Saturday 14 July 2007

Taking Advantage...

Fr. Tim is not one to let the grass grow under his buckled shoes... following last week's release of Summorum Pontificum de-restricting the celebration of the Classical Rite, he announced that the regular Saturday morning Mass in the Parish would be celebrated in the Extraordinary Form.


So this morning we had Low Mass. Two boys have been busy learning all the responses and actions (they're a little shaky on some of the pronunciation, but hey, so am I) and watching them getting to grips with the moves is pretty amazing. I've said it before, but this really is the original "liturgical dance" with every action laid down precisely in the rubrics. It is awesome...

Now I know that the Mass is the Mass is the Mass... whatever form, however badly celebrated, whatever the state of the priest, Jesus Christ himself deigns to come down to us in the Real Presence. I would never deny that the Novus Ordo is just as valid as the Classical Mass. And, with Fr. Tim as my Parish Priest, I am luckier than many in having less to complain about in the celebration of the Novus Ordo (no chance of getting a cheery "Good morning, folks, and I hope you're all feeling fine and dandy for our celebration today, and now let's tell God...")


...the more I attend the Extraordinary Form of Mass, the more drawn in I get. I begin to understand why the Latin Mass Society calls it the "Mass of Ages" and I feel very strongly connected to all my favourite saints, many of whom died in defence of this very same Mass. The idea that liturgy is not something we do for God, but something that God has done for us goes through my mind. It isn't boring... but even if it was, it wouldn't matter, because I am not there to be entertained, I am there to worship God Almighty, to adore my Creator, to receive my Saviour and Redeemer...

I have to admit that I am likely to thump the next person who states that the priest has his back to the people. Hasn't anyone ever noticed that, unless you are in the front row, there are quite a few members of the congregation who have their backs to you... ?! The priest is facing the same way as everyone else: towards God. And the prayers are addressed to God. In the Novus Ordo it can feel as if we are responding to the priest... not for nothing is it referred to as a "dialogue Mass."

The silence and the lack of continual movement on the part of the congregation are so liberating: I am truly free to participate in whatever way I want (and that won't be the same each week.) I can choose to follow what is happening by reading a Missal which gives a translation of the prayers and readings, or I can follow the words in the Latin closely and pray along with them under my breath, or I can pray the Rosary, or I can use a prayer book to meditate on the different parts of the Mass... or I can just sit and revel in the fact that I am in the Presence of God, and He loves me...

Incidentally, the Missal I have for the Extraordinary Form of Mass was the first indication for me that catechesis since the reforms of Vatican II has been sorely lacking: the wealth of information about what is happening during the Sacrifice of the Mass, and about how to prepare for Mass and for Holy Communion is really mindblowing. By comparison, the Missals available (in English) for the Novus Ordo are seriously dumbed-down.

God bless you, Holy Father, for liberating the Extraordinary Form of Mass.

Blogging Lite

I've been a little preoccupied lately, so haven't been blogging as regularly as usual. I have a new job, and have been spending time visiting the new school to get to grips with schemes of work, basic procedures, equipment and so on. To those of you who knew I was job-hunting, many thanks for all your prayers!

Thursday 12 July 2007

A Plea From The Heart...

...for a change of heart. Ma Beck alerts us to the fact that a young woman in desperate circumstances is, unfortunately, considering having an abortion. She and her unborn baby really need our prayers. Ma also points out that prayer really does work in cases like this... read more about it HERE.

Wednesday 11 July 2007

Light Entertainment...

I just received the following little joke from my friend Dave, and it made me chuckle. Not a lot, but it's a quiet day for me news-wise...

The Holy Father and Queen Elizabeth II were standing on a balcony beaming at thousands of people in the forecourt below. The Queen says to the Pope out of the corner of her mouth "I bet you a tenner that I can make every English person in the crowd go wild with just a wave of my hand."

The Holy Father says "No way. You can't do that."

The Queen says, "Watch this".

So the Queen waves her hand, and every English person in the crowd goes crazy, waving their little plastic Union Jacks on sticks and cheering, basically going ballistic.

So the Holy Father is standing there thinking, "Uh oh, what am I going to do? I never thought she'd be able to do it."

So he thinks to himself for a minute and then he turns to her and says, "I bet you I can make every IRISH person in the crowd go wild, not just now, but for the rest of the week, with just one nod of my head."

The Queen goes "No way, it can't be done."

So the Holy Father headbutts her.

Tuesday 10 July 2007

Girls Only

No, I'm not being sexist, but this is serious "girl talk." And it involves shopping, so you guys won't be interested anyway!

Having put on a little too much weight recently, I decided that I would have to bow to the inevitable, and get a new brassiere or two, as the old ones were just a trifle too ill-fitting. However, getting the right size is vital, and, unfortunately, it's the sort of thing that has to be done properly. I've previously gone to John Lewis for a fitting, but hadn't been that impressed with the variety on offer for the larger lady... if I'm going to pay around £50 - £60 (that's $100) for an item of clothing then (1) I want it to fit properly, and (2) even if no-one else is going to get to see it, I'd still prefer it to be slightly attractive rather than something which looks as if you'd need welding equipment to get in and out of...

I had heard about Rigby & Peller (Corsetières to HM the Queen, no less!) and had idly wondered what it was like to go in for a proper fitting. So, desperate to get something to fit, I trundled up to Knightsbridge.

The stuff on display at the front of the shop was not encouraging. The items appeared to be for svelte, fashionable, young women. It crossed my mind that, pretty as it was, all that lace must be terribly uncomfortable... The back of the shop was quite something: I had expected an establishment frequented by Her Majesty to look, well... clinical. It actually looked more like a bordello (or at least, like I imagine a bordello would look) - plush red carpets, red upholstery on the chairs, and swathes of red-and-gold curtain material. The only indications that this was actually part of a shop were found in the presence of a till and a back wall covered in lots of little drawers. There was absolutely nothing to indicate which drawers held what, but as I watched, a couple were opened to reveal lots of bras. Encouragingly, the only colours evident were the eminently practical ones of white, black and beige.

I was then summoned to the fitting rooms. The assistant (who looked about 18) looked me over with a practiced eye, and produced something suitable. A perfect fit, and not a tape measure in sight. The whole experience took just over five minutes, and was far less unpleasant than anticipated. Now, if only they had a branch in Bluewater...

Sunday 8 July 2007

Typical... Nothing For Ages...

...and then two memes come at once. This one is from Newhousenewjob over at Just Doing My Best. And it's a really tricky one...

Ok, to begin with, here are the rules:

Those tagged will share 5 things they love about Jesus.
Those tagged will tag 5 other bloggers.
Those tagged will provide a link in the combox here with their name so that others can read them.
(ie. I have to go back and tell Newhousenewjob I've answered, and my tagees have to do the same for me. Just making that clear, as I had to read the last point a few times before I got it!)

I could just cheat outrageously and say "I love absolutely everything about Jesus," but I doubt I'd be allowed to get away with such a simple answer. And Newhousenewjob makes a mean yoghurt cake, and I'd like to be invited back to eat another one some time. So, in no particular order... I love:

1. ...the fact that he gave us the gift of himself to be received in Holy Communion. How awesome is that...? I mean, you can't physically get any closer than that.

2. ...the fact that he left us his Mother. She'll always put in a good word for us. That's what mothers do!

3. ...the fact that he gave us the Church as the living expression of his Truth. Not only that, but he gave a cast-iron guarantee that the Church would not fail to teach the Truth, despite our attempts to mess it up. So we don't have to worry and wonder about what Jesus would have done (or said) - we know!!

4. ...the fact that he accepts our feeble apologies for our sins. Time and time again, we're forgiven, and welcomed back with open arms. Even if we're only sorry because we don't want to go to hell. He'll take any excuse!!

5. ...the fact that he died for me. I realised, when I experienced my conversion and returned to the Church, that Jesus died for me. He knew I would betray him. He still went to the Cross, for me. And even if I had been the only person to be saved, he would still have gone willingly and gladly to be crucified, for me.

I'm also pretty keen on the fact that his first miracle was to turn water into wine (and none of your cheapo muck either!) and the fact that he didn't bite Thomas's head off when he doubted the Resurrection, even after three years of miracles. There's hope for slow learners like me!!

Hmmmmmn. Now, whom to tag...? Right, I shall inflict this upon Cate, Mark, A Thorn in the Pew, Fr. Paul and Brad.

A Meme About Blogging

Ttony from the depths of the Muniment Room has challenged me to complete the Blogging Meme. Ok, here we go...

1. How did you start blogging?
I started with comments on a few blogs, but found that I had more to say. It seemed to be more "honest" to put up my own blog posts for people to read (or not!)

2. What do you hope to achieve or accomplish with your blog? Have you been successful?
I didn't actually hope to achieve anything. I wanted to be able to speak out about the things which concerned me, and the things I found interesting. It's a very personal view of things. As I have obviously wittered on about various things to my heart's content, and had the odd rant as the fancy took me, yes, I'd say I "succeeded."

3. Has the focus of your blog changed since you started blogging? How?
No. It's just my own views and interests (and rants about my pet hates.) And it isn't particularly focussed anyway.

4. What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started?
How much fun it would be: I'd have started sooner!

5. Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it? If not, why?
I reserve the right to remain silent...

6. What advice would give to a new blogger?
Remember that blogs are very public. Don't write anything that you would not be happy saying to someone's face. Have fun. Don't fret about what you think people "want" to read, just blog for yourself and your own amusement (if you worry that you "haven't posted anything interesting today", it will become a chore, and that misses the point.) And then just go for it!

Ok, I tag Ma Beck, Fr Justin and Fr. John Boyle.
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