own hands had enabled death to violate, so that she could taste its fruit; thus the mother of all the living became the source of death for every living creature. But in her stead Mary grew up, a new vine in place of the old. Christ, the new life, dwelt within her. When death, with its customary impudence, came foraging for her mortal fruit, it encountered its own destruction in the hidden life that fruit contained. All unsuspecting, it swallowed him up, and in so doing released life itself and set free a multitude of men.
He who was also the carpenter’s glorious son set up his cross above death’s all-consuming jaws, and led the human race into the dwelling place of life. Since a tree had brought about the downfall of mankind, it was upon a tree that mankind crossed over to the realm of life. Bitter was the branch that had once been grafted upon that ancient tree, but sweet the young shoot that has now been grafted in, the shoot in which we are meant to recognise the Lord whom no creature can resist."
- St.Ephrem

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Making it look authentic.

Because the edition of the breviary I has is from 1973, before the 3-year cycle of benedictus and magnificat antiphons was devised, and before the revised antiphons and responsories assembled by the CDW for various feasts was devised, I've decided to make little inserts for the office to supply whats needed. (I also added the alternate antiphons and responsories for all the solemnities and feasts of the year, as well as some days which are feasts of devotion for me personally, eg, Our Lady of Sorrows or the Holy Name of Jesus.) I took this as an opprtunity to add lots of very nice etchings from This Site, since the volumes already have that classic look, it makes sense to complete them by adding art that goes with them.

Of course, I don't want them to be jarring.The book is obviously over 30 years old, and the pages have aged quite a bit. Even using 'antique' colored paper from Statples does'nt work. The 'antique' looks quite bright and white compared to the book. So, I decided to tea-stain the pages. It's not a 100% match, but it's a good 85%, and I don't think anyone would notice.

Making it better.

Taking a good look at the General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours and the various issue of Notitiae have helped me to get around some of the more unsavoury parts of the new breviary by taking advantage of different lawful options. (Eg, it is permissible in the sung office to use antiphons other than those assigned, which means I can sing the office of Our Lady using the old antiphons. Permission is also given to use other appropriate readings, and in privileged seasons, the readings of one day of the week may also be used on other weekdays of the same season. It is also allowed, without abandoning the cycle, to choose a reading from one year of the cycle of matins readings to use on the same day of a different year.

What this eventually ends up meaning is that it is permissible, taking into mind the bounds of the rules regarding rank and season, to re-create old offices. You use the antiphons and readings from the old one as far as rubrics allow, and everything else is taken from the new one. One example where the CDW has done this is the office of the Assumption, where in place of the antiphons and long responsories of the new office, everything is replaced with texts from the old office of the Assumption. A similar thing is done on the Immaculate conception and All Saints. Taking into mind the rubrics for readings, at lauds and the little hours, one could take the chapters from the old office. (But not at vespers, since at vespers, the readings must be from the new testament.)

Another wonderful thing these rules do is help to re-instate something of the old tenebrae. Year two of the cycle of readings has restored the readings from the book of Lamentations read during Holy week and the triduum. This, with the fact that the Ordo Cantus Officii replaces many of the new office responsories with ones from the old office, and the same for antiphons, one could be using an office that is essentially an abridged version of the old office. ( And with the permission restored in the new breviary to anticipate Matins, it could even be done at the old times, something you cannot legally do with the '62 office.)

There are also other little things you have to root around to find out about. (E.g., that the Liber Hymnarius restores as an option the verse Impleta sunt quae fulgida from the Vexilla regis, and that the Dies Irae can be sung in the office of the dead throughout the year.

Personally, I think it would be helpful to unite some of these rulings in a single place, rather than having to scrounge about looking for them. I didn't even find out about the lamentations ruling till yesterday, and it would have been helpful to know that during holy week, but it's such an obscure rule that I doubt many people know of it.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Well, I've done it.

I traded in my old breviary for the four-volume set of the Liturgia Horarum. When I went home for Easter, my mom, brother, and I went downtown for the day, and we went into a used and out-of-print book store just to browse, originally to look at some purported early volumes of DBZ. But, on the second floor, they had the 1973 Liturgia Horarum, leatherbound, with some damage on the covers from labels having been removed. It was a steal: The whole set cost three-fourths of the price that a single volume usually goes for. My mother knew I always wanted one, so she, my brother, and I put our money together to get it. (Thanks, mom!)

I'm overjoyed with it.

First, they're small little volumes. The lent and easter volume (which is always the largest in sets of the breviary) only runs 1,779 pages. In the official English version, it runs 2,365 pages. Even the advent volume shows a significance. (And this is always the smallest in the sets.) In the first printing of the Latin edition, it only runs 1,298, while in the English edition, it runs 1,716.
Besides the good fact that they are all much smaller, and therefore, easier to bring around, they also have quite a few little things that are just helpful: The inside front cover has a little flap to hold the (Included) Cards with the festal psalms and common texts (Aperi Domine, Ps.94, Te deum, Benedictus, and Magnificat) The kalendar has the explanation of the Littera Dominicali at the front,and after the commons and before the Office of the Dead, they even have a table of commemorations.

It's also a handsome little volume. Something tells me that the designers of the Monastic Diurnal might have seen these, since they are both very similar. Unlike the ugly American edition, these volumes are actually attractive: It is bound in nice,soft leather, and like the Diurnal, the covers have been stiffened with some card to make them hardbound.They have five raise bands on the spines, with the title and volume number in gold, and on the front, the title again. The endpapers are a nice deep burgundy. The edges are plain, but I plan to have them dyed red. There are six woven ribbons sewed on. (Even though I'm not a fan of woven ribbons- the fraying is too much to bear.)

All in all, while I'll never completely give up the breviary my Dad bought me, this one does have the convenience of having all the hours, and each volume is small and compact. It also looks beautiful.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


You know, since I won't have a computer during novitiate, I've been building up my photo references for sketches. Right now, I want to do a whole bunch of stuff with characters from my favourite mangas and comics. It's hopeless for me to get them all done any time soon, but hopefully, eventually In all, I want to do:

Another of Ryohei
Bianchi and Hayato
Chrome Dokuro

-All from Reborn!

And then,


-All from Ofuri.

Our Lady's Month of May.

"Eve wept, but Mary laughed. Eve's womb was big with tears, but Mary's womb was big with gladness. Eve gave birth to a sinner, but Mary gave birth to the sinless One. The mother of our race brought punishment into the world, but the Mother of our Lord brought salvation into the world. Eve was the foundress of sin, but Mary was the foundress of righteousness. Eve welcomed death, but Mary helped in life. Eve smote, but Mary healed. For Eve's disobedience, Mary offered obedience; and for Eve's unbelief, Mary offered faith.
Let Mary now make a loud noise upon the organ, and between its quick notes let the rattling of the Mother's timbrel be heard. Let the gladsome choirs sing with her, and their sweet hymns mingle with the changing musick. Hearken to what a song her timbrel will make accompaniment. She saith: My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden, for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is Mighty hath magnified me. The new miracle of Mary's delivery hath effaced the curse of the frail backslider, and the singing of Mary hath silenced the wailing of Eve."

-S.Fulbert of Chartres.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


....Because St.Joseph does'nt have to look like he's wearing mascara, blush, and lipstick. Like in Exhibit A or Exhibit B.

Great Job man!

That was probably the most amazingly fun experience of my entire life. Thanks Vance!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Don't screw things up tomorrow! D:<

No, seriously. The Washington GNATionals are now on my list of 'Teams that I hate for no logical reason', joining the Marlins and the Astros. (This is opposed to my list of Teams That I Hate For a Good Reason, such as the SKANKees, the Braves, the Red Sox and the Amaaazing Mets,*)

I have'nt actually seen Vance pitch, but I hope he's what I've been dreaming of. (Someone to replace dead weight Blanton. No, I have no remorse that poor Blanton is injured. He's probably doing the team better be being away than being D:< Anyway, I don't feel too threatened now.The Nationals are't hitting well lately, so it should be a win.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Even though no one here is interested,

I said I was going to re-do it. Even if it took me a whole year to actually upload it. I did Narenza too, I'll link to it when it's done.


Sunday, May 1, 2011


I was there.

Only four more things on my bucket list, then the Lord can take me. (Those three things are 1) shake Roy Halladay/Cliff Lee's hand, 2) catch and own a foul ball hit by Cliff Lee/Roy Halladay, 3) own anything signed by Richie Ashburn/Bubba Church/ Robin Roberts, 4) Find and own one of the felt pennants given out at the games between 1950-1953. You should know why, it's obvious.)

(Are you noticing some sort of pattern here?)

But anyway, it was a great game. It seemed a bit short, but that just might have been excitement. It was tampered by the fact that we got stuck in the section surrounded by drunk college guys, loud, screaming children that would'nt shut up, and two women in our row who got up every 15 seconds to leave and then come back. Even with the pbvious BRIBING OF THE UMPIRE, it was great.



......That's basically it.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011


(Image credit)

This is just a hint. I'll say nothing more than this.

And now,

Some easter music.

This one is a fun game. Let's see if anyone can find the easter theme in this one.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Surrexit a mortuis Christus Dei Filius, Pastor nobis de sepulchro, Alleluia!

Surrexit a mortuis, C.M. Widor.

Don't say anything about the music choice, It's GLORIOUS! It's proper. Happy easter, blessed paschaltide to everyone!

And here's some more organ music for you.

And here's some more choral music for you.

I'm kind of happy that the triddum is almost over ('Almost' because it does'nt technically end till vespers tonight.) I love it though. Passiontide and Holy week are my absolute favourite part of the entire liturgical. I'll miss it, since this was my last passiontide at home at my own parish. We did it up right though: Glorious choral music, well performed ceremonies, nice vestments, excellent preaching. All the right things. Thanks be to God, the bishop loved the music on Good Friday, and everyone loved the passion. I'll admit, that was my first time singing in front of people since I was 11, and I was scared witless. My knees were knocking, my hands were shaking, my heart was doing donuts in the driveway and I'm not entirely sure I was breathing at all for the first 5 minutes. If I sounded any good, all the credit goes to Colin Mawby and Stephen Cleobury. It was their choirs that I used to imitate to get a high, clear voice. I don't know if I succeeded, but I hope I did.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spy Wednesday.

"Tráditor autem dedit eis signum, dicens : Quem osculátus fúero, ipse est, tenéte eum."

-Benedictus antiphon, Spy Wednesay.

Iudas mercator pessimus.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

On the Passion of Christ.

O Lord, let my soul rejoice in you and find joy in your salvation, as I reflect on your most consoling words, your second utterance from the Cross, "Amen I say to you, this day you will be with me in paradise". May these words, more tender because they came from you as you hung on your Cross, be often on my lips and still more often in my heart. Words addressed to me from the lips of my crucified Lord are most endearing and eloquent, and for this reason they merit more serious attention and profound reflection...

Let meditating on Jesus Christ and Him crucified be your daily prayer. Keep Jesus always before your eyes and keep ever near the foot of His Cross. Whether in life or death, enter the tomb with Jesus so that when Christ, who is your life, shall appear again, you will rise with Him in glory. Amen.

-Thomas a Kempis, On the Passion of Christ according to the Four Gospels.

I now have a new favourite church bulding.

Sorry, S.Cyprian's Clarence gate, you've been ousted. S.Mary's Wausau has topped you.

Monday, April 18, 2011

"Who is Christ if not the Word of God? "n the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" This Word of God was made flesh and dwelt among us. He had no power of himself to die for us: he had to take from us our mortal flesh. This was the way in which, though immortal, he was able to die; the way in which he chose to give life to mortal men: he would first share with us, and then enable us to share with him. Of ourselves we had no power to live, nor did he of himself have the power to die.
In other words, he performed the most wonderful exchange with us. Through us, he died; through him, we shall live.
The death of the Lord our God should not be a cause of shame for us; rather, it should be our greatest hope, our greatest glory. In taking upon himself the death that he found in us, he has most faithfully promised to give us life in him, such as we cannot have of ourselves."

-S.Augustine, homily, matins of Monday in Holy Week.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Liturgical and music Schedule for Holy Week, 2011

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, West Philly.


Solemn mass, the maundy, and procession to the altar of repose at 7:30 PM

Entrance: Lift High the cross (Crucifer)

Kyrie and Gloria: Simple, after organ improvisation, organ is silenced till the vigil.

Psalm: Mode VIII
Acclamation: After mass XI

Proper antiphons from the Roman Gradual
Antiphons for the Maundy, Gregory A. Glenn

Ubi Caritas, M.Durufle
As Thou at Thy First Eucharist Didst Pray (Unde et Memores)

Sanctus: Simple chant.
Agnus Dei: David Isele, Holy Cross mass (In four parts)

Psalm with antiphon, Simple Gradual.
Panis Angelicus, Palestrina

Procession: Pange Lingua Gloriosi

Stripping of the altars: Antiphon 'Diviserunt' with psalm 21, monotone. (Tenors and basses)

Mass of the Presanctified at 3:00 PM

Psalm: Mode 2d
Gradual: Christus Factus est, Felice Anerio
The Passion: Tomas Luis de Victoria
Veneration of the cross:
O Crux Ave Spes Unica (Palestrina)
Improperia, Victoria
Crux Fidelis (Chant)
If needed: Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle.
Procession from the altar of repose:Adoramus te Christe, Palestrina
Crucifixus for 8 voices, Antonio Lotti
Ave Verum Corpus, William Byrd.

Vigil and first solemn mass of Easter at 8:00 PM

Psalms and canticles after the readings:The Canticle of Moses, sung to the gregorian tone 2.d. The Canticle of Isaiah, sung to tone 8.c. Psalm 19, sung to tone 2.d Psalm 42, sung to tone 7.d.

Gloria: Mass in B flat ('Little organ mass'), Franz Josef Haydn

Alleluia:Roman Gradual and psalm 118 in English.

At the baptisms: Faith,Hope, and Love, Alexander Peloquin.

Renewal of baptismal promises and sprinkling: Sicut Cervus, G.P. da Palestrina

Offertory: Cantique de Jean Racine, Gabriel Faure.

Proper antiphon and psalm,

Hymn: The Strife is O'er,
Ego sum Panis Vivus
, Josef Surzynski.

Antiphon to Our Lady: Regina Caeli, Gregor Aichinger

Recessional: Jesus Christ is Ris'n today.

Postlude. Worthy Is the Lamb (Handel, adapted from The Messiah)



I've been upgraded. Instead of singing in the chorus for the Victoria passion, now I'm singing the Chronista. :D I'm so excited and also scared. I mean, I Do want to do it, but I'm afraid to make a mistake in front of the pastor, my superior, the master of postulants, all the other brothers, the Bishop, and of course, a church with 200+ people. D:

But still, excited. I'll post the full holy week schedule and music schedule in about an hour.

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion.

At the blessing of the Palms:
Ant: Hosanna to the Son of David

Let us pray.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God,we pray thee, sanctify and bless + these palms with thy benediction, that we, who exultantly follow Christ the King,may through him arrive at the eternal Jerusalem.
Who liveth and reigneth.
Second prayer:

Let us pray.
INCREASE, we pray thee, O God, the faith of thy devoted people, and mercifully give ear to their humble supplications; that, they who this day honour the triumph of Christ by the carrying of palms, may through him offer unto thee the the fruit of good works.Who liveth and reigneth.
The palms are sprinkled and incensed.

V.Let us, imitating the acclaiming crowds, proceed in peace.
R.In the name of Christ. Amen.

Ant.Pueri Hebraeorum..portantes.

Ant.Pueri Hebraeorum...vestimenta

Hymn: Gloria, laus, et honor.

Responsory: Ingrediente Domino

Collect of the mass:

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hast given to mankind an example of humility to follow in Our Saviour's taking upon him flesh and suffering the death of the Cross: mercifully grant that by following the example of his patience, we may also merit to be made partakers of his resurrection. Through the same

Ritual Notes, Palm Sunday.

(A photo from last year's procession)
Rather than the 12:15 mass, there was an 11:30 solemn mass sung. There were two acolytes, a crucifer, a thurifer and boat-bearer, and all the rest of the servers in choro.One of the older servers has finally 'graduated', if that's the right word, from senior server to Master of ceremonies. He was in black cassock and lace surplice. He did an excellent job, by the way. Nice warm, sunny weather meant that the procession was outdoors as usual.

The blessing of the palms took place on the rectory porch. Six of the men of the choir sang an English adaptation of the chant 'Hosanna Filio David' (From the excellent book, By Flowing Waters) at the blessing of the palms. After the blessing of the palms and the reading of the gospel, the procession went from the rectory around the corner to the church, while the aforementioned mini-schola sang the chant 'Pueri Hebraeorum..portantes' in English with verses of psalm 24 to tone 2d. When the celebrant entered the church, 'All Glory Laud and Honour' was sung while he changed from a red cope to a red gothic chasuble and added the maniple.
This mass was celebrated ad orientem, so the incensing of the altar took place facing the reredos rather than the people. The main altar and side altars weren't decorated with palms alone, but also with olive branches. The collect was sung, and the readings read. The psalm was psalm 21. sung to an adaptation of the first psalm tone with an antiphon in the same mode.

The passion was read, with the celebrant taking the part of Christ, and two readers taking the part of the evangelist and the other parts. The congregation took the part of the crowd. And it was wonderful to see that no one that I could see sat down during the passion.The sermon was mercifully short.

After the prayers of the faithful, the altar was prepared in silence. Then the offertory hymn was My song is Love Unknown, sung to Love Unknown. The first verse was sung by the sopranos and altos, the second by the tenors and basses, the third in harmony,accompanied, the fourth in harmony accompanied, the fifth by sopranos and altos only, the sixth in harmony and the seventh in unison except with a descant and the contra bourdon 32' and 16' Pousaune in the pedal of the organ. After the celebrant in incensed, the M.C. was in incensed, and then the people.

The super oblata and preface were sung, with Sanctus I sung in Latin, with six torchbearers and a thurifer coming for the elevation.The Roman canon was used, and three bell rings at the elevations. The Per ipsum and Our Father were sung, and the peace given. Agnus Dei I was sung.During communion, there was a psalm with the communion antiphon, but I don't remember what the psalm was.

After the ablutions, the choir sang the motet Christus factus est pro nobis, by Felice Anerio .The post-communion prayer was sung, and afterwards, the prayer over the people and the blessing. The Ite was also sung. The recessional was O Sacred Head Surrounded, and the postlude was the prelude from BWV 549

Friday, April 15, 2011

Oh, okay, I get it:

It's all about you and what you want for yourself.

What a great example of priestly sacrifice and Christlike obedience. =/

These are our bishops hard at work, people.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


The office of Tenebrae will be sung at 7:00 pm AT Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic church using the traditional Roman rite.(Yeah, the one before John XXIII got his hands on the breviary and ruined things.) It will be sung with parts in Latin and parts in English.

The church is easily accesable by public transportation ( The 105,65,46 and G buses are nearby, as well as the 10 trolley and the R5 Paoli/Thorndale line on the train.) There is also a parking lot behind the parish school.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Passion Tuesday.

And I will pour out upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace, and of prayers: and they shall look upon me, whom they have pierced: and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for an only son, and they shall grieve over him, as the manner is to grieve for the death of the firstborn.
-Zacharias 12:10

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ah, the crazies.

Sometimes, I like to read sites by delusional people, like that Traditio site. Whenever I think I have a radical opinion, I just browse their newsletter to see how ideology can blind people to the truth. It's kind of sad though, but there's nothing you can do about willful ignorance.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


..........Because the last thing we need are more pictures of celebrity saints like St.Jude.

The thing I miss most.

(Just in case any of you had gotten the idea that I still had some traces of sanity/normalcy left, I'll just clear that up right now.)

It's normal to miss things from home once you've left home, but, I think the thing I miss most os the most trivial things. I could miss daily life with the family, having more freedom, I could miss my foods or my old house or neighborhood. But, I think the thing I miss most is Ginger, my cat. I think it's because I never got to say goodbye. I came to visit, and then they just told me that they had gotten rid of her. I never found out where she was, whether she was okay, if she found a good family and if she was adjusting good. It's all shrouded in this uncertainty and uneasiness. Certainly, she probably would have gone naturally within a few years anyway. She's already 11 now, and her health has never been perfect. But I'm almost certain that the shock of me moving away and then her getting shipped off to some strange place after seven stable years in the same home with the same owner probably was'nt good for her.

Poor Ginger, she had to live as an abused cat and now this. These sort of things are always hard to understand unless you're a cat owner. People don't get them, even people who have their own pets.My mom reasons that I should just get over it because I would'nt have seen her much anyway, and besides, we still have Brutus and Diego. But it's not the same. Don't get me wrong, Brutus and Diego are great cats, and Brutus has the same personality as Ginger. (Maybe that's why he likes me best!) But, he's not Ginger.

So there, now that I've admitted that I miss my cat, an animal, a pet, you can finally check off the last check in the list for "Things that might make a person odd/eccentric/crazy".

En acetum, fel, arundo

Lo, with gall His thirst He quenches!
see the thorns upon His brow!
nails His tender flesh are rending!
see His side is opened now!
whence, to cleanse the whole creation,
streams of blood and water flow.

Faithful Cross!
above all other,
one and only noble Tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peers may be;
sweetest wood and sweetest iron!
Sweetest Weight is hung on thee!

Lofty tree, bend down thy branches,
to embrace thy sacred load;
oh, relax the native tension
of that all too rigid wood;
gently, gently bear the members
of thy dying King and God.

Tree, which solely wast found worthy
the world's Victim to sustain.
harbor from the raging tempest!
ark, that saved the world again!
Tree, with sacred blood anointed
of the Lamb for sinners slain.

Blessing, honor, everlasting,
to the immortal Deity;
to the Father, Son, and Spirit,
equal praises ever be;
glory through the earth and heaven
to Trinity in Unity. Amen.

-En acetum, fel, arundo(Hymn for lauds during passiontide) Translated by Fr.Caswall

Saturday, April 9, 2011


(Since people seem to like this one, I'll re-post it. And by 'people', and mean the two people who read this who both said they liked it.)

It's almost time.
Time is running short, and soon, our lenten disciplines will come to an end. It almost seems too short, really. We've spent these last days preparing for the greatest festival of the church year, the festival that the whole year anticipates.
But even before it, we have a mini-season for further preparation. We call it 'passiontide'. In it, we should seek to the best of our ability so draw away from the world and spend time with our lord, waiting with him as he prepares to fulfill all that was told of him. We have a week left to grow closer to our savior, and more importantly, to grow close to him in his passion, lest the horror and desolation of Good Friday and holy Saturday overtake us too much. And mother church assists us in our devotion.
For all the year, for all of lent, we've had the crucifix displayed as a help to our meditation on our Lord's passion, but now it is veiled. Now we must draw on the experience of a past life of prayer, without the aid of a visual reminder. In sorrow, the Queen of Saints and her court veil themselves to mourn our beloved Jesus, soon to die for us all.

Almost suddenly, the mass and divine office speak of the suffering of our lord rather than our lenten fasting and other disciplines. At the office, we sing the hymn 'Vexilla Regis Prodeunt' at vespers, and 'Pange Lingua Gloriosi...Certaminis' broken into parts for matins and lauds.
The short chapters at lauds and vespers speak of christ "Like a gentle Lamb led to slaughter"(Monday, Lauds) "suffering ouside the gate" and "bearing abuse" (Thursday, Vespers) and that "he was marred beyond human apearance"(Friday,Lauds). Even more, we are told that we "shall mourn, looking upon him whom they have pierced" (Tuesday, lauds)

And we hear more of why the chief priests and the crowds wanted to kill him. At Wednesday, the antiphon at lauds tells us that they wanted to kill him because he taught the truth. But who wants to suppress truth? What man of God would desire to suppress what is of God? Why would they not listen? As our lord asks in the antiphon at Friday's vespers, for which of his good works do they want to kill him? Christ himself explains, saying quite bluntly that the reason they do not listen and want to kill him because they are not of God.(Thursday, lauds)

And on Friday, we are given the tender commemoration of our sorrowful mother Mary, standing the foot of the cross. In the collect of this day in the new roman missal, which asks that we may imitate blessed Mary in devoutly contemplating Christ Crucified, we pray 'Grant we beseech you, the intercession of the same Virgin,that we might in these days adhere more firmly to your only Begotten Son, and come at last to the fullness of grace.' In some places, permission is even given to sing the Stabat Mater at the office.
These days. These last days before our lord is "offered as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to the father". (Wednesday, vespers.)
So the almost halcyon days of lent are fading away, and the more turbulent times of passiontide are nigh.
"O good cross, made beautiful by the body of the Lord, long have I desired thee, ardently have I loved thee, unceasingly have I sought thee, and now thou art ready for my eager soul. Receive me from among men and restore me to my Master, so that He, who redeemed me through thee, shalt receive me through thee. Amen."
-S.Andrew the apostle, before being crucified.

And speaking of singing again,

It's odd, my one vocal asset is the one I'm least proud of, least comfortable with using, and least useful. I'm a tenor, I've come to terms with that. My voice will never get any deeper. Yet, even though I'm a tenor, I have a pretty high range. I can sing counter tenor,though once I get above a certain G, I have trouble making sure that the sound is pure and not hooty or unsupported.

But, this kind of singing is pretty useless. It's not a useful asset. Besides, like I said, the tone is only pure up to a certain point. There are times when I can get it to stay pure higher but those are rare. Having a pure, clear voice has been the one thing I've been working on vocally for the past three years, even before I ever let even my parents know I was interested in singing again. I think I've achieved that, but at the expense of some other things.

Anyway, I'm practicing second tenor for This, since this has been added to the Good Friday music list. And I can die happy now, because with this triduum, I will have sung almost everything I've wanted to sing in my entire life.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Okay, time to admit something.

I miss my old office. Yes, even though I've said the new office every day of my life without using any other publication for about four years now, except when my breviary was stolen, I miss my old office. Because, I'll admit it, the new breviary in English is nothing like the new breviary in Latin. It's not. The Latin breviary, it's stately. Yes, it's Paul VI's new office, but it has this air of being ancient even though it is not

I think it's because, in the end, with all it's novelties, Paul VI latin office is a summation, or a collection of ancient offices. The best of many different rites and uses was taken and put together in the new office, hence, we have the Office of the Blessed Virgin from French usage, the common of Virgins from Pre-Pius V Roman usage, the common of martyrs from ancient Roman usage, the common of Holy Men taken from various commons for monks and abbots, as well as the Roman usage. Throughout the year, we have antiphons from Dominican and Sarum uses, hymns from the Ambrosian and Mozarabic rites, all held together with the stately and poetic prose of the reformed Vulgate psalter and scripture.

And yes, the new psalter is poetic. There's so much more poetry and beauty in 'Ut liberentur dilecti tui, salvum fac dextera tua et exaudi me' than in 'Come and deliver your friends,help with your right hand and reply'. Besides being inaccurate, look at the concepts which are eliminated: Each of us is God's 'beloved', we are saved by God, not helped, He hears us. There is so much more beauty in 'Confitebor tibi,quia mirabiliter plasmatus sum; mirabiliter opera tua, et anima mea cognoscit nimis' than in 'I thank you for the winders of my being, for the wonders of all your creation.'

Entire parts are lost in the English translation as well. In the tranlsation, there's nothing about 'Throni,dominationes, principatus, potestatus'- Thrones, dominions, principalities, powers- The whole theology of the choirs of angels is cut out of the canticle for Wednesdays. There's also familiarity. I'm no scholar, no saint, no person of special talents. But the liturgy has been impressed on my mind after years of praying it, and I'm familiar with 'Dominus regnavit, decorum indutus est', but I could'nt tell you what that same psalm is in the current translation. I know 'Ego dixi: Domine, miserere mei, sana animam meam, quia peccavi tibi', but I could'nt tell you that responsory. There's an arsenal of psalms and psalm verses that through repetition have just gotten memorised- Deus misereatur nostri et benedicat nobis, Miserere mei Deus, Dixit Dominus, Qui pascis Israel intende- now all that's gone. And what's worse is that, because so many concepts don't exist in the current translation, all those beautiful concepts and affections and prayers which used to be able to draw from the psalms are now all gone.

The hymns are gone too. No longer will there be passiontides singing the royal triumph of the cross of Christ our king, no more recounting his 'Thirty years among us dwelling', No more praising the 'Trinity of Blessed light, the Unity of princely might.' Gone is 'Glorious Lady, throned in rest' of the office of the blessed virgin, and no more of the new eve of 'Quod Eva Tristis Abstulit'. I figured it would not be a big change, but it is. I find the current translation of the office to be flat- It's less of a translation than a faulty paraphrase. I say 'faulty', because entire concepts are gone, things are moved about or deleted, seemingly at random. So much so that S.Augustine's commentary on the psalms so often looses it's sense, because what he says is not what the breviary says at all.

Wednesday,week IV

O GOD, who dost grant unto the righteous the reward of their godliness, and unto sinners that turn unto thee with fasting their offenses: have compassion, we beseech thee, upon thy humble servants: that we, confessing the sins which we have committed, may obtain of thee the remission of all our sins.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

And now,

Alonso Lobo.

Lady Day.

(From the Nuremburg Chronicles)
O God, whose word deigned to receive true human flesh in the womb of the Virgin,grant, we beseech thee, that as we confess him to be our Redeemer, God and man, we may therefore merit ot be sharers in his divine nature. Who livest and reignest with thee.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

And now,

A Musical Interlude.

There is something that depresses me.

St.Peter Paschasius, Bishop and Martyr.

This is it: The inability of so many modern people to see beauty in humanity beyond sex. It just baffles me. You can think of this as a continuation of my last post on art. Well, what I've been trying to say without saying is that for so many people, the human body is a thing for use. A thing to be desired, a thing to be used as one uses clothes or shoes. But, humanity is more than the body. Humanity is the soul as well. The exterior is not all there is to man, and to focus on it is to loose the beautiful truth of what man is: A summation of God's creation, a unity of divine and created goods. The mortal nature of animal and the immortal nature of God, the qualities of the animal, the angel, and God are joined together in man.The instincts of the animal, the intellect of the angels and the will of God, all together in one. That's what makes man special. Each soul is individual, created of nothing, totally and completely special. Basically, it's a really, really high anthropology, and anthropology is more than just skin and nails and teeth. Man is beautiful because man has his origin and end in God, his purpose is to live for God. There is a beauty in the existence of the least and most wretched human being that does not exist among all the other created goods on earth.

This is how I see people. This IS humanity for me. So it really discourages me to see people who cannot see this, people who can't fathom that man is more than just his actions, his ideas, his physical appearance. I think this is partly why people don't get my drawings. The other part is beauty.

Beauty comes from God. I think it's obvious that beauty is more than just physical appearance. Invisible, divine truths are beautiful, the virtues are beautiful, that which is harmonious, integrated, in union and concordance it beauty. Do you realise a similarity in those? Those are the attributes of God. God is in perfect harmony, there ebeing no dischord within him nor come from him.('God is not the author of confusion'.) God is perfect simplicity and unity, he is without composition, each person of the Trinity dwells in inseparable union with each other. The two natures of Christ are in perfect unity, God is in union with his Bride, the church, and with the soul of each individual Christian, provided they are in grace. So, I suppose one could say that that which has its origin in or is in accordance with the attributes of God, that is beautiful.

So, if you want to depict beauty, you have those as a starting point. That's what I want to communicate with my pictures, even the secular pictures. Humanity, all creation, is beautiful, and it's beautiful because it has it's origin in and exists in accordance with God. That's why the base, the sinful, and the diabolical are not beautiful. But, like I said, the greater part of humaniy doesn't live with this in mind. Hence it is, that they have to substitute something else in the place. So the idea of 'beauty' is often replaced by sex. And simply put, that's the lense that most people see my pictures through. Which is why I'm frustrated with the websites I show it on. I'm trying to depict beauty, people see something entirely different.

My pictures of people are more than just prettiness. I don't draw people, places, or events because they're 'Pretty'. I draw them because they're beautiful. Adam and Eve are not a pretty couple, they're an icon of the beauty of salvation history, of the goodness in which God created them, which was lost by man and restored in the man Christ Jesus. That's a lot more beautiful than my little picture, and it's a bigger concept than I could ever hope to picture. The Assumption is not a pretty picture, it's a sign of the beauty of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, of the purity of her life, her most pure soul being preserved from all sin. Of the simplicity of her life, lived with total obedience to the God who took flesh of her. So it was that God crowned her with the highest diadem of heaven, she whom he had clothed from her beginning with a vesture of salvation and adorned her soul with Justice, as a spouse decorated for her husband with fine jewels.

Now, ending this too long series of posts, I suppose I should not get frustrated. We live in a 'post-Christian' world, and even that Christianity was often without much substance. But, it does nothing to help me, because from the viewpoint that is opposed to the idea of beauty that I have, its from this one that my pictures are ALWAYS criticised. Part of me just wants to say 'If only you knew!' It's sad, even some of my fellow Catholics criticise my pictures from this point, often with good but still misguided intentions.

Part I

Part II

And speaking of singing....

....I do love to sing, but I'll admit: I do get nervous when I sing. I have trouble with keeping the vowels closed on certain notes. For example, tonight, I could'nt sing the notes for the 'O res mirabilis' in the Panis angelicus without it sounding like 'Oh Rays mee raaaahhh bee lees'. I know it ought to be 'Oh Rehs mih raaaahhh bee lees', but whenever I get up there (This is an 'F',not that high but high for me' I find it impossible. I know the technique, but I can never remember to to it. I freak out. It's odd, since my high notes are probably my one vocal asset. Once I realised that no matter how much I desperately wanted to be one, my lowest of low notes was'nt enough to be a bass. So I gave up and worked on being a tenor. Sometimes I wonder if I ought to record myself singing so I can see if the problems I hear actually exist. It's very hard to know what you sound like singing, especially when all the resonance in in your head.


We went over the reproaches and the Passion quickly tonight.Because both are easy, and we already know them, it did'nt take long. I never knew how high the tenor has to sing in it! But I like it. I love to sing high notes and get into my head voice, but there's usually no opportunity for that. The closest thing we have to that is Tallis' If Ye Love me.

Also, the lineup for confirmations on the Fourth Sunday of Lent has been finalised. We'll have Tallis' If Ye Love Me, Jean Psaquet's Lord, Sanctify me Wholly, and the 'Palestrina' Panis Angelicus. I put in in quotes because the authenticity is doubtful and I myself think it's obviously a forgery. You Listen and Decide.

That said, we'll be getting used to a new arrangement in the organ loft. There were some unfortunate water leaks in the loft during the winter, and the carpet and floor needed to be worked on, as well as the ceiling. This gave them a chance to work on the configurement of the loft. With such a small parish, there is little room giver for the organ and choir. It's quite cramped up there, partly because of the arrangement of the organ. (Detached console set in the middle of the loft facing sideways.Yes, so the organist doesn't face the sanctuary or the back of the church, but a wall at the side.) It wastes quite a bit of space. So the organ has been moved to a more traditional position .

This means the organist needs a mirror to see the sanctuary now, but it gives the choir more room and it looks nicer. Speaking of which, new choir seating! No more tripping over the black folding chairs trying desperately to find a way to walk around up there. Thank God, it was always a hazard, people feared falling over.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I should feel guilty.

Because I'm drawing a self portrait.

Tuesday,week II.

PROTECT, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy Church by thy constant protection, and because human frailty fails without thee, by thine aid, may She ever be removed from that which is harmful and led to that which is ordered to salvation.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday, week II

O God,who for the healing of souls hast commanded us to discipline our bodies,grant that we may abstain from from all sins, and that our hearts may observe the commands of thy goodness.

I should feel guilty.

Because I like some things in Stainer's Crucifixion. It's supposed to be that I think that it's typical sappy romantic English music, unfit for serious musicians and thoroughly unsuitable for liturgy.

But there are some great hymns, like This one.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Good Friday shall be EPIC this year.

Besides ad orientem (Which we always did) and communion at the rail (Which we did the last two years and, with communion at all the masses now given at the rail, will be done this year, the service is going to be celebrated by a bishop. Yup, a pontifical service.


Instead of doing the gregorian chanted passion, we will be doing Victoria's. It's as if Our Lord heard my longing cries last year and resolved to bring me some consolation. Felice Anrio's gradual Christus Factus est, Victoria reproaches and good motets as usual (Adoramus te Christe, Dubois, O bone Jesu, Palestrina, Ave verum corpus, Byrd, the Royal Banners forward go (Congregational hymn.)

Also for Holy week, we'll be doing a setting of My Song is Love Unknown. I'll probably cry a bit during it, seeing as it reminds me of dad, and the text ought to be enough to make one cry. A lovely soprano descant, a choral verse, a tenor/bass verse, a verse with alternate harmony, it'll all be great. We're doing the Palestrina O Crux Ave too.

So yes, I'm a happy chorister. <3

A Proper Altar.

That there's how you do it. None of that ugly 19th century American neo-gothic white marble wedding-cake style towering reredos stuff. A proper, sober 'English' altar.Needs Moar altar frontal though.

Now watch the so-called architectural traditionalist get in a tizzy because it's 'protestant', 'Anglican', 'anachronistic', 'antiquated',or worse yet, the 'museum religion' thing. Apparently, liturgical things are only okay of they resemble America circa 1850-1910.Everything else is RONG and an Abomination Unto the Lord.[/semi rant]

*Why yes, I did indeed reference Needs More Cowbell.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


O Lord, be mindful of thy servants and grant that our souls, chastened by the mortification of the flesh, may glow in thy sight with desire for thee.

Monday, March 14, 2011


CONVERT us, O God our Saviour, and, that our Lenten observance may profit us, instruct our minds in heavenly disciplines. Through Our Lord Jesus thy Son, who livest and reignest with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

*And I hope I'm not the only one who was reminded of the Unde Gnomes by this.

So I've decided,

That instead of doing a really deep spiritual passage as a reflection daily for you guys, I'll just go the easy way and put a good translation of the day's collect and some edifying artwork for you.

That, and I've decided to go back to ritual notes. I'm sure there's someone out there who misses hearing about the liturgical doings of Our Lady of Lourdes,though I can't figure out who or why.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The spirituality of art.

The Assumption of Blessed Mary

One of the many things that bothers me about modern art, and really it's not something new, just something more overt nowadays, is the de-humanisation of art. Just from skimming my channels and groups, the objectification of humanity as a thing or the de-sacralisation of sacred art to make it more base is far too rampant. Even the few artists on Deviant art who do sacred art or religious works do so in a way that points, not to the subject of the painting or to higher ideals, but to the low and base.

It never bother me until I saw how other people see MY work. For many of them, it's impossible to see that my pictures are'nt just colorful pictures, or pictures of women and men. I'm trying, in my slopy and untrained way, to communicate something of divine truths with them.It really all started after I posted my picture of Adam and Eve in the garden. It turned out to be quite popular, but the comments I got on it and the collections it went into were not what I hoped. Certainly, everyone is'nt religious, but I did'nt expect for people to add it into collections named "Cute Couples" or "Bishies", or "Rainbow". It really annoyed me for months, and it still does that when people see my work, all they see is "Pretty Lady" or "Naked person", and not "St.Agnes" or "St.Mary Magdalene". My pictures of the saints, of Christ, and of his Blessed Mother are MORE than just pretty pictures of people. They represent real truths.

You guys should remember the layers of theology that I wove into This Picture, for instance.
But no one ever saw it. And even when I showed it to fellow Catholics on deviantart, I often got shot down by them. They could'nt get past the fact of what they were wearing to understand how beautiful I wanted to make that picture, not just in execution but in motivation. I tried to submit it to one of the Catholic groups, sent with the explanation, and it was declined due to "Inappropriate subject matter". Really! An allegory of Our First Parents is inappropriate!

It got worse when I was editing the tags for something I did a while ago. I decided to re-tag the Tree of Life cross that I drew, so I decided to see under what tags people put pictures of the Crucifixion. There were some very nice results, including copies of painting by Velasquez and the Netherlandish masters. But there was a whole host of irreverent and blasphemous images as well. Unfortunately, with the way DA is, unless they're breaking a real rule there's nothing you can do about them.

Thursday, February 24, 2011




Some of you may have noticed that every now and then, I post a link to some awesome sort of music with the title "And now, a Musical Interlude" And when I first posted that, I said that none of you would get the reference. (And no one did) I wanted to supply the reference, but could not.

Here it is. That's a big part of my childhood, right there. And that was one of my favourite episodes. (My all-time favourite being the Relax-O-Vision episode.)

So yes, happy tiems. :D

And now,

A Musical interlude.

Oh No.

Sad Times.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Proper Procession.

Who says Catholic's can't sing? You just have to give them the right music.

The procession form the high mass of the patronal feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Philadelphia.

Oh yeah, just listen to those bombardes and chamades. Go ahead, be jealous. <3

Sunday, February 20, 2011

And now,

You guys should know what This means by now.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I no longer feel very vain.

But I do feel imprudent.

Because, I've decided not to replace the breviary my dad bought me. Something about the possibility of using that book until I'm a corpse lying on my bier just seems so right.

So, with my mother paying for it, I'm going to make another attempt to have it restored and rebound. I've decided not to go the cheap route this time. With the help of THIS wonderful site (Which I've been following for the past year, unofficially) I've narrowed it down to Paul Sawyer, who I'd absolutely love to rebind it*, (Here's an example of his work. Great, innit?) Leonard's (Examples HERE.)And Melching (Probably the most likely. I'm not really impressed with the quality of their raised bands, but it's close by and probably more affordable)

In any case, what I mainly want is something that will LAST. I had a friend who got a binding from Paul Sawyer and I'm amazed at how much it's been through with very little damage. To put it bluntly, this book is very precious to me, not just because it's a latin prayer book, nor because I've used it for a while, but also because it was almost like a peace offering. I at first didn't think my dad would buy such a thing. A Latin prayer book for his papist son. But he was glad to do it, he even had me ship it to his job to make sure it would be picked up if it was delivered while he was at work and my brother and I were at school.That was about the time he started being really cool about me being Catholic now, so much so that he came to mass with me when we went on vacation.

SO yes, precious book, it's broke, I need it fixed ASAP.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Y'know, I think one of the biggest obstacles I've ever had with living a spiritual life is that all of my prayers and devotions have always tended toward the 'fleshy' side of the faith. The first thing I learned as an anglo-catholic is the importance of seeing catholicism as an incarnational religion. Everything in prayer, worship, and the spiritual life is a reflection of the great mystery of God becoming man, and as a newly minted Christian, I was totally and completely wrapped up in amazement at that mystery. And so were my devotions: The Sacred Heart, The Five Wounds, Christ in his passion, Our Lady of Sorrows, St.Joseph, and Mary as Mother of God. These were and are my favourite devotions and subjects for prayer.

I think it probably has a lot to do with my personal life. It's easier for me to connect with God, the Trinity, by using these profoundly real and human means. It's one thing to say that God became man. It's another to say that God cried, God had to be fed, to learn how to walk, to talk, to feed himself, to read. It's one thing to say that Mary was the mother of God. It's another to say that she taught him, loved him, wept for three days over losing him, stood proud as he grew, and suffered in silence as he died. It's one thing to say that Our Lord Jesus had a real, human family. It's another to say that he grew up working in his foster father's trade, helping his mother, suffered seeing his foster father die, and saw his mother sorrowing interior at his own death.

It all says that God is Real, and he intervened in human history, lived a real life. Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh was a real man. He had wounds. He had a heart. He had a mother. And ot some extent, devotion to these human attributes is essentially devotion to the divine. Because there is only one Christ. He is'nt split into a divine half and a human half. He is one person of two natures.It's really all very beautiful. Christ is the image of the father, the brightness of his glory. He is the one by whom we know the Father. And how was he known on earth?

New Medieval art.

I think I have some of my confidence in my art back.

But, one major problem I have with the few people I let see my work is that, and I don't mean to gloat, my style is too unique. It leaves me open to some pretty harsh criticism. I call my style 'New Gothic' or 'New Medieval'. It's really just melding my own manga style with the Gothic art of the high and late middle ages.

Sometimes it's subtle, like the picture of St.Michael I have here. The design of the armor and the words around the yellow halo are of course of medieval origin*. Other times, it's more obvious and overt, like my picture of St.Hermenegild or my picture of St.Peter Pashasius. Both are obviously gothic in design. (St.Hermenegild with the costume, as well as the patterned background and tiled floor popular for saints of that time.** St.Peter Paschasius is my version of a French miniature of St.Remigius, taken from a book of hours.)

In all of my art, I generally reference MANY pictures for help. For example, for my picture of St.Peter, I referenced the bishop saints of Van Eyeck's Adoration of the Mystic Lamb,used his painting of the Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints and Canon Joris van der Paele for the carpet, and used Van der Weyden's Miraflores altarpiece to color the chapel. And again, for St.Hermenegild, the backround fabric is a direct copy of a swath of 15th century fabric that went up for sale last year.

In the end, I think my art is well designed but usually poorly executed. I think it looks better of you understand the concepts and ideas that I put into it, so a knowledge of the art of art of the middle ages is good. Of course, I could always learn to execute designs better, but that takes far too much effort, time, and money than is available for me at this time.