23 February 2015

John Donne: Holy Sonnet 7


At the round earth’s imagined corners 
(Holy Sonnet 7)

At the round earth’s imagined corners, blow
Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise
From death, you numberless infinities
Of souls, and to your scattered bodies go,
All whom the flood did, and fire shall, o’erthrow,
All whom war, dearth, age, agues, tyrannies,
Despair, law, chance, hath slain, and you whose eyes,
Shall behold God, and never taste death’s woe.
But let them sleep, Lord, and me mourn a space;
For, if above all these, my sins abound,
‘Tis late to ask abundance of thy grace,
When we are there. Here on this lowly ground,
Teach me how to repent; for that’s as good
As if thou’hadst seal’d my pardon with thy blood.

John Donne, 1572 - 1631

30 January 2015

Underhill: The Preparation for Mass

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The following are the prayers selected by Evelyn Underhill for the Preparation of the Liturgy in her volume Eucharistic Prayers:

THE PREPARATION

THE PRAYER OF THE BEGINNING

     VOUCHSAFE unto us, O Lord God, that we may stand before thee in purity and holiness; and with knowledge and fear, in the beauty of spiritual order, may serve thee, the Lord and Creator of all, to whom worship is due from all, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, world without end, Amen. Liturgy of the Syrian Jacobites.
Evelyn Underhill

     HEAVENLY King, Paraclete, Spirit of truth, present in all places and filling all things, Treasury of good and Master of life; come and dwell within us, cleanse us from all stain, and save our souls.Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

     LET us pray with faith to our Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, that at this hour of sacrifice and prayer we may be found acceptable to him. May he listen to the voice of our hearts and receive their requests, forgive us our sins, and ever have mercy upon us. May our needs and petitions be ever in the sight of his sovereign Majesty, and may he strengthen us in the unity of the faith and in the justification of good works; that he may bestow on us the grace of his mercy, pity us and save us.Armenian Liturgy.

THE PRAYER OF THE PRIEST

     O MIGHTY God, most great and omnipotent Father of Goodness and Power, not without dure reverence, yet unadorned by any dignity of office, I come before the might of thine immeasurable greatness, and before thine unspeakable sight, O wondrous Majesty—a suppliant nothing worth. I stand here, conscious of guilt and bearing witness to it. What shall I ask, I that deserve nothing? What shall I seek? For must it not be said of me, that he who should mediate for sins, must rather himself be charged with sin?
     Therefore I come to thee, not to excuse but to accuse myself; confessing my wrong-doing unto thee before witnesses, my Lord God. I confess, yea, I make open confession of mine iniquity; that thou mayst forgive me the wickedness of my sin. I confess things which, if thou forgive not, thou dost rightly punish. I stand before thee confessing my sin, yet well I know that I make not amends, save with words: for with words I seek to appease thee, whilst with deeds I offend. My fault I know, my amends I delay. Help, help me, therefore, O ineffable Goodness. Forgive, forgive me, O wondrous Trinity. Spare, spare, spare I beseech thee, O God that hearest prayer. Hearken, hearken, hearken unto me when I cry aloud unto thee in the words of thine own Son, “Father, eternal God, I have sinned before heaven and before thee; I am no more worthy to be called thy son. Make me as one of thine hired servants.”
     And now, merciful Father, I seek by Christ's help the only haven of thy mercy; that thou mayst see fit to take and accept through him what in me is nothing worth. Who with thee evermore liveth and reigneth. Amen.Gothic Missal.

     HOLY, Most High, Terrible, thou that art present in holy things; Lord, do thou thyself make us holy, and bring us to thy precious altar with a good conscience. Cleanse our hearts from all defilement, and count us worthy of the awful priesthood. Drive away from us all evil feeling, and hallow our mind and soul, that we may perform the worship of the holy fathers in thy fear; seeking the favour of thy countenance through all things, for thou art he that blessest and hallowest all things.Liturgy of St. Mark.
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05 January 2015

Catherine Winkworth: “Once He Came in Blessing”

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“Once He Came in Blessing” is perhaps my favourite translation from the German by Catherine Winkworth.  For Moravians and some Lutherans it is an Advent hymn. For some Episcopalians and Anglicans it is a Christmastide hymn.  In two of the parish's I served, we sang it during Pre-Lent. 

To my mind it is an excellent hymn for singing … or for quiet prayer on any day of the year:

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04 January 2015

Lo! The Eastern Magi Rise

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For the words please click this LINK 
to the excellent Hymns and Carols of Christmas website.
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27 December 2014

A Dorset Carol

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“Awake and join the cheerful choir”


Please click (or perhaps double-click) on the image above to see it enlarged.

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22 December 2014

My hymn: 'Sing of Mary, Blest is She'


My hymn text "Sing of Mary, Blest is She" has proven more and more popular over the years since I first wrote it. I have not charged any fee to use it so long as it is not reproduced for commercial use. (Feel free to contact me about any other commercial arrangement by writing to me at vincentuher3 @ gmail.com )  I have wanted God's people to have this hymn as freely as God inspired me to write it.

Here is a link to my text set to the well-known tune for 'Good King Wenceslas' — TEMPUS ADEST FLORIDUM, Piae Cantiones.

Please click below for my hymn text: 

 SING OF MARY, BLEST IS SHE

God bless all who shall sing this hymn and all who love the Holy Family!


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Ave Maria by Dawid Kusz, OP

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Ave Maria by Dawid Kusz, OP
Coro de Cámara Patagonia (CCP) / Eduardo Andrés Malachevsky, cond. (http://www.malachevsky.com.ar
3 November A.D. 2013 at the Trappist Cistercian Monastery of 
Nuestra Señora de los Angeles (Argentina)
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19 December 2014

O Radix Jesse

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13 December 2014

10 December 2014

A Prayer

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a prayer from the Liturgy
of the Catholic Apostolic Church
(Irvingite)
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01 December 2014

Beautiful Music for Advent

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Radio Walsingham Online broadcasts inspired music for the Advent Season 

http://www.live365.com/stations/walsinghamtexas



One can listen for free... but there will be some commercial interruptions by Live365.com.  For a small price, one can purchase a VIP membership and listen without any commercial interruption.  I highly recommend the VIP membership.


It is wonderful to listen to this selection whether at work, school, or home.  Please click here to enjoy!

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30 November 2014

ADVENT BLESSINGS

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For most of the Western Church Advent Sunday is the start of the Chuch's liturgical new year.  

So Happy New Year!  

Below I share with you something Pro Multis Media sent to me by email today that in a succinct way gives a synthesis of the propers and lections for Advent Sunday in the Vetus Ordo:

Commentary for the Readings
in the Extraordinary Form

First Sunday of Advent

"There will be signs in the . . .(heavens). . .and upon the earth, distress of nations. . .they will see the Son of Man coming. . .lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand" (Gospel).

On His second Advent at the end of the world Jesus will come in the fullness of Divine Power. Then will we be obliged to accept Him as King of Justice. So today let us begin to prepare for this year's anniversary of His first Advent as King of Mercy.

Because His coming is "nearer" we are warned to "rise from sleep,. . .lay aside the works of darkness. . .and put on he Lord Jesus Christ" (Epistle).

Aware of the dangers ahead during this preparation, we call upon His "power" to protect us (Prayer) and to "cleanse us" (Secret). Finally, we promise to "prepare with due reverence for the coming festival" (Postcommunion).

Excerpted from My Sunday Missal, Confraternity of the Precious Blood


A Blessèd Advent to All
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Paul Jernberg's Mass of Saint Philip Neri

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25 November 2014

A Blessèd Thanksgiving

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I pray for the Lord's blessings to be upon all who keep a day of Giving Thanks to Almighty God.















ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favour and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Book of Common Prayer
1928   [USA]

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Pope Francis: Christ the King Homily

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With the excellent news of Cardinal Sarah's appointment to the Curia, I am most happy to post the following homily by the Holy Father:


Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
23 November A.D. 2014

Today’s liturgy invites us to fix our gaze on Christ, the King of the Universe. The beautiful prayer of the Preface reminds us that his kingdom is “a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace”. The readings we have listened to show us how Jesus established his kingdom; how he brings it about in history; and what he now asks of us.

First, how Jesus brought about his kingdom: he did so through his closeness and tenderness towards us. He is the Shepherd, of whom the Prophet Ezekiel spoke in the First Reading (cf. 34:11-12, 15-17). These verses are interwoven with verbs which show the care and love that the Shepherd has for his flock: to search, to look over, to gather the dispersed, to lead into pasture, to bring to rest, to seek the lost sheep, to lead back the confused, to bandage the wounded, to heal the sick, to take care of, to pasture. All of these are fulfilled in Jesus Christ: he is truly the “great Shepherd of the sheep and the protector of our souls” (cf. Heb 13:20; 1 Pt 2:25).

Those of us who are called to be pastors in the Church cannot stray from this example, if we do not want to become hirelings. In this regard the People of God have an unerring sense for recognizing good shepherds and in distinguishing them from hirelings.

After his victory, that is after his Resurrection, how has Jesus advanced his kingdom? The Apostle Paul, in the First Letter to the Corinthians, says: “for he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet” (15:25). The Father, little by little, subjects all to the Son and, at the same time, the Son subjects all to the Father. Jesus is not a King according to earthly ways: for him, to reign is not to command, but to obey the Father, to give himself over to the Father, so that his plan of love and salvation may be brought to fulfilment. In this way there is full reciprocity between the Father and the Son. The period of Christ’s reign is the long period of subjecting everything to the Son and consigning everything to the Father. “The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor 15:26). And in the end, when all things will be under the sovereignty of Jesus, and everything, including Jesus himself, will be subjected to the Father, God will be all in all (cf. 1 Cor 15:28).

The Gospel teaches what Jesus’ kingdom requires of us: it reminds us that closeness and tenderness are the rule of life for us also, and that on this basis we will be judged. This is the great parable of the final judgement in Matthew 25. The King says: “Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (25:34-36). The righteous will ask him: when did we do all this? And he will answer them: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40). 

The starting point of salvation is not the confession of the sovereignty of Christ, but rather the imitation of Jesus’ works of mercy through which he brought about his kingdom. The one who accomplishes these works shows that he has welcomed Christ’s sovereignty, because he has opened his heart to God’s charity. In the twilight of life we will be judged on our love for, closeness to and tenderness towards our brothers and sisters. Upon this will depend our entry into, or exclusion from, the kingdom of God: our belonging to the one side or the other. Through his victory, Jesus has opened to us his kingdom. But it is for us to enter into it, beginning with our life now, by being close in concrete ways to our brothers and sisters who ask for bread, clothing, acceptance, solidarity. If we truly love them, we will be willing to share with them what is most precious to us, Jesus himself and his Gospel.

Today the Church places before us the example of these new saints. Each in his or her own way served the kingdom of God, of which they became heirs, precisely through works of generous devotion to God and their brothers and sisters. They responded with extraordinary creativity to the commandment of love of God and neighbour. They dedicated themselves, without holding back, to serving the least and assisting the destitute, sick, elderly and pilgrims. Their preference for the smallest and poorest was the reflection and measure of their unconditional love of God. In fact, they sought and discovered love in a strong and personal relationship with God, from whence springs forth true love for one’s neighbour. In the hour of judgement, therefore, they heard that tender invitation: “Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Mt 25:34).

Through the rite of canonization, we have confessed once again the mystery of God’s kingdom and we have honoured Christ the King, the Shepherd full of love for his sheep. May our new saints, through their witness and intercession, increase within us the joy of walking in the way of the Gospel and our resolve to embrace the Gospel as the compass of our lives. Let us follow in their footsteps, imitating their faith and love, so that our hope too may be clothed in immortality. May we not allow ourselves to be distracted by other earthly and fleeting interests. And may Mary, our Mother and Queen of all Saints, guide us on the way to the kingdom of heaven. Amen.


“Pray, hope, and don’t worry.” – St. Pio of Pietrelcina
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24 November 2014

The Civilisation Cycle

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The following (identified by Alexander Fraser Tyler) is the cycle for the rise and fall of civilisations:

“From bondage to spiritual faith; 
from spiritual faith to great courage; 
from great courage to liberty; 
from liberty to abundance; 
from abundance to selfishness; 
from selfishness to complacency; 
from complacency to apathy; 
from apathy to dependence; 
and from dependence back again to bondage.”

Alexander Fraser Tyler
The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Empire


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[Irvingite] Catholic Apostolic Holy Eucharist

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I have been spending some time reading through the eucharistic liturgy and offices of the Catholic Apostolic Church [Irvingite].  The denomination may be defunct, but the vision enshrined in the Liturgy deserves far more study.  

Below, dear reader, you will find scans of the beginning of the Holy Eucharist of the Catholic Apostolic Church.  To my knowledge no community makes use of this liturgy today:






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R. Somerset Ward: Of Darkness and Prayer

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“And what can possibly be the meaning of this coldness and darkness of the soul? Surely it is God’s test. How should we ever grow without tests? We say to God, ‘I want Thee more than I can say.’ 

God replies, ‘Do you really want Me?’ 

And straightaway in our prayers we find darkness and coldness, and the numbing loss of energy. 

If we were speaking the truth, we go on praying in spite of it; if we were not, we stop. And if we go on praying, the darkness becomes not a hindrance but a help, for the measure by which God values our prayers is the amount of desire in them, and it shows much greater desire to pray in darkness than in the light. 

For this reason it has been said that we walk faster on the Road to God in darkness than in light. If you persist in prayer through darkness, you will assuredly find yourself after the darkness has passed much nearer to God.” 


R. Reginald Somerset Ward: His Life and Letters
Edmund Morgan
 A. R. Mowbray Co., Ltd
London, 1963, p. 141

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23 November 2014

R. Somerset Ward: Quality not Quantity

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“What is needed above all for God’s kingdom on earth is quality. Quantity will take care of itself if we take care of quality.

“The most powerful instrument for the conversion of the world is the converted individual. Those who have a real desire and passion to help others must, of necessity, first attack their own lives and find in them the tool they can use to help others.

“The missionary spirit without the spiritual life is helpless. The failure to grasp this is responsible for the small return we perceive for such great activity.

“There is no lack of the power needed to convert the world–power and more than abundant power is waiting to be used–but the instruments which will give it free play are too few.”


R. Reginald Somerset Ward: His Life and Letters
Edmund Morgan
 A. R. Mowbray Co., Ltd
London, 1963, p. 77

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22 November 2014

Pope Benedict on Christ the King

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The following is from Pope Benedict's remarks before the Angelus  on the 25th of November A.D. 2012:

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today the Church celebrates Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This solemnity comes at the end of the liturgical year and brings together the mystery of Jesus “firstborn from the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth” (Collect Year B), extending our gaze towards the full realisation of the Kingdom of God, when God will be all in all (cf 1 Cor 15.28). 

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem says: “We announce not only the first coming of Christ, but also a second which is much more beautiful than the first. The first, in fact, was a manifestation of suffering, the second brings the diadem of divine kingship…..in the first, He was subject to the humiliation of the Cross, in the second He is surrounded and glorified by a host of angels” (Catechesis XV,1 Illuminandorum, De secundo Christi adventu: PG 33, 869 A). 

All the mission of Jesus and the contents of His message consist in announcing the Kingdom of God and implementing it among men through signs and wonders. “But – as the Second Vatican Council reminds us – above all, the Kingdom is made manifest through the person of Christ (Lumen gentium, 5), who established it through His death on the Cross and His Resurrection, whereby He showed Himself to be the Lord and Messiah, the High Priest for eternity. 

This Kingdom of God was entrusted to the Church, which is the “seed” and the “beginning”, and has the task of announcing it and spreading it amongst all peoples through the strength of the Holy Spirit. 

At the end of time, the Lord will deliver the Kingdom to God the Father and will present to Him all those who have lived according to the commandment of love.


Pope Benedict
Dear friends, we are all called to prolong God’s saving work by converting ourselves to the Gospel, by placing ourselves with conviction in the footsteps of that King who came not to be served but to serve and to bear witness to the truth (cf Mk 10.45, Jn 18.37). 

[ . . . ] May the Virgin help each one of us to live this present time as we await the return of the Lord, as we decisively pray to God: “Your Kingdom come”, and as we carry out those works of light which bring us ever closer to Heaven, knowing that, in the tormented affairs of history, God continues to build His Kingdom of love.

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