Thursday 30 June 2011

tu es Petrus

Turning back to page whatever yesterday for the gospel reading, I found myself on the page for the gospel of the feast of the Chair of St Peter, where most of the proper texts seem to be, 'tu es Petrus.'

That would suggest that text pretty important, because it could have been decided to choose other ones referring to him. But that is not what happened.

Since repetition is not unknown in the EF Mass, one has to conclude that it is for a reason. Drubbing into thick skulls perhaps?

Catholicism takes each person very seriously. That's one of the reasons the Protestant view of Our Lady could not be ours, because we just don't sideline and discard people, especially not family.

This authority is not floating around nebulously and what use would it be if it did? It is located in one person. One actual, real, alive person.

Anyway, it's all Greek to me, or Aramaic, or something.

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Sunday 26 June 2011

A summer's evening

The weather today was hot hot hot in the garden of England. It is my Dad's birthday today and so we went out into the countryside for a pub lunch. I may never eat again...

We stopped off for some local wayside cherries on the way back. OK I may eat a cherry or two and am now blogging in the garden whilst enjoying the smell of next door's BBQ.

Tomorrow it's going to be 32, so I think early in and early out of London. One of those days when you are pleased the tube never really took off south of the river..

Saturday 25 June 2011


I played in my concert last night, which went well and the warm evening meant that the audience could spill out into the medieval alley for their interval wine..

Before the rehearsal it turned out that the first bassoon had left some of his music at home. I did this once but realised three stops from home, got off the train, over the foot bridge to platform 2, got the music, went to the rehearsal. The trouble with being a wind player is that each set of parts contains one copy of your music and you are the only person who plays it. He had a more techno solution. He got hold of his wife who scanned it and emailed it to him. His office was round the corner from the church so he went there and printed it out. Problem solved.

At the top of the part, his wife had struck through 'fagotto' and written 'forgotto.'

Thursday 23 June 2011

Tuesday 21 June 2011


I have a weakness for things like this. Too funny.

And in any case aged about three I had a 'thing' about the Big Bad Wolf and used to tell my Dad to close the gate properly when he went to work. I think a ridiculously scary picture on a bookmark sent to me by Grandma-in-Wales along the lines of 'Don't go with strangers,' (but read books and look at this terrifying picture every time you open a book...) got conflated in my mind with the rabies warning poster you used to see on cross channel ferries of a ... terrifying dog licking its chops. Then there was the dog with the very loud bark that lived in the house behind ours. I'm not a dog person.


When I mentioned St Pio (aka Padre Pio) in that other post I was thinking of him in the context of one falsely accused who did what he was told. I've read elsewhere that it was easy for him because the Church wasn't in crisis then. I thought the Church was always in crisis and the past may look straightforward to us but it must have been just as bewildreing for the people living through it as the present, as our present is for us. Or just as clear...

Somewhere else a priest complained that we (the laity) expect priests to be saints. Well maybe we expect too much or expect higher standards of other people whilst we get on doing what we like and we should be kind when people fail, but it is clear how we are supposed to behave. It seems that when people live outside their religious communities and start doing their own thing, their own thing seems to lead in the wrong direction.

One of the things that struck me at St Cecilia's (apart from how everything was perfect, the roses, the cleanliness of where we stayed, how chilled juice appeared on a table when we left the parlour, transported by unseen hands, looking for no thanks...) was how the sisters we met were fully engaged in talking to us or instructing us but really they were elsewhere because a bell was going to go and they were immediately off to whatever else they had to do. And you knew that though you saw them for a matter of minutes, they were like that everyday, all the time and when no-one was watching. No need for an audience.

St John Vianney

pray for us.

Monday 20 June 2011

Lauda sion

I'm all sequenced out.

Too many verses, too few train journeys....

Sunday 19 June 2011

Fr Corapi and Padre Pio

I was having the same thoughts as Fr Longenecker yesterday.

Padre Pio was described by a doctor early on as, 'an ignorant and self-mutilating psychopath who exploited people's credulity.'

Fr Z has a prayer by him too.

Must be the Saint for just now.

Saturday 18 June 2011

Dad talk

As you know it's Fathers' Day tomorrow and next Sunday is also my Dad's birthday, so he's having two Sundays of Dad days.

He phoned up at lunch-time today to thank me for the card I'd sent (featuring lego people, don't ask) and so it was that I had one of those in depth conversations he really likes. I've got to go to a rehearsal tomorrow pm, so he'll have to make do with my brothers and their ladyfolk for company, plus in a staring role on roast dinner duty - my Mum.

Ranging from the best way to get through Tunbridge Wells and get onto the A267, whilst avoiding the snarl up in Southboro' next Sunday, through the bit of my roof that I plan to have replaced in the summer hols and how he's seen the roofing man around and about (MI5 has nothing on my Dad, )via that box bush thing that needs to be attacked with a chain saw and ending, joy of joys, with fence panels that may need replacing via B&Q and he and one of my brothers will slot them into the wonderful concrete posts. Dad heaven

PS He reliably informs me that the Teachers' Pension Scheme is in surplass. He's my Dad. He's always right.


One of the things that struck me when I happened into the EF Mass (apart from realising that this is the real deal,) was that there is a lot more kneeling. In an OF Mass in E&W the congregation do not kneel down until after the Sanctus. That's a long way in.

In terms of active participation in the EF, there's quite a bit of action for the congregation. What with kneeling for lengthy bits of time there are shorter bits of kneeling for specific moments and words. 'Et incarnatus est,' in the Creed, the 'et verbum caro factum est,' in the Last Gospel and for the Final Blessing. Keep up folks, there's plenty to do!

Now before this post inspires a frenzied comments box (dream on Leutgeb, dream on,) I must nail my Mass going colours to the nearest post. I would be very happy to only go to EF Masses, but do go to OF Masses perfectly easily. It would be fair to say that 95% of Masses that I go to are in the EF and the the last two OF Masses that I went to were at Quarr and Westminster Cathedral. It is the Mass that the Pope celebrates daily and if he can celebrate it, I can attend it. I worry about how Catholic I actually am if I start really not wanting to go to the OF. Teaching authoriy, valid sacraments, that's the bottom line. If you lack either of those, I'm not there and I'm not interested. No, oddly enough, I don't like it when things aren't done right, but I'm not a priest and that's his business in the first instance. The only time I suspend my capacity to be endlessly critical of myself and everyone else (much more me than you folks, honest,)is in Church, so I don't think it's a good idea to adopt a critical mindset here. I can't see what's going on anyway because I look at the floor most of the time and am increasingly good at screening out English which sounds like blah blah blah. Other people have other entrenched views. For me as long as the Mass is Catholic, celebrated by a Priest in good standing, doing his best to do it right, I'm not complaining. If it's in the Old Rite, that's great. There we are. I do know what it is like to go to Mass dutifully week in week out and wonder where I was going wrong and yes it would now be very hard to go back to that, but some lines are not meant to be crossed and plenty of people have to endure the less than ideal. We are in this mess of a world together. But I digress...

Those few of us EF/OF attending minority have certain moments when our reactions don't quite fit. Because in the EF, 'dicentes,' means ding, Sanctus, kneel and in the OF it does not etc.

This dichotomy is most awfully apparent at the moment of receiving Holy Communion, because that is the crunch point and all depends on the church, which to my upbringing, which said all churches the same, all priests the same, all Masses the same does not compute, because they are not, sadly, the same. I was also brought up with an extreme sense of never drawing attention to myself in church. What more obvious way to do that than to kneel when everyone else is standing? That is not something that I have resolved satisfactorily yet (OK yes that is a euphemism for I mess up badly on occasion and receive on the tongue, standing, having genuflected - mea culpa, )but rather like the priest who, when I said in Confession, 'Should I say an act of contrition?' said, 'Later, if you like.' (If I like? I thought that the whole point about Confession was that what I like is not a very good measure of what is actually right. ) it could be made a lot easier.

There we are. Leutgeb, a shambles, as you suspected.

Thursday 16 June 2011

Polls and Petitions

The Daily Mail have one for today only on that assisted dying programme on BBC2 on Monday.

Meantime here is a petition against that Western Mass in Vienna.

Footage of both should carry a warning.

Wednesday 15 June 2011

Kneeling and Sacraments

Confession - kneeling
Confirmation - kneeling
Holy Orders - kneeling (the laying on of hands.)
Baptism - in the arms of a parent, or standing to reach the font.
Marriage - standing for the exchange of vows and kneeling for blessings?
Sacrament of the Sick - in bed if you are really ill, which quite likely, you are.

which leaves Holy Communion - kneeling

So that's kneeling 4, not kneeling 3.

Whilst at St Cecilia's I was reading the translation of the psalms in Vespers (a miracle in itself since I am more than capable of sitting there for an entire psalm thinking about how much I like tone 8 la la la la la LA, la la la la la la La. :-) Muppet.) Anyway the text was along the lines of, and I paraphrase freely, 'The Lord heals the wounded heart. The Lord numbers the stars in the sky.' Whilst it is amazing that Almighty God is interested in my little life, whilst holding the entire universe from minus infinity to plus infinity in and outside time etc in being, I don't think that puts us on the same level. Kneeling for Holy Communion is not so much to ask for those of us who can.

Monday 13 June 2011

Dying on Telly

Frightening in practically every minute of the programme.

Bed-time now, so can't watch Newsnight.

I hope the lady sitting extreme right says all the right things.

Sunday 12 June 2011

Mahler 8

Yes time for the loudest Veni creator spiritus.

And no the odd-even thing doesn't work here because my favourite Mahler Symphony is 6.

I swear the announcer on R4 called it Veni creator (rhyming with Rita) spiritus. Sigh.

Still with the NYO, you get a head start summing to a thousand as they come in at 170 players.

Blackcurrant rustling

It was always going to happen, but I have been evicted from my allotment. If you saw the 3' high couch grass surrounded by neat rows of tasty veg, you'd see why. I was hoping to hang on in time for the plum trees to fruit, but that was not to be.

So at 8am this morning I went out to dig up some blackcurrant bushes that were given to me as I have to remove my personal effects from the plot. Being too scaredy cat to face the probable self-righteous stares of the full-time allotmenteers I thought earlyish on a Sunday morning was the time to go for.

Not a soul about.

I hope the next lot of plot holders have more time for the couch grass.

Saturday 11 June 2011


It would be true to say that I look a bit scary when frowing or glaring. Occasionally, a photo gets taken before I have composed my features and I wonder at how scary I look. A particularly awful one got taken when I was a bridesmaid. I was signing the marriage certificate thinking that I mustn't smudge the totally permanent black ink and that these people's grandchildren etc would one day see this so it had better look neat, how important it all was etc. (You were signing your own name and you were 30, how hard can that be?)The picture shows me looking frowny and scary. Again. Oh dear.

On Thursday a rather lively boy at the back of an exam needed a look to re-focus himself on his exam paper, before whatever he was doing came to anyone else's attention and potentially caused a distraction. So I stared, glared and half-smiled in quick succession in a way that was meant to communicate, 'Stop it now, do your exam, but I know you don't really mean any harm.' That was the intention and he did indeed smile and get back to his exam. However 3 boys sitting in front of him looked up and affected expressions of, 'What have I done? I'm entirely innocent.' So not totally successful.

Could do better.

Friday 10 June 2011

The best channel on You tube

horn solos, of course. Lots of Stefan Dohr, principal horn of the Berlin Phil. Leutgeb rates his playing highly.

Very handy for cheering yourself up or looking for useful info on how you might play stuff.

Just about to start rehearsing Beethoven 8. I'm with Tovey that the best Beethoven symphonies are the odd numbered ones. The Eroica is my favourite symphony and not just for the trio in the third movement. It's top stuff for a number of reasons and the orchestration and horn-writing is superb. 5 is 5. 7 is great and 9 has too many good bits to list and ends with a bit of a scream.

2,4,6,8 Mm.

Anyway, the 8th also has a nice moment for the pair of horn in the trio. This is rather lumpy at the opening, but picks up when we hit the trio and both players have Alex 103's, so there.

Sunday 5 June 2011

Chant Tour Day 7

Back at the ranch for the Sunday in the Octave of Ascension.

Chant Tour Days 5 & 6

I have a friend who has a list of things she'd like to achieve, which has over the years included parachuting and running the London marathon twice. I have more modest ambitions which have included taking my car on a car ferry. I have now achieved this impressive feat, by driving to the Isle of Wight. (Round of applause please.)

Anyway the main object of this journey was chant and so off we set on Friday. This was another Candy initiative, btw. We sang Mass with the monks at Quarr and learnt about chant from the choirmistress at St Cecilia's as well as going to Compline at Quarr and Vespers at St Cecilia's.

Some things we leant.

Say the words and then sing them. Especially good when the text is syllabic. (Which is also what was said by Dom Saulnier at Solesmes.)

Where the text is set mainly syllabically with a few melismas, the melismatic notes should be lighter and a little faster.

Quliismas may be thought of as stepping over a puddle. IE the notes before and after the quilisma carry more weight than the quilisma itself.

Avoid causing the music to stop at the end of the first phrase of 'Veni Sancte Spiritus.'

Thank you to Candy, Quarr and St Cecilia's.

Clare, as ever, took great photos showing the sky to be a deep blue.

Friday 3 June 2011

Chant Tour Day 4

After a break of a few days to clean, tidy and garden a bit, basically do a whole pile of stuff that gets left during term time...

Ascension Day and an extra choir member.

Days 5 and 6 are on the Isle of Wight. Sleeping at St Cecilia's, eating at Quarr and listening and singing at both.

Thursday 2 June 2011

Ascension Day

Well it just is.

Do the math.

I always liked the holy days of obligation in the summer term. (I know it's half term. I'd be taking a register right now if it wasn't.)

Hopefully, they are to return.

40 Days for Life makes the Guardian


'The surge in prayer vigil protests comes as abortion is edging back to the centre of mainstream political discourse.'

Maybe there is a connection?

One of the characters in the film below has had an abortion. That was pretty surprising that such a thing could be mentioned in a 12A film and the consequences portrayed as negative.

Where's that tide gone?

Wednesday 1 June 2011

It's June

Evening Devotions.

The Way

The film, not anything to do with Opus Dei.

Went to see it with my Mum yesterday, up London.

On the plus side it presents a positive view of Catholicism.

On the downside that view is, for the most part, from the perspective of from the edges in. Dipping in.

The way the film explained Europe to an American audience was a little grating, but it was not without some humour too. A tad heavy handed.

The best characters were the supporting ones, sice what is essentially a road movie on walking boots, affords the opportunity of plenty of short encounters.

So quite good. The thurible in Santiago de Compostela is always worth seeing. Oh no, I've spoilt the ending. Well we knew where they were going to arrive.

HF on Gregorian Chant


What would be useful is if a few more people would learn to read the notation and indeed five line staff notation. Musical illiteracy is what really puts the brakes on extending repertoire, particularly singing the propers. It's not that hard to memorise a few ordinaries after all.