Thursday 29 November 2012

Saying what we really think

Some people are saying what they think about the EF Mass on Pray Tell and then being systematically demolished on the LMS Chairman Blog.

Some people seem determined to thwart other people's wish to ever get to one.

If it's only meant for people who have a pre-1970 attachment to it, who never got over it etc, then how come the FSSP et al are allowed to have seminaries, which are full of seminarians who were born well after 1970? Surely, that line of thinking would suggest that we certainly don't need priests who only offer the Old Mass. These young men shouldn't actually know about it...

That doesn't really add up, does it?

See the previous post if you think chant is not where it's at and yes, I am biased because we spent a lot of last summer rehearsing stuff and I am on the recording.

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Rorate Caeli

Clare has put up the recording that we made in October here..

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Sunday 25 November 2012

Christmas Food

Yes it's time to start writing shopping lists.
I have taken instruction from the master cook on which birdie to get, how big, which butchers and when.

Then I mentioned the particularly yummy crisps I got in Wales over half-term and what do I find? My parents have eaten them. Two big bags! They were supposed to be for Christmas Day. For reasons of serious illness one of them has not been able to eat very much at all, so actually this is great news. TWO BAGS!

How will I source replacements without a 500 mile round trip? This is England, after all.

So if you see these, I want two big bags of ready salted - red, v patriotic. Sheep not included, though my nephew might like them...

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Location:Castell Leutgeb family residence

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Happy St Cecilia's Day

( Must be 22nd somewhere by now.)

Tuesday 20 November 2012

For the first time

In a very long while, I had cause to confiscate something today.
A packet of quavers.
I kid you not, as Zephy would say.
( Note to American readers, that's eighth notes, I teach Music and quavers are also a brand of crisps= chips.)
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Sunday 11 November 2012

The Requiem Mass...again

Today being Remembrance Sunday it was time to sing the Requiem Mass for the third time since September. Last Autumn we had a session on it with Sister Bernadette and Clare wrote down what she said here and here.

Since then I've sung it quite a few times with various combinations of people and on occasion bits of it on my own. The Institute for Christ the King have produced the best sheets to sing from here, which are as big and clear as clear can be and they even think to include the ferial tone for the preface dialogue, just in case anyone was going to forget. They couldn't really make it much easier, free downloads and all.

The present format is that the Choir sing the Introit, Kyrie, Sequence, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Communion and the responses at the end and then myself plus potentially others sing the Gradual, Tract, Offertory and Libera me. Everyone has lots to do and no-one has to get stressed. We have our easy to read booklets and as anyone who is involved in organising music for others knows, being able to reach into a cupboard and bring out all the music in one swift move is a great thing. I have to do the same at work all the time as I am in effect the librarian to my orchestras and I will tomorrow be checking that I have everything in order for a concert this week.

Anyway, having got the organisational aspects sorted as far as possible, the great thing is all that work is paid off in spades because it's always going to be the same. No time spent practising plainchant is ever wasted. No-one can come up to you afterwards and say it was a pity you didn't sing their favourite hymn. No-one can say it's a pity more people weren't singing, because actually they were and if they weren't, well that's entirely their choice; this is not an infants' assembly these are adults. You know you have just sung the music that all the composers of the great polyphonic Requiem Masses knew. You know that the children in the congregation will know the Dies Irae before they hear it in Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique and won't have to do everything backwards like I had to. You know that the fact that you have to sing the Gradual, Tract and Sequence one after the other means that you can't wimp out or think it's too much etc. The thought cannot enter your head because it just has to be so.

Having been more or less tortured for most of the time I have been involved in doing music in church, either by other people's freely given comments or by the fact that it was never even slightly clear exactly what you were really supposed to be aiming for - everyone singing very loudly seemed to be many people's unattainable goal - or by the fact that the music was rubbish, having all the music in the Liber Usualis and precise rules as to when and what to sing is bliss. And what music..

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Monday 5 November 2012

On a Sunday morning

Lots of people get up really early and multiple times in the night because they have small children, alas I don't, but I get up pretty early most of the time. How else would I have discovered the dodgy plumbing at 6.30am on Saturday had I not been making a coffee and unloading the dishwasher, whilst considering what to put in the washing-machine first this weekend? Quite.

Sunday mornings I am frequently cooking stuff, gardening and cleaning the house during the Sunday Prog and Morning Service.

So it comes as no surprise that someone's done the math on where they get their contributors from. If you keep an eye on the broadsheets and note what documentaries are on the TV and R4, you notice a remarkable correlation in subject matter. Yes, the media really is controlled by a very small number of people. It's just that though the radio may be on, maybe we aren't being taken in. Once you've noted how rubbish the info is on Catholicism, do you trust the MSM on anything?

Trouble is this small world seems to extend to politicians too. My brothers were very het up on Sunday about the A&E provision locally. One of them can tell you precisely how long it takes to drive an ambulance from my parent's house to the nearest trauma unit, blue lights flashing and sirens going- KCH - 25 minutes if in his words you 'boot it.' As he prides himself on driving extremely fast he said that it's 30 minutes with anyone else behind the wheel. If I lived in relatively empty NorthWales, I might expect that it would take a long time to get across the mountains or round the coast to Bangor, but I live in Greater London and the population density is extremely high, so you wonder just how safe it is to be closing A&E Departments and Maternity Units. I don't remember being asked to vote on that.

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Location:in the kitchen

Sunday 4 November 2012


A weekend with the washing up bowl and a roasting tin ( goodly amount of surface area, ) strategically placed with towels to catch the splashes.

Fortunately, my brother and sister-in-law have a friend who is a plumber and thanks to him I have about a foot of new copper piping leading to the stop cock.

Never have the sound of dishwasher and washing machine sounded so pleasing!

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Location:Chez moi

Saturday 3 November 2012

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Thursday 1 November 2012

All Saints

On the side of a van in the church car park.

Well it is the day for all of them, the well known and the unknown.

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