Monthly Archives: October 2007

Changes in Latin Mass Music

I didn’t mention, but we experienced something of a change to our routine on Sunday at the Latin Mass. Generally when the choir is around they’ll sing some cool Palestrina arrangement of the Gloria after we’ve recited the Confiteor and sung the Kyrie antiphonally with them. But the bulletin tells us that starting today we’ll be singing the Gloria together, apparently to “increase the opportunities for full and active congregational participation.” Um, okay, whatever. But then also the schola will sing the Agnus Dei without us now. I don’t understand how getting us to sing the Gloria but taking away the Agnus Dei increases our participation. If anything, it’s a wash, right?

I always thoroughly enjoy singing the Gloria, when the choir is gone between the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of Lent. And I enjoy hearing them sing the different arrangements other times. So it’s funny how unsatisfying it is today to sing the regular old Gloria with them.

And I do so miss the Agnus Dei. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, but I’ll always remember how we chose to have the Latin for our wedding mass. When time came for it, poor Jenny the cantor raised her hand and sang it, but few if any of us sang along with her. I sure didn’t, not knowing the words. So I sure know them by heart now. (It’s so short and simple anyway.) And the schola’s first two petitions in chant aren’t nearly as great as how we all used to do it.

Sigh. I hate change.

Re-Reading O’Brian

Commodore Aubrey and Dr. Maturin are drinking the last of the coffee.

Jack walked in, pouring himself a cup as he bade Stephen good morning, and said, ‘I am afraid they are all in.’

‘All in what?’

‘All the Frenchmen are in harbour, with their two Indiamen and the Victor. Have not you been on deck? We are lying off Port-Louis. The coffee has a damned odd taste.’

‘This I attribute to the excrement of rats. Rats have eaten our entire stock; and I take the present brew to be a mixture of the scrapings at the bottom of the sack.’

‘I thought it had a familiar tang,’ said Jack. ‘Killick, you may tell Mr Seymour, with my compliments, that you are to have a boat. And if you don’t find at least a stone of beans among the squadron, you need not come back. It is no use trying the Néréide; she don’t drink any.’

When the pot had been jealously divided down to its ultimate dregs, dregs that might have been called dubious, had there been any doubt of their nature, they went on deck.

O’Brian, Patrick. The Mauritius Command. p. 185.

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The first reading is from Sirach. I love the whole tone of the reading, something of the preferential option for the poor about it that really appeals to me. But an early line jumps out at me, jarringly, noting that the Lord is “not unduly partial toward the weak.”

I’m a little stunned: isn’t God unduly partial toward the weak? Shouldn’t God be unduly partial toward the weak?

Apparently not. And I suppose that’s just, given that Sirach tells us simply that the “one who serves God willingly is heard,” so being rich and powerful is not necessarily a barrier to being heard by God. But then this is still, after all, an Old Testament sentiment. Maybe I should be glad that it’s at least this partial to the lowly, before Christ comes and changes everything.

I especially enjoy the imagery of the prayer of the lowly piercing the clouds.

Dawn + Evie


An older picture, from back in May when we first got Evie. Notice that her belly is still shaved, so you can still see her scar from the spay surgery.


New Bruce Springsteen album Magic out today. From the song Long Walk Home:

My father said “Son, we’re
lucky in this town
It’s a beautiful place to be born
It just wraps its arms around you
Nobody crowds you, nobody goes it alone.
You know that flag
flying over the courthouse
Means certain things are set in stone
Who we are, what we’ll do
and what we won’t.”