PODCAzT 74: A hymn to Christ the King dissected – before and after Vatican II; a proclamation; “Seize the Day” in Scots

A change of pace today, between the last Sunday of the liturgical year and the first Sunday of Advent! 

I dissect a hymn in the Liturgy of the Hours for the Solemnity of Christ the King in the newer, post-Conciliar Liturgia Horarum, the Liturgy of the Hours.  Changes were made to the focus of this feast.  The date was changed from the end October to the end of the Church’s liturgical year, the Mass orations were altered and the hymns moved around and edited for content.

What gives?  

I ramble a bit while I drill into what one hymn really says. We look at and listen to Te saeculorum principem, the hymn for Vespers for Christ the King.

I’m not entirely happy with what I found.

Then we hear a proclamation for a Day of Thanksgiving from 1789. What a contrast to how people today try to shove god out of the public square!

Finally, we hear a guest, Martin of Scotland, reading a Scot language poetic version of the Roman poet Horace’s Ode 1.11, which contains the famous line "Carpe diem… Seize the day".  This is written by the Scots poet Robert Fergusson (1750-1774).  I posted on this on the blog on 22 November.  Here is the text and some vocabulary.  You can go to that entry for more background.

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Don’t Fash Your Thumb

    Ne’er fash your thumb what gods decree
    To be the weird o’ you or me,
    Nor deal in cantrip’s kittle cunning
    To speir how fast your days are running;
    But patient lippen for the best,
    Nor be in dowie thought opprest.
    Whether we see mair winter’s come,
    Than this that spits wi’ canker’d foam.
    Now moisten weel your geyzen’d wa’s
    Wi’ couthy friends and hearty blaws;
    Ne’er let your hope o’ergang your days,
    For eild and thraldom never stays;
    The day looks gash, toot aff your horn,
    Nor care ae strae about the morn.

ae: one, a single
blaws: blows (back-slappings?)
canker’d: gusty, stormy
cantrip: magic
couthy: agreeable, sociable
dowie: sad, melancholy
eild: age, time of life
fash: trouble, bother, fret (fash your thumb = care a rap)
gash: pale, dismal
geyzen’d: dried out
kittle: tricky
lippen: trust, have confidence
morn: tomorrow
speir: ask
strae: straw
wa’s: ? The context requires something like weasand (Scots weason) = throat, but the only definitions I can find for wa’s are walls and ways, from which I can extract no satisfactory sense. Or could it be waes = woes?
weird: fate, destiny

I really enjoy when people call in and participate.  Many thanks to Martin!

 http://www.wdtprs.com/podcazt/08_11_26.mp3

Along the way you might hear these tunes:

The Robe – opening credits
Praise to the Lord – Faith of our Fathers II
Spirit of America – US Army Old Guard
Te Deum – Maitrise de Notre Dame de Paris
Hymn to the Muse – Musique de la Grèce Antique
"The Condundrum" (2/4 march) into "Cabar Feidh" (4/4 strathspey) – Jori Chisholm – bagpipe

The iTunes feed is working.  It stops and starts again… mysteriously.  Beats me!

Some of the last offerings (check out the PODCAzT PAGE):

073 08-11-16 Augustine on Ps. 95(96) and Fr. Z on how to avoid going to Hell
072 08-11-11 The death of St. Martin; starlings, cuckolds, bell ringing and a skull
071 08-11-06 "Faith inscribed across your heart": Benedict on Cyril of Jerusalem & Cyril on faith, your treasure
070 08-11-01 Venerable Bede on All Saints; a collage; don Camillo (Part IV)
069 08-10-30 Augustine on Ps 103; Benedictines can sing!
068 08-08-04 Interview – Fr. Tim Finigan on the Oxford TLM conference; don Camillo (Part III)
067 08-07-29 St. Augustine on Martha, active v. contemplative lives; don Camillo (part II)
066 08-07-25 don Camillo (part I): VM - advice on getting TLMs & “pro multis”

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in HONORED GUESTS, PODCAzT, PRAYERCAzT: What Does The (Latin) Prayer Really Sound L, SESSIUNCULA, WDTPRS. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to PODCAzT 74: A hymn to Christ the King dissected – before and after Vatican II; a proclamation; “Seize the Day” in Scots

  1. Howard says:

    I appreciate your humility, Father, but you sing very well.

    I certainly prefer to keep the reference to the “wicked mob”, because whenever I come across such a reference, it reminds me of the many times when I by my choices have been a part of that mob. It is good to keep that fear together with the hope.

    As for the kingship of Christ, it is unfortunately hard to convey to people today. Part of the problem is that the most familiar monarchies are totally empty of real power. When is the last time a king or queen of England made a truly significant decision? They can’t even make speeches before parliament without an OK from the PM! Could the king of Spain do anything to reverse the secularization under the Socialist government? What, exactly, do the queens of the Denmark and the Netherlands do? Even the Japanese Tenno is a mere figurehead today. This, sadly, represents the exact form of kingship which this age is willing to yield to Christ: We will democratically decide what policies to follow, and then allow Him to deliver a ceremonial benediction — so long as He remembers that we are the ones really in charge.

    Precisely because of this situation, it would be a good idea for Popes to start wearing the triple tiara again.

  2. W. Schrift says:

    Father, the tune being played on the bagpipe at the beginning of Martin’s finely executed rendition of the poem is actually a March, Strathspey, and Reel set (MSR): that’s “The Condundrum” (2/4 march) into “Cabar Feidh” (4/4 strathspey). “The Condundrum” is probably my favorite march, so I only mention this as a word of direction to anyone who liked the music!

    Thank you, Father, for another edifying and stimulating PODCAzT. It was, as always, wonderful.

  3. W. Schrift: Thanks! I made the correction.

  4. It’s also interesting to compare old and new English translations, even when the Latin original has not been changed. For the old (in italics below) I use the Benedictine Monastic Diurnal. For the new (non-italic), I use the translation by the Benedictine Nuns of St. Cecilia’s Abbey — whose translations are generally smooth and poetic (quite unlike ICEL, for instance) — that appears in the Newman House Press Latin-English (LOH) “Lauds and Vespers” edited by P. Stravinskas.

    Verse 3
    ….. The lost for whom Thy love is fain Bring back to Thy one fold again.
    ….. And draw the sheep that roam astray, Within the fold, at one with You.

    Perhaps there’s a subliminal impression in the new translation that the sheep are not lost but merely roaming rather innocently, and somehow “the fold, at one” seems a bit more palatable to modern ecumenical sensibilities than “Thy one fold”. (Or am I over-reacting?)

    Verse 4
    For this Thou dost Thy glory hide, Outpouring from Thy pierced side
    The riches of Thy love divine Beneath the veils of bread and wine.
    Upon our altars You descend, Beneath the forms of bread and wine,
    That we may our salvation win, And even share Your life divine.

    Aside from the perennial Thy/Your issue, what happened to His pierced side (Transverberato pectore)? Hmm … is that (new) last line a bit Pelagian?

  5. Geoffrey says:

    I would love to see you tackle the Dies Irae, comparing the text in the 1962 Missale Romanum with the text in the Liturgia Horarum. No MAJOR changes, but some small ones, nonetheless. I wonder how many are using it this week?

  6. Jim says:

    Acht weel, serves me right for hingin aboot. Ah was going tae send ye a skype fur yer podcazt. Good fur Martin – but ah thocht that ah was yer resident Scot….

    Good voice, Father, by the way. And glad to hear the Podcazts are back. Well done and God bless you.

  7. Craigmaddie says:

    Hello Father,
    You should have a look at Gavin Douglas’ translation into Middle Scots of the Aenid – “The Eneados”. Douglas was the Bishop of Dunkeld.

  8. Craigmaddie: Would it be comprehensible to a Sassenach?

  9. ALL: Thanks for the comments. These little audio projects take some time. It is nice to know they are enjoyed.

  10. Henry: Interesting indeed!

  11. Craigmaddie says:

    Hello, Father, this is from the first “buke” of the Aenid as translated by Bishop Gavin Douglas of Dunkeld (he wrote nothing else after the disastrous Battle of Flodden which saw the destruction of much of the Scottish nobility):

    Laude, honor, prasingis, thankis infynite
    To the, and thi dulce ornate fresch endite,
    Mast reverend Virgill, of Latyne poetis prince,
    Gemme of ingine and fluide of eloquence,
    Thow peirles perle, patroun of poetrie,
    Rois, register, palme, laurer, and glory,
    Chosin cherbukle, cheif flour and cedir tree,
    Lanterne, leidsterne, mirrour, and a per se,
    Master of masteris, sweit sours and springand well,
    Wyde quhar our all ringis thi hevinle bell:
    I mene thi crafty werkis curious,
    Sa quik, lusty, and mast sentencious,
    Plesable, perfyte, and felable in all degre,
    As quha the mater held to foir thar ee;
    In every volume quhilk the list do write,
    Surmonting fer all uther maneir endite,
    Lyk as the rois in June with hir sueit smell
    The marygulde or dasy doith excell.

    It was translated at the beginning of the 16th Century. “Thankis” is simply pronounced as “thanks”. “Thi” is “thy”. “Quhar” is “where”: in Middle Scots the labial frictive was written as “quh” whereas in “Southron” (i.e. the language spoken in England) it was written as “wh”. So, “quha” is “who” and “quhilk” is “which”.

  12. Craigmaddie says:

    Craigmaddie: Would it be comprehensible to a Sassenach?

    Well, you’re not a Sassenach, Father! – as that particular term of abuse is (strictly speaking) reserved by Highlanders for the English and Lowland Scots. The word “Sassenach” is derived from the Scots Gaelic word for “Saxon”. As the Celtic-Nordic Highlanders and the Anglo-Saxon Lowlanders peered at each other with distrust across the Highland Line…

  13. TS says:

    Fr. Z appears to place great importance on the idea that Christ must be seen as the direct King of every earthly society. Obviously this is something of great importance to traditionalists. But Christ stated unequivocally and repeatedly that he was “not a king of this world.” This emphasis would also seem to place no importance on the role of human conscience and freedom, for it implies that it is not so important that people know, believe and love Christ, but only that they recognize him as some sort of Super-Governor. If this has gone out of fashion in the Church, then we should welcome such a development. [TS: Okay, TS. You are against Christ being your King during this life. Is that it?]

  14. Howard says:

    TS: You seem to be referring to John 18:33-37, with “unequivocally and repeatedly” meaning verse 36: Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants (would) be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”

    By my count, that is once.

    You might also want to include His overcoming of the temptation described in Luke 4:5-8 (and in parallel passages): Then he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. The devil said to him, “I shall give to you all this power and their glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish. All this will be yours, if you worship me.” Jesus said to him in reply, “It is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.’”

    But He also said (Matthew 28:18): Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

    More explicitly, in Ephesians 1:19-21, St. Paul writes, … what is the surpassing greatness of His power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of His great might, which He worked in Christ, raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens, far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come.

    So Christ is the ultimate king of “every earthly society” (and every heavenly society). Nothing Fr. Z has said implies that Christ is the proximate authority in all things, though: for instance, I have duties to obey, under most circumstances, my pastor, my bishop, the pope, and the government; but any legitimate authority they may have comes ultimately from Christ, and when I obey that legitimate authority, I obey Christ.

    The Scriptural passages are reconciled by the fact that “all our knowledge of God is analogical, and that all predicates applied to God and to creatures are used analogically, not univocally.” (www.newadvent.org/cathen/06612a.htm) Christ’s authority is not less than that of an earthly king, it is more — but the analogy with an earthly king would have been misunderstood in many situations, so that it was necessary for Him to explain that He was not, precisely, an earthly king.

    You go on to say, “This emphasis would also seem to place no importance on the role of human conscience and freedom, for it implies that it is not so important that people know, believe and love Christ, but only that they recognize him as some sort of Super-Governor.”

    Well, the whole bit about the necessity of a conscience being well-formed has been too much discussed for me to go into it again here, but you seem to have missed the point. Likewise with freedom: it is not our ability to do whatever we want, but to do whatever God created us to do. But if you’re just concerned that there is no scope for creativity and initiative … well, that’s contradicted by the life experience of anyone who tries to live the Christian life, traditionalist or not. No priest who tries to deal with his bishop and his parishioners could possibly believe that, nor anyone who deals with employers, co-workers, and family — let’s face it, “Love thy neighbor” and all the other commandments are good, but to make that love real absolutely requires creativity and initiative.

  15. Brian Mershon says:

    TS said: “But Christ stated unequivocally and repeatedly that he was “not a king of this world.”

    Just because he said he was “not a king of this world” does not mean he was not a king IN this world.

    He is indeed the King of all, both temporal and spiritual, the Vatican II “pilgrimming Church” notwithstanding.

    Read this http://www.catholiccompany.com/catholic-books/1011367/Fourfold-Sovereignty-God/
    by Cardinal Henry Edward Manning for more details and explanation on this.

  16. TS says:

    No, TS is quite happy that Christ is his King in this life. The point is that Christ did not intend to be a King in a temporal or earthly sense. The New Testament seems to support that. If he intended to be an earthly King, his enemies would not have hated him, and he would have founded a temporal nation, rather than founding the Church. Whatever Fr. Z might have said or not said, it is regrettable that some traditionalists seem to propose that every government on earth has a duty to acknowledge Christ as it’s King, something that is not practical, nor realistic, as there are many people who have not even had an opportunity to hear the Gospel proclaimed. Christ the Lord did not go around insisting that he be recognized as the King of this or that town, nation, etc. Neither did the apostles do this. Our priority as believers should be the teaching that Christ is the eternal Son and Word of the Father, incarnate for our salvation, crucified for our sins, risen from the dead, and now sitting at the right hand of the Father, etc. Surely this has ramifications for society also, but what is the use of talking about Christ as the ultimate King of a society, if so many people in that society have no knowledge of, or show no appreciation of, the theological aspect of his Person?

  17. TS: what is the use of talking about Christ as the ultimate King of a society, if so many people in that society have no knowledge of, or show no appreciation of, the theological aspect of his Person?

    Did not Christ give His Church the mission to make Him known and loved?

  18. Eames says:

    Well, you’re not a Sassenach, Father! – as that particular term of abuse is (strictly speaking) reserved by Highlanders for the English and Lowland Scots. The word “Sassenach” is derived from the Scots Gaelic word for “Saxon”.

    Indeed. In Ireland, the word morphed into being a synonym for ‘Protestant’. A Mayo priest, Fr Andrews, testified to a House of Lords special committee in the 19th Century that ‘Sassenach’ was used colloquially by Gaelgoirs to refer to all Irish Protestants. He said there was no other word in Connaught Gaelic for a Protestant; “Eirenach” (Irishman) was used to refer to a Catholic, regardless of his ethnic origin.

  19. Eames says:

    Acht weel, serves me right for hingin aboot. Ah was going tae send ye a skype fur yer podcazt. Good fur Martin – but ah thocht that ah was yer resident Scot

    Ay dinnae hay wan haet! Canny bi me Ullans?

  20. Matt says:

    My Monastic Matins English language version has the hymn “Aeterna Imago Altissimi” which reads this way:

    Bright Image of the heavenly King
    God everlasting, Light of light
    To thee, Redeemer Lord, we sing
    The glory of they royal might

    The hope of all created things
    Before creations’ radiant morn
    The Father crowned thee King of Kings
    To rule the nations yet unborn

    Fain would we kneel before they throne;
    Thy rule all creatures must obey
    For blessedness is theirs alone
    Who keep thy laws and on thy sway

    Lord Jesus be thou glorified
    Ruling the lands in majesty
    Enthroned at the Father’s side
    With holy Ghost eternally.

    Amen

  21. Professor Kwasniewski says:

    Michael Davies has an excellent discussion of the damage done to the hymn for Christ the King in an appendix to his book “The Second Vatican Council and Religious Liberty.” While I do not agree with his arguments in the main part of the book, the appendix itself is a brilliant study of what happens when revolutionaries are placed in charge of liturgical “reform.” The changes to the hymn clearly *reflect* an abandonment of preconciliar teaching, although having a maimed hymn does not, in and of itself, repudiate that teaching.

  22. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Michael Davies has an article here on this issue.

  23. TS,

    You say that

    “The point is that Christ did not intend to be a King in a temporal or earthly sense.”

    How can He create temporal and earthly things, particularly rational beings, and not thereby be their King?

    “The New Testament seems to support that.”

    Not Romans 13:1.

    “If he intended to be an earthly King, his enemies would not have hated him …”

    But His enemy Herod did indeed hate Him because he thought that He was an earthly King!

    “… he would have founded a temporal nation …”

    … if He wanted to rule it directly. Plainly, though, He is content to rule nations indirectly, through the medium of other human persons.

    “it is regrettable that some traditionalists seem to propose that every government on earth has a duty to acknowledge Christ as it’s King”

    Not just ‘some traditionalists’; the Catholic Church proposes the Social Kingship of Christ as a dogma of the Faith.

    “… there are many people who have not even had an opportunity to hear the Gospel proclaimed.”

    So? They still have the light of natural reason, by which they can deduce that there is one God, omnipotent, omniscient, utterly simple and unmixed, Creator of the world, and accordingly recognise this Deity as their King and render Him some (hypothetical) worship.

    “Christ the Lord did not go around insisting that he be recognized as the King of this or that town, nation, etc.”

    Because He is the King of every town and every nation.

    “Neither did the apostles do this.”

    Because Our Lord did not confer civil authority on them, but only Ecclesiastical authority. (Neither, though, did He exclude the possibility of their respective successors holding political office.)

    “Our priority as believers should be …”

    And our priority as subjects of the State should be to advance the Social Reign of Christ.

    “what is the use of talking about Christ as the ultimate King of a society, if so many people in that society have no knowledge of, or show no appreciation of, the theological aspect of his Person?”

    Because we cannot back down from permanently valid principles. In any case, don’t a majority of Americans profess to believe in God and Christ? Why do they reject His Authority being recognised then?

    Reginaldvs Cantvar