OLDIE PODCAzT 36: St. Augustine on John the Baptist; Ut queant laxis

Here is an old PODCAzT. Gosh my voice has changed.  2007!   Much happier times.

Our PODCAzT for this Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist presents a selection from sermon (s. 288) preached by St. Augustine of Hippo (+430) in Carthage in 401. 

This is not the same selection as you find in the Office of Readings today (from s. 293).

Then we get into the wonderful hymn for Vespers as well as a very hot Rituale Romanum
blessing for the day.

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Items of interest and concern about the TLM.

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Daily Rome Shot 1058

White to move and mate in 3.

NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

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3:16 isn’t just in John.

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VIDEO: The icon of the Holy Trinity painted by Rublev returned to the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius

It is Julian Calendar Pentecost. For their Pentecost, there was a special moment when Patriarch Kirill of Moscow led the meeting of the icon of the Holy and Life-Giving Trinity, painted by Andrei Rublev, in the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius and the all-night vigil in the Trinity Cathedral of the monastery.


23 June – Vigil of St. John – solstices and snails, bonfires and witch burnings

Mathis_Gothart_Grünewald John BaptistIt is nice to have as your Patron the great Baptist, for I get two feasts a year, his Nativity and his Beheading.

For the Vigil of St. John (today, as I write even thought it is the 5th Sunday after Pentecost, which bumps the Vigil) in the old Roman Ritual the priest would once bless bonfires!

And in Bavaria, witches are burned!  A priest friend who shares my feast sent me a spiffing photo (below – a little hard to see at this size, but I assure you, there is a witch in there).

If you have any unwanted witches (and don’t we all?), send them to Bavaria next year for a nice vacation.

In other places, cast-off or unneeded things are burned… in a way parallel, I suppose, to throwing things away at the other end of the year after the Winter Solstice.

In any event, the evening is about as long as the year can offer, so a great party could be had well into the night with much cooking in the open and revelry.  Have a nice bonfire!

The blessing for the bonfire is beautiful.  After the usual introduction, the priest blesses the fire saying:

Lord God, almighty Father, the light that never fails and the source of all light, sanctify + this new fire, and grant that after the darkness of this life we may come unsullied to you who are light eternal; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.

At this point the fire is sprinkled with holy water and everyone sings the hymn Ut quaent laxis which is also the Vespers hymn for the Feast of St. John.

It is almost as if the fire, and our celebration, is baptized.

The reference to light and darkness surely harks to the fact of the Solstice, which was just observed. At this point the days get shorter in the Northern Hemisphere.  I looked at that HERE and HERE.

For the feast of St. John in June for centuries the Church has sung at Vespers the hymn beginning Ut queant laxis

If you want to hear Ut queant laxis sung “in the wild”, as it were, check the monks at Le Barroux.  Hard core.  Fantastic chant. HERE  Their sung hours are available live and on demand.

Those of you who are lovers of the movie The Sound of Music will instantly recognize this hymn as the source of the syllables used in solfège or solmization (the use of syllables instead of letters to denote the degrees of a musical scale). Both the ancient Chinese and Greeks had such a system.

The Benedictine monk Guido d’Arezzo (c. 990-1050) introduced the now familiar syllables ut re mi fa sol la for the tones of the hexachord c to a… or, more modally, the tonic, supertonic, mediant, etc. of a major scale. The Guidonian syllables derive from the hymn for the feast of St. John the Baptist:

UT queant laxis
REsonare fibris
MIra gestorum
FAmuli tuorum,
SOLve polluti
LAbii reatum,
Sancte Ioannes (SI).

The Guidonian Hand was often used as an instructive tool for music

After the medieval period (when music became less modal and more tonal) to complete the octave of the scale the other syllable was introduced (si – taken from S-ancte I-oannes, becomes “ti”) and the awkward ut was replaced sometime in the mid 17th c. with do (or also doh – not to be confused in any way with the Homeric Simpsonic epithet so adored by today’s youth, derived as it is from the 21st century’s new liturgical focal point – TV) and do came to be more or less fixed with C though in some cases do remains movable.

So, now you know where Doh, Re, Mi comes from!  Check out this oldie PODCAzT from 2007:

036 07-06-24 St. Augustine on John the Baptist; Ut queant laxis

It is also good to gather St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) on the feast.

“Wort” is from Old English wyrt (German Würze), which means “plant”, but is used mostly in compounds.  Since ancient times “singent’s wort” was known to relieve melancholy or depression, as does borage… which every garden should have.  It would be hung above doors, windows and sacred images (hence the hyper-icum “above image”) to keep witches and evil spirit away.

Burning those witches might have something to do with its effectiveness as well, now that I think about it.

Build a fire tonight, even if you can’t burn a witch, and sing something in honor of St. John!

Oh! And get some snails for tomorrow. It is a Roman custom to eat snails on the Feast of John the Baptist.

And, just in case it has been a while…

Posted in Classic Posts, Linking Back, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Look! Up in the sky!, Saints: Stories & Symbols, SESSIUNCULA |
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Daily Rome Shot 1057

Interim, motus ad lusorem cum militibus albis pertinent. Scaccus mattus, scilicet mors regis, IV in motis veniat.

NB: Explicationes detineam oblatas in crastinum, ne vestrae interrumpantur commentationes.

Please remember me when shopping online and use my affiliate links.  US HERE – UK HERE  WHY?  This helps to pay for health insurance (massively hiked for this new year of surprises), utilities, groceries, etc..  At no extra cost, you provide help for which I am grateful.

Chessy news. Yesterday at OTB I played well, winning all my games. However, one game ended when my opponent made a significant blunder, such that he resigned. However, I suggested that we go back a couple moves and go at it from the previous position. At that point he rallied and beat me, though the victory was already mine. It was instructive, because then, being freer, we talked about our moves.

Interested in learning?  Try THIS.

Help the monks. Help yourselves.

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Your Sunday Sermon Notes – 5th Sunday after Pentecost (N.O.: 12th) 2024

Too many people today are without good, strong preaching, to the detriment of all. Share the good stuff.

Was there a GOOD point made in the sermon you heard at your Mass of obligation for this 5th Sunday after Pentecost, or the 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time?

Tell about attendance especially for the Traditional Latin Mass.

Any local changes or (hopefully good) news?

A couple thoughts about the sign of the cross: HERE  A taste…


The 20th century liturgical commentator Pius Parsch thought that the 2nd and 3rd Sundays after Pentecost showed God’s love inviting us (the Parable of the Supper) and His seeking us (Parable of the Lost Sheep).  On the 4th Sunday, God revealed in the calling of Peter and the Apostles the instruments of administering His love and the messengers inviting us.  The Good Shepherd has Fishers of Men.  On this 5th Sunday after Pentecost we move from a painting by the Church of God’s love for us, to an image of our love for our neighbor, which is a demonstration that we have recognized God’s love and providence.

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In your charity would you please take a moment look at the requests and to pray for the people about whom you read?

Continued from THESE.

Let’s remember all who are ill, who will die soon, who have died recently, who have lost their jobs, who are afraid.

I get many requests by email asking for prayers. Some are heart-achingly grave and urgent.

As long as my blog reaches so many readers in so many places, let’s give each other a hand. We should support each other in works of mercy.

If you have some prayer requests, feel free to post them below.

You have to be registered here to be able to post.

In your kindness continue prayers for my mother, who has been diagnosed with something grave and incurable.   Please pray for me.  Lot’s of decisions coming.

Some time ago, I asked for your prayers for a friend in Rome who is suffering from a terrible and life-threatening malady of the liver, which if I am not mistaken is a genetic problem. I had asked that you pray to Bl. Luigi Monti for a miraculous healing which would be complete, sudden and durative. I received this note today, which he sent to all the members of the Archconfraternity of the Most Holy Trinity.

Dear brothers and sisters, as many of you already know, I am still hospitalized after two months, and have been put on the list for a double transplant. Given my situation which is not improving, I have been put on the emergency list since last Thursday, which means that compatible organs could be found faster. Not rejecting nor distrusting these ordinary means which could be the will of the Lord, I still continue in the hope of having the grace of a complete, immediate, and permanent miraculous cure. I thank those of you who have already invoked the intercession of Blessed Luigi Monti and Pius IX; divine providence has decided not to grant these prayers, but in any case I am not wary. I was brought a novena prayer and a relic of Blessed Gerardo Sasso, founder of the Knights of Malta. I would like to beg our Lord and Our Lady again for the grace of a miracle, this time through the intercession of Blessed Gerard. I thank those of you who would like to join this novena, which I will begin tomorrow 24 June, the feast of Saint John the Baptist, main patron of the order of Malta as well as my name day, and end on 2 July, the feast of the Visitation of the Madonna. I hope that she and her Son will visit me at the end of this novena together with Blessed Gerard, to bring me the grace I ask for. I thank those who read this message.

He sent images of this holy card. The translation is below.


O God, who chose Blessed Gerard to care for the sick and pilgrims in the Holy Land and wanted him as Founder of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and chose him as an example of Christian charity towards the poor and the suffering; grant kindly that, following his example, I may see Christ your Son in the sick and the poor.
Holy Father, I beg you, if this is according to your will, that Blessed Gerard be numbered among your Saints, and that with his intercession grant me the grace that I ask of you.

3 Glory be to the Father.

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A dialogue of St. John Fisher with Chesty Puller, USMC concerning more looming attacks on the Vetus Ordo

From a speech of St. John Fisher:

We are besieged on all sides and can hardly escape the danger of our enemy. And seeing that judgement is begone at the house of God, what hope is there left, if we fall, that the rest shall stand?

The fort is betrayed even of them that should have defended it.

Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, USMC responds:

“All right, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us.

They can’t get away this time”

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22 June in the VETUS AND NOVUS Ordo: St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More

In the Church’s traditional calendar St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More have their  feasts on 9 July.  More was martyred on 6 July and Fisher on 22 June.  In the Novus Ordo calendar they are celebrated today, together.

HOWEVER: According to Cum Sanctissima feasts established after 1962 can be observed in the Vetus Ordo so long as some other feast doesn’t “outweigh” it.  Hence, today we can say the Mass in honor of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher.  For TEXTS see below!

Pope John Paul II in 2000 declared St. Thomas more the patron saint of statesmen and politicians.

More makes you think about our catholic politicians today.   Fisher about our bishops.

Plus ça change…

There is a book about them: John Fisher and Thomas More: Keeping Their Souls While Losing Their Heads by Robert J. Conrad, Jr and published by TAN, which is serious stepping up its game.


Two saints for our times if ever there was need, one for comportment in the secular sphere and the other in the Church.

Let us invoke the intercession of St. Thomas and of St. John for our public figures, secular and spiritual.

Animi caussa…

From the 2005 Martyrologium Romanum.

Sanctorum Ioannis Fisher, episcopi, et Thomae More, martyrum, qui, cum Henrico regi Octavo in controversia de eius matrimonio repudiando et de Romani Pontificis primatu restitissent, in Turrem Londinii in Anglia trusi sunt.  Ioannes Fisher, episcopus Roffensis, vir eruditione et dignitate vitae clarissimus, hac die iussu ipsius regis ante carcerem decollatus est; Thomas More vero paterfamilias vita integerrimus et praeses coetus moderatorum nationis, propter fidelitatem erga Ecclesiam catholicam servatam sexta die iulii cum venerabili antistite martyrio coniunctus est.

Anyone care to take a shot?


Mass texts in the Extraordinary Form for these two saints on 9 July are not easy to find.   HERE  and HERE

Huge thanks for the texts from my good friend, His Hermeneuticalness, Fr. Tim Finigan.

Tonight… this great classic?


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Daily Rome Shot 1056

The World’s Best Sacristan is also quite the scholar. He found in the State Archives, this document by which Pope Gregory XIII granted the the old Basilica of Benedict in Arenula to the Archconfraternity of the Most Holy Trinity begun by St. Philip Neri. This basilica would eventually be replaced by the church which presently stands, Ss. Trinità dei Pelegrini (my adoptive parish in Rome). This document goes back to the origins of the church.

Please remember me when shopping online and use my affiliate links.  US HERE – UK HERE  WHY?  This helps to pay for health insurance (massively hiked for this new year of surprises), utilities, groceries, etc..  At no extra cost, you provide help for which I am grateful.



Black to move!

NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

In chessy news, … I’m off to play OTB this morning and feeling positive!

Help the Summit Dominicans.  Visit their shop.

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Daily Rome Shot 1055

Welcome registrant:


Nice people! Great service!

White to move and mate in 2.

NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

Interested in learning?  Try THIS.  Big sale at Remote Chess Academy right now.  The offer of up to 75% off ends at 11:59 pm UTC on Friday 20 June (19:59 EST).

Please remember me when shopping online and use my affiliate links.  US HERE – UK HERE  WHY?  This helps to pay for health insurance (massively hiked for this new year of surprises), utilities, groceries, etc..  At no extra cost, you provide help for which I am grateful.

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First, it’s “vi-gah-NO” and not “vig-GAH-no”.

Archbp. Viganò has been called into the former Holy Office for a extra-judicial penal process.

What is going on with this?  The former Nuncio to these USA has been issuing his thoughts right and left for a long time.  Why call him in now and not before?

It does take time to sift through texts/proofs and then determine what to do.  Then all the pieces need to be placed on the board for maximum effect.   Finally, the action is launched.

I suspect that the timing of this is, in part, a reflection of the aforementioned.

It also can’t be ruled out that l’affaire Viganò big shiny object at the ready for waving at the watching world when something else is going to go down.  Otherwise it is part and parcel of a related high visibility action, but still a big shiny object.

I foresee that this summons of Archbp. Viganò will raise more dust than it settles.  If you are going to bring to the dock someone who knows how the sausage is made, you better be ready for everyone to know how the sausage is made before he is .

This is a sad affaire.

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ASK FATHER: Attacks on the Vetus Ordo… “Aren’t you worried?”

From a reader…


What on earth is going on with a new document that will ban the TLM (Traditional Latin Mass)?  You seem quiet.  Don’t you worry about this?

This question represents many notes I’ve received.   I’ll answer this.  I’ll tell you what I think could happen.  I’ll give advice to seminarians and potential seminarians, lay people in general, and priests.

Don’t I worry about this?  Yes, and no.

Yes, I worry about this, because the powers that be are going to hurt a great number of innocent people.

No, I don’t worry about this, because worrying won’t help.

All analogies limp, but this is a good reminder: a scene in the movie Bridge of Spies.

This analogy breaks down in that the cold war era Soviet spy on trial really is guilty of a crime and those who want to have traditional worship are not guilty of anything but reverence.   They are – as is more and more evident – far more sinned against than sinning.

Nevertheless the response from the Russian spy about “bosses” and about worrying seem apt in the Church today.  We have our “bosses” too, don’t we.

I have cited that movie clip before.  Freaking out and running around with your hair on fire because something might happen, even is going to happen is not helpful.

We must stay frosty and focused. 

If anything, ramp up your prayer life and mortifications.

Pray for those who have attacked you and who will attack you again.

I’ll repeat that.  They will attack you again.   In another of my vintage “classic” posts riffing on the “Laws of the House of God” (about a hospital in Boston), I cite the Laws of the legendary “Fat Man”.  Law 8: “They can always hurt you more.”

We have to get our heads into a place that will help us to maintain our cool and balance in a storm or wave of storms.

Mental and spiritual preparation beforehand is needed.

After the last stab at at the hearts of those attracted to Tradition, I said that it was probable that there would be another round of pogroms in the Church.

It’s the people they want to crush even more than the rites.  They fear and despise the people.

From where I sit and from what I read and hear, we must stay cool.   We must stay cool and we must plan.

I’ve written here before about house chapels.  You know what to do.  Get your “thing” together.

I say this because I firmly believe that, if and when another anti-Vetus Ordo edict is issued, the attack will be on diocesan priests with threats in the back channels against diocesan bishops.  Think of at least one bishop who was shot on the deck of his ship, “pour encourager les autres”.

To back up for a moment, I wrote for years and years and years that the true movement of reform would not start until the diocesan priests started saying the Vetus Ordo.  That would have a massive effect on their identity, their understanding of themselves as priests at the altar.   In turn that would have a knock on effect on the people in the pews, because their priests would be saying Mass, preaching and behaving differently.

So long as the Vetus Ordo was confined to a few places operated by specialist groups such as the FSSP and ICK – and there’s nothing wrong with them – the Vetus Ordo wasn’t much a a threat.  It was hated by the deep church but it was sort of like, in Star Trek, how the Borg didn’t activate and become hostile until they perceived you as a threat.   The Vetus Ordo grew.  The threat was that the Vetus Ordo would become mainstream in diocesan parishes.  From 2007 when Summorum Pontificum came out, there were some 50 places where the TLM was present.  Ten years later, there were 500.   The Borg activated.

I address myself to traditionally-minded young men thinking about the seminary.   

Gentlemen, it could be a good idea before the really bad times start to learn a trade.  I don’t know if this might entail night school or crash courses or whatever.  Don’t be dreamy about this.  Consider plumbing, electrical work, technical positions, EMT, etc.  Be practical. (Learning Chinese might be practical too, if you think about it.)

I write to lay people who might be in a position to help in what I am about to suggest.

Progroms against tradition and traditionally-minded Catholics strike at the heart of the Church herself.  The knock-on effects of these cruel measures, present and future, will only result in negative ripple-effects that accelerate the widening of the demographic sink hole into which swathes of Catholics are falling.

I write to priests. 

Fathers, it might not be a bad idea to acquire some property where you can live.   Believe me. Something you own, where no one (you know who I mean) can throw you out.  You can always sell it or pass it on.

A key to this is to stay cool and to plan.  Do not fret.  We are not without means and without creativity.  Slamming doors in the faces of those who love Tradition will result in the opening of windows in another part of the house.

Let no one freak out about this new slate of bad news.   BE WARY of the videos of the Johnny-come-lately pundits.   Just because they are newcomers doesn’t mean that they are wrong.  But some of us have already been there.

We must stay calm and soldier on.

I’ll return to a theme I hammer at.  Prepare home chapels.  It might be realistic project to network and buy a church.  After all, they are being closed everywhere.   It can always be used just for catechesis, recitation of the Rosary, and other devotions.  No one would ever suggest that it be set up as a counterpoint to the few diocesan parishes remaining after the powers that be crush the Vetus Ordo in parishes.

Do I think that things will be this bad?  I  think we are better off prepared, than not.  You will, moever, never regret having acquired those practical skills, having that home chapel, that church, or that private property.

Finally, before any other shoe drops, for the love of all that is holy, do all that you can to augment the numbers of people frequenting the Traditional Latin Mass whenever and wherever it is celebrated.  Be inviting.  Coax, urge, cajole.  Smile and offer to ride.  It is very important that everyone sees that TLMs are well-attended and growing.  If you are not doing something, every week, to try to help this, then if something bad happens where you are, you had best not utter a word.  We are in this together and we need you.

If the pogrom doesn’t come?  GOOD.  You will have maintained your cool and have benefited in the meantime, spiritually and temporally, without having made foolish mistakes.

Also, the Enemy’s hand in this.  Go to confession.  Be sure you are clean, that you mind is clear, and that your actions are meritorious.

Posted in Semper Paratus, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged

Daily Rome Shot 1054

From The World’s Best Sacristan™.

This is clearly breakfast at the usual post Mass haunt up the street from The Parish™.   The aforementioned breakfast this time consists of “er saccottino”, which the French foreigner refers to as “pain au chocolat”.     I saw this just after reading of an apartment available on the very piazza next to The Parish™ which made me gulp.  Alas, it was a little too much for my imagination unless I were to go full Neil Simon with a priestly Odd Couple in the place.     It would be perfect.  Sigh.

In Rome today, the sun rose at 05:33 and it will set at 20:51, the longest day of the year.  This is the Summer Solstice.   In Rome the Solstice is precisely at 20:50.

The Ave Maria ought to ring in its 21:15 cycle.

It is the Feast of St. Silverius today, though the 62 calendar allows for Votives.

It is the 172nd day of the year.

On this day in 1840 Samuel Morse, who spent time in Rome – there’s a plaque in the Via dei Prefetti – received a patent for the telegraph.

Lord, thank you for this day.

The first World Corporate Chess Championship has been decided in New York.  Chessify defeated Chess Moods.   At the closing ceremony there was a performance by the Rockettes.  Card. Dolan was not in sight.  In other news, we learn at Chess.com – I am an affiliate, btw, please sign up with my link – that British striker Harry Kane who plays for Bayern Munich, revealed that he is about a 1200 now in 10 minute Rapid.  He was inspired to play by The Queen’s Gambit.    A friend of mine and ham elmer will surely be distraught at the loss of this player from Tottenham to Munich.

Please remember me when shopping online and use my affiliate links.  US HERE – UK HERE  WHY?  This helps to pay for health insurance (massively hiked for this new year of surprises), utilities, groceries, etc..  At no extra cost, you provide help for which I am grateful.

White to move and mate in 2.

NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

Today is the last day to get up to 75% off at Remote Chess Academy.  HERE

Sign up with Chess.com. Maybe we can get a group going.

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I would very much like to see them overwhelmed with 20 year old participants.

At The Pillar I read…

TLMS as part of the scheduled Masses for the Eucharistic Congress? Not just coincidental?

I would very much like to see them overwhelmed with 20 year old participants.

TMLS… part of the schedule…

Now that The Pillar has written about them… CANCELLED? In 5… 4… 3… 2… 1!

Posted in Be The Maquis, Hard-Identity Catholicism | Tagged ,

Mala tempora currunt!

I saw a pipiatio on Pipiatum (X) about Cicero’s oration against Cataline.  It brought back many memories.  Not that I was there… but I was, sort of.  I studied it in school.  Also, there is an inscription from the consulship of Cicero above the Forum and behind the Campidoglio where the “she wolf” is.  I always give it a good look when I am there.  In any event, the oration – this oration, mind you – of Cicero against Cataline is magnificent.  Cicero certainly at stenographers, but he certain also polished his speeches later.  But it is hardly to be doubted that Cicero railed against Cataline.

What am I talking about?

In an incredibly brief summation, in the throes of the Republic there are massive socio-economic problems in Rome and Pompey was looming in the distance with his legions.  The Senate and the Roman People (SPQR) were modern day republicans, in a sense, unable to get their caca together and solve problems.  Relatively lower family status Cicero defeated Cataline, from an ancient clan, for the consulship in 64 BC.  Cataline organized a group to commit coup.  Cicero got wind of it and there were bitter public exchanges.  Conspirators were arrested, Cataline fled with troops eventually to be run down.

The most famous of Cicero’s four Catalinarian Orations, given while he was consul (polished later),  is the first.  It is a web of rhetorical devices and invective.  It is in this speech that we have the famous phrase – often uttered in my own circle of friends when we are in our Latin mode – “O tempora! O mores!  … O what times these are!  O what dreadful conduct!”   He had used the phrase also against the fabulously corrupt governor of Sicily, Verres.    The first part of the speech is in the “tweet” I mentioned…

Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? Quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? Quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia?

I am reminded of an interview I recently read… “he takes part in public debate, he notes and marks out with his eyes each one of us for slaughter!”

Ah dear readers… as we find in another place…

Mala tempora currunt!

To which we respond…

Sed peiora parantur.

Posted in Be The Maquis, Latin, Semper Paratus, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice |

ASK FATHER: Our choir is scheduled to sing something that seems blasphemous

From a reader…


You’re probably the only priest who can properly help me navigate this, given your knowledge of the fine arts, particularly classical music, as well as being solid on Catholic morality. You’re also the only priest whom I know is familiar with Carmina Burana (I saw you mention it in very old posts).

I’m slated to perform Carmina Burana along side my city’s philharmonic orchestra in its chorus. I’m feeling uneasy because of the subject matter and the piece that parodies the Ave Maria.  I want to sing it because it’s a major piece of the Canon of Western Music, but I also don’t want to sin and blaspheme Our Lady or anything else sacred. Frankly, the subject matter makes me want to vomit.

Navigating the arts, particularly secular choral music that is questionable, has proven to be difficult and anxiety provoking for me because I don’t know when it becomes sinful. Can you give me some pastoral guidance on this subject matter?

Thanks for the front-loaded kind words.  I am sure there are many priests out there who could help you out with this.  As a matter of fact, I bounced this off a priest friend just to be sure I was not drifting.

Firstly, it has been a long time since I looked at the texts of the Carmina Burana used by Orff.  And it is Cármina, not Carmína.

However, the work by Orff is part of a set of three pieces often performed together.  The other two are poems from the ancient Neoteric author Catullus, famous for some raunchy stuff.   I assume that you may be asking about those.

You mention the canon of western music.  There are works in the accepted canon which respect the rules of beauty and thus reflect reason and truth.  They certainly can be played and heard by conscientious Catholics.   On the other hand, there are works which do not respect these rules and our involvement with them becomes murkier.

Moreover, St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that all art and science should lead to adoration.

Hence, the guiding questions for all art and science, is whether or not it pleases God and whether or not it can be offered to Him.  We may not act on an uncertain conscience.

If the texts you are being asked to sing parody what is sacred, then it can hardly be a worthy offering to God.

That said, I recall an amusing video which provides the most famous of the Orff Carmina Burana (which is used in snippets all over the place – very drammmmatic!).   The video has “misheard” lyrics.   I’m sure everyone here knows the idea: the lyrics of some song are a little garbled and we mishear them, get them wrong, and pretty soon they are the words we remember.  You might remember the Monkey’s singing “Then I saw her face, now I’m gonna leave her.” A related phenomenon is mis-learned prayers by phonetics, as in “O God, I am hardly sorry for having offended Thee”. Here’s the video with the misheard lyrics of O Fortuna from Orff’s riff on some medieval poet or other. Orff… not my fav, but this made me laugh a couple of times. I’d pay to go to a concert with these lyrics.


O Fortunavelut lunastatu variabilis
O Fortune
like the Moon
you are changeable
Gopher tuna!
bring more tuna!
Statue of a big dog with fleas
semper crescisaut decrescisvita detestabilis always growing
always shrinking
detestable life
Some men like cheese
hot temperate cheese
green chalk can taste like hippies
nunc obduratet tunc curatludo mentis aciem,egestatem,potestatemdissolvit ut glaciem.


now oppresses
and then heals
as the fancy games it
poverty or power
she melts them like ice[…]
You caught two rocks?
Pet two cool rocks!
You don’t get cheese or chicken.Play chess all day.
Hold his sock tip.
She sold me good hot chicken.[…]
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Daily Rome Shot 1053

Photo from The World’s Best Sacristan™.

Meanwhile, it is black’s move.  What to do?  How would you proceed?

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This interview underscores their unbounded contempt for you.

At the Italian site Messa in Latino there is an English translation of an interview about matters concerning the Vetus Ordo and – especially – the people who desire it, with Andrea Grillo (aka Mister Cricket).     HERE

As MiL says:

“In the view of many in the Roman Curia, for Pope Francis, Prof. Grillo is on liturgy what Fr James Martin, S.J., is on homosexuality.”

You should read this.

Virtually everything he says is false, including “and” and “the”.  That’s not the point.  This fellow is a key influencer right now.

I’ve been saying for eons that the people who want to destroy the Vetus Ordo don’t hate and fear just the Vetus Ordo, they hate and fear the people who want it.  They don’t like the people.

This interview underscores their animus in spades.  You can sense the hostility pouring out.  His contempt for you is unbounded.


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