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.