01 January 2018

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us to the Lord of All

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On the first day of the year, I would like to share with you, dear Reader, the Ronald Knox translation of Dante Alighieri's hymn to Mary:


Maiden, yet a mother,
Daughter of thy Son,
High beyond all other,
Lowlier is none;
Thou the consummation
Planned by God's decree,
When our lost creation
Nobler rose in thee!

Thus his place preparèd,
He who all things made
'Mid his creatures tarried,
In thy bosom laid;
There his love he nourished,
Warmth that gave increase 
To the root whence flourished
Our eternal peace.

Lady, lest our vision,
Striving heavenward, fail,
Still let thy petition
With thy Son prevail
Unto whom all merit,
Pow'r and majesty
With the Holy Spirit
And the Father be.
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26 December 2017

A Difficult Ending to a Challenging Year

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This year ends with me having survived a recent auto accident, but since that accident I am once again having problems with the retinas in my eyes. St. Lucy, pray for me. 

Sadly, it appears that our effort at restarting Radio Walsingham will need to come to an end because promised contributions did not materialise.  It should continue at least through the Feast of the Epiphany, and God willing a bit longer.

I am so grateful to the Lord God for every day of eyesight that I have been given, and I am glad that I was able to bring back Radio Walsingham at least for the brief time we have been back on the internet.  Judging from listeners in the USA -- who are our only listeners at present because of USA laws and broadcasting fees -- many have enjoyed listening this Advent and these first days of Christmas.  If I had the money to pay to keep it going I would, but the many years of health problems and life as a private hermit have made this a very lean year.  And when those who promised contributions do not follow through, then perhaps God is telling me that I have done what I can do... it is enough.

I do not know how active this blog will be in the New Year.  It will remain up as long as blogger.com permits it, and some pages have been recorded at archive.org which is very nice to know.

Before this year ends I want to say a special word of thanks to the many kind readers who have continued to view this blog.  I had told a family member I would close this blog after the troubles with my eyes reemerged, but it seems God does not wish me to close this blog in a final way. So, as God permits, the blog will endure, and I hope from time to time I will be able to post.

May the Lord Our God grant to each of us and to those dear to us His divine protection and the abundant help of His Holy Angels.  And may the Infant Christ, His Holy Mother, and His all-pure Guardian bless our families and the family of the Church with their perfect love.

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25 December 2017

"Once He Came in Blessing"

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Johann Roh's hymn Gottes Sohn ist kommen has been known in several English translations as a traditional hymn of Advent and Christmastide. The following is the well known English translation by Catherine Winkworth that I believe first appeared in The Chorale Book for England, 1863, and it appears at No. 86 in the excellent Wartburg Hymnal: For Church, School, and Home published by the Wartburg Publishing House, Chicago in 1918 for  the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America:

Once He came in blessing,
all our ills redressing;
came in likeness lowly,
Son of God most holy;
bore the cross to save us,
hope and freedom gave us.

Still He comes within us,
still His voice would win us
from the sins that hurt us;
would to Truth convert us
from our foolish errors
ere He comes in terrors.

Thus, if thou hast known Him,
not ashamed to own Him,
but wilt trust Him boldly
nor dost love Him coldly,
He will then receive thee,
heal thee, and forgive thee.

He who thus endureth
bright reward secureth.
come, then, O Lord Jesus,
from our sins release us;
let us here confess Thee
till in heaven we bless Thee.
    
 Text: Jan Roh, 1544
Translation: Catherine Winkworth, 1863



This hymn and tune appear as No. 74 in The Lutheran Hymnal 1941 (an outstanding hymnal as sacred to some Lutherans as The Hymnal 1940 is sacrosanct for some Episcopalians).  Some newer hymnbooks have butchered the text or abandoned it, but the Editors of The Hymnal 1982 of the Episcopal Church (USA) very gently retouched the text in a masterful way that kept the integrity of Winkworth's original poetic translation and which encouraged congregations to embrace it as a seasonal favourite:


                                    Once He came in blessing,
                                        All our ills redressing;
                                        Came in likeness lowly,
                                        Son of God most holy;
                                        Bore the cross to save us,
                                        Hope and freedom gave us.

                                     2  Still he comes within us,
                                         still his voice would win us
                                        from the sins that hurt us;
                                        would to Truth convert us:
                                        not in torment hold us,
                                        but in love enfold us.

                                      3  Thus if thou canst name him,
                                         not ashamed to claim him,
                                         but wilt trust him boldly,
                                         nor dost love him coldly,
                                         he will then receive thee,
                                         heal thee, and forgive thee.

                                     4   One who thus endureth
                                         bright reward secureth.
                                         Come then, O Lord Jesus,
                                         from our sins release us;
                                         let us here confess thee,
                                         Till in heaven we bless thee.


I would be remiss not to include the tune sometimes used in the Moravian Church in the USA.  The tune is found in an older Moravian hymn book, and for a number of generations the following tune was "the right tune" and still is "the right tune" according to a retired pastor friend of mine:

 
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24 December 2017

Uher Christmas Hymn: ALL GLORY BE TO GOD ON HIGH

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My hymn below is sung to the tune OLD 113TH which is well known in Wesleyan and Methodist circles as the tune for "I'll praise my Maker while I've breath".  My hymn text is appropriate for Christmastide and all feasts of the Incarnation and the Holy Family. 



ALL GLORY BE TO GOD ON HIGH


All glory be to God on high!

Peace, laud, and joy be our reply

To angels singing in the sky.

Praise Jesus Christ, true light from light.

Tender his love and great his might,

Christ Jesus, Saviour, our delight.



O Word and Wisdom, thee we name,

Jesus the Infant, God the same.

Praise and all worship to thy Name.

Son of blest Mary, spotless Lamb,

High Priest most holy, Great I AM,

Receive our lives into thy hand.



Praise God for Joseph, sainted man,

Brave Guardian of God’s saving plan,

Protector of the God-made-man.

Praise God for Mary Mother true,

Faithful to Jesus her life through,

Mother of God, our Mother too.



Lord Jesus Christ, most holy Lord,

With thy blest Spirit be adored

In God’s own glory here outpoured.

Joy now to hear thine infant cries!

Hope of the simple and the wise!

Love from all souls to thee arise!


© 2008 by Vincent William Uher III


WORDS: Vincent Wm Uher III

I'll Praise My Maker While I've Breath
[O Mensch, bewein] Strassburger Kirchenamt, 1525

88.88.88

23 December 2017

Hymn to the Holy Family of Walsingham

for Christmastide to Candlemas - A Hymn inspired by St. Odo


Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, Houston, Texas

Mother of mercy, peace, and love,
Thy Child is God come from above.
As Christ thou lovest we would too
In all we ponder, say or do.

Joseph the Guardian, brave and wise,
Nothing was hidden from thine eyes.
By dreams the Lord God guided thee
May we follow with constancy.

Father of Jesus, God Most High,
Thy love so great brought Our Lord nigh,
Thy Child, thy gift to free a slave,
Gave thee his Life, the world to save.

A child for us, Friend crucified,
Arisen, present by our side,
Victim and Priest, Oh Mystery!
Lord Jesus Christ, we worship thee.

Glory to God, Father of lights
And to the Son, Lord Jesus Christ,
And Holy Ghost the Comforter:
One God in glory for ever.


Text: Copyright © 2005 by Vincent Uher. 
All rights reserved.
Suggested Tunes: Cornish by M. Lee Suitor



A new hymn tune has been written by Noel Jones that is splendid.

This text has also been sung to these tunes:
HursleyDe Tar by Calvin Hampton;
and Keble by J.B. Dykes
+Laus Deo.




Two Anglican Prayers for Advent's Conclusion

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O GOD, whose blessed Son was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil, and make us the sons of God, and heirs of eternal life: Grant us, we beseech thee, that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves, even as he is pure; that, when he shall appear again with power and great glory, we may be made like unto him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, he liveth and reigneth, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

HOLY Father, our most merciful and faithful God, we pray thee that our King and Saviour Jesus Christ may soon come to us and establish his kingdom amongst us and finally deliver us from sin and pain and death. Grant this according to thy perfect will for his sake in whom alone we hope. Amen.

The Communion  Service
As It Might Be
(1935)
Hugh Cecil


18 December 2017

A Litany of the Incarnation

Offices of the Gospel: Monday at the Sixth Hour


HOLY art thou, O God; holy, Creator : Father most holy:
Have mercy upon us.

Holy art thou, O God; holy, most mighty; holy Incarnate:
Have mercy upon us.

Holy art thou, O God; holy, immortal; holy, Lifegiver:
Have mercy upon us.

Glory be to God on high;
And in earth peace, goodwill towards men.

By the archangel's salutation,
Grant us thy peace.

By Mary's glad obedience,
Grant us thy peace.

By the endless joy of Christmas,

Grant us thy peace.

By the love of Mary Mother,
Grant us thy peace.

By thy lowly birth and lodging,
Grant us thy peace.

By thy cradle in a manger,
Grant us thy peace.

By the song of herald angels,
Grant us thy peace.

By the homage of poor shepherds,
Grant us thy peace.

By the offering of princes,
Grant us thy peace.

By thy holy name of Jesus,
Grant us thy peace.

Glory be to God on high:
And in earth peace, goodwill towards men.

WE thy children do beseech thee to hear us, O Lord God, and to grant
That the glad light of the Incarnation may shine throughout the world;
Son of Man, we beseech thee to hear us.

That the Gospel of thy love may win the faith and homage of all hearts;
Son of Man, we beseech thee to hear us.

That all estates of men may know and find their unity at Bethlehem;
Son of man, we beseech thee to hear us.

That the questionings of all minds and the wants of all souls at Bethlehem may find their peace:
Son of Man, we beseech thee to hear us.

That thy birth as Man may hallow the whole life of man:
Son of Man, we beseech thee to hear us.

That we may ever wear in honour the robe of flesh which thou hast worn:
Son of Man, we beseech thee to hear us.

That thou for whom an inn could find no room may not again be crowded from our lives:
Son of Man, we beseech thee to hear us.

That thou for whom a stable-place sufficed wilt not disdain to dwell within our hearts:
Son of Man, we beseech thee to hear us.

Glory be to God on high:
And in earth peace, goodwill towards men.

THEREFORE with angels and archangels, with patriarchs and prophets, with Mary and Joseph, with wise men and shepherds, with all men and all creatures, let us bless the Lord;
Hosannah in the highest.

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the governments shall be upon his shoulder;
Hosannah in the highest.

And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace;
Hosannah in the highest.

For in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;
Hosannah in the highest.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us;
Hosannah in the highest.

And we have seen his glory, glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth;
Hosannah in the highest.

GOD the Father, maker of men; God the Son, born among men; God the Holy Ghost, sanctifying men, bless, preserve, and keep us, evermore and evermore. Amen.

Cambridge Offices and Orisons
E. Milner-White, B.T.D. Smith
1921

13 December 2017

The most beautiful Ave Maria ... in Spanish

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William Gomez' setting of Ave Maria is one of the most beautiful settings of the prayer to the Blessed Mother.  I include below the video of Elina  Garanča, mezzo-soprano, singing it at Christmas in Vienna 2007.



Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis peccatoribus 
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Sing of Mary, Blest is She - Text with Music

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Click or double-click on the image of the hymn below to see a larger version.  

This is my hymn "Sing of Mary, Blest is She" set to the tune TEMPUS ADEST FLORIDUM (the tune for 'Good King Wenceslas'). 

The hymn can be sung on the Fourth Sunday of Advent/Christmas Eve and from Christmas through the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6th).  Feel free to sing it whenever you like!



12 December 2017

Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe • Our Lady of Tepeyac

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"Blest is she who trusted that the Lord's words to her would be fulfilled." St. Luke 1:45

Our Lady of Tepeyac, Star of the New Evangelisation, pray for us.


Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of us all,
help us and intercede for us with the Lord of All.




Links:

1. Star of the New Evagelization (Knights of Columbus website)


2. Mother Adela on Our Lady of Guadalupe


3. Zenit: Bishop Conley on Our Lady of Guadalupe  (Also, Lincoln Archdiocese)


4. "Our Lady of Guadalupe and the New Evangelization"


5. The Star of Evangelization (Catholic Charismatic Center, Houston)


6. Excerpts from an Address of Cardinal Burke:


Mary as our model in fostering the new springtime of faith

The following are excerpts of the address given by Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke, Archbishop emeritus of St Louis, U.S.A., and Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, at the Springtime of Faith Summit. The event was held at the University of Dallas Campus in Rome on 14 November [2009] on the theme: "Mary as our Model in Fostering the New Springtime of Faith".

The apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe at Tepeyac Hill and at the home of Juan Bernardino, uncle of St Juan Diego, from December 9th through 12th in 1531, are most remarkable among the approved apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The maternal tenderness and directness of the conversations of Our Lady with St Juan Diego are truly striking. The five apparitions over four days are marked by a certain urgency and insistent message, and have their culmination in the altogether remarkable divine writing of the image of Our Lady on the tilma of St Juan Diego. By means of the tilma  miraculous both for the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and for the uncharacteristic durability of its cactus-cloth material  Our Lady of Guadalupe has never ceased to appear to pilgrims who look upon the tilma which is truly alive with her image.

The apparitions and message of Our Lady of Guadalupe underline both the infinite transcendence of God and his unceasing mercy toward all men without boundary. At the very beginning of the first apparition, Our Lady of Guadalupe immediately identifies herself to St Juan Diego with these words: "I am the perfect and ever virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the God of truth through whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near us, the Lord of heaven and earth".1 The Blessed Virgin Mary [then] declares the intention of her apparition: "I want very much to have a little house built here for me, in which I will show him [God], I will exalt him and make him manifest".2

The Mother of God continues: "I will give him to the people in all my personal love, in my compassion, in my help, in my protection: because I am truly your merciful Mother, yours and all the people who live united in this land and of all other people of different ancestries, my lovers, who love me, those who seek me, those who trust in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their complaints and heal all their sorrows, hardships and sufferings".3

Coming to Our Lady of Guadalupe on pilgrimage, the pilgrim experiences her divine maternity in an ever greater closeness to her Divine Son, our Savior. It is by drawing pilgrims to her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ  above all, in the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist  that the Mother of God hears the cries of God's children.

Rightly, Our Lady of Guadalupe is called the Star of the New Evangelization because she announces and presents the mystery of God's love and mercy in all of its newness, as if for the first time, so that once again men may come to know and have faith in her Divine Son, place their hope in him alone, and live in his love. In the same way, Our Lady of Guadalupe is our model in fostering the New Springtime of Faith, the new encounter with Christ, which leads each of us to the conversion of our life and transforms our society ever more into a civilization of love.

Historical Context
Certainly, the apparitions and message of Our Lady of Guadalupe respond to the condition of man in every period of Christian history, for, even though souls have been purified of the stain of original sin through the life-giving waters of Baptism, the effects of original sin have continued to cause men the greatest suffering and sorrow. The Christian vocation received at Baptism is the call to carry the Cross with Christ, in order that the Christian may reach the destiny of his earthly pilgrimage in the Kingdom of Heaven.4 Our Lady's apparitions and message at Tepeyac Hill and at the home of Juan Bernardino in December of 1531 responded, however, to a most dolorous manifestation of
man's sinfulness.


Our Lady appeared on the American continent at a time when many men were drifting far from God. The situation in what is today Mexico City was marked then by the violence and darkness which are always the fruit of man's rebellion against God. On the one hand, under a long and macabre leadership, the religion of the native Americans was increasingly marked by a diabolical worship which demanded constant and mass human sacrifice. Warren H. Carroll, historian and founder of Christendom College in Fort Royal, Virginia, has described the horror of the situation in his book, Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness.5

On the other hand, the arrival and activity of European explorers in the same territory had developed into a conflict between the Spanish and Native Americans, which threatened an increasingly massive destruction of human life and goods. The story of the conflict is quite complicated. It was marked both by the sincere desire to evangelize a pagan people, including the elimination of the practice of human sacrifice, and by the lack of respect for the human dignity of the Native Americans, manifested in cruel executions and other violations of human life.6

With her apparitions and her message, the work of the Franciscan Friars who had been laboring diligently to evangelize the Native Americans and to bring their fellow Spaniards to an ever greater conversion of heart, under the spiritual leadership of their confrere, Fray Juan de Zumárraga, First Bishop of Mexico, bore fruit which was truly miraculous. While it is estimated that until the time of the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe some 200,000 Native Americans had received the gift of faith and Baptism, among them St Juan Diego and his wife, from the time of her apparitions until the deaths of Bishop Juan de Zumárraga and St Juan Diego, who died within days of each other in the Spring of 1548, some 9 million Native Americans were baptized.7

Our Lady of Guadalupe chose as her messenger one of the Native Americans who had been evangelized and baptized by the Franciscan Friars. When Our Lady first appeared to St Juan Diego, he was, in fact, on his way to receive post-baptismal instruction in the faith, on 9 December 1531, then observed as the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in the Spanish Empire.
St Juan Diego advanced the First Evangelization by following the Star, the Mother of God. He told pilgrims about her apparitions and message over the remaining 17 years of his life. The place of his catechesis was Our Lady's chapel, constructed by both the Spanish and the Native Americans, the chapel in which her miraculous image was enthroned by Bishop Juan de Zumárraga on 26 December 1531, just fourteen days after her final apparition.8 St Juan Diego shows us how to follow the model of the Mother of God in advancing the New Springtime of Faith.

Through the gift of faith and Baptism, the Spanish and the Native Americans became one people, a new race, the mestiza people whose distinctive features are seen most perfectly in the face of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Since the time of the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the unity of the people in the Catholic faith has been severely tested, especially during times of persecution of the Church in Mexico, but the Mexican people has remained united, invoking the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe.


A sterling example of the fruit of the unceasing spiritual maternity of Our Lady of Guadalupe is seen in the martyrdom of Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro on 23 November 1927, during a cruel persecution of the Church. On one of the walls of the cell in which he awaited execution, Blessed Miguel Pro inscribed the prayer: "¡Viva Cristo Rey! ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!",9 "Long live Christ the King! Long live the Virgin of Guadalupe!".



Painting by the hand of Antonella Cappuccio
in 2009 for the Knights of Columbus

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Star of the New Evangelisation, pray for us.

11 December 2017

Advent with Radio Walsingham

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Advent with Radio Walsingham

Streaming link:


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04 December 2017

Uher Hymn: ALL GLORY BE TO GOD ON HIGH - for Christmastide and other times

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My hymn below is sung to the tune OLD 113TH which is well known in Wesleyan and Methodist circles as the tune for "I'll praise my Maker while I've breath".  My hymn text is appropriate for Christmastide and all feasts of the Incarnation and the Holy Family. 


ALL GLORY BE TO GOD ON HIGH


All glory be to God on high!

Peace, laud, and joy be our reply

To angels singing in the sky.

Praise Jesus Christ, true light from light.

Tender his love and great his might,

Christ Jesus, Saviour, our delight.



O Word and Wisdom, thee we name,

Jesus the Infant, God the same.

Praise and all worship to thy Name.

Son of blest Mary, spotless Lamb,

High Priest most holy, Great I AM,

Receive our lives into thy hand.



Praise God for Joseph, sainted man,

Brave Guardian of God’s saving plan,

Protector of the God-made-man.

Praise God for Mary Mother true,

Faithful to Jesus her life through,

Mother of God, our Mother too.



Lord Jesus Christ, most holy Lord,

With thy blest Spirit be adored

In God’s own glory here outpoured.

Joy now to hear thine infant cries!

Hope of the simple and the wise!

Love from all souls to thee arise!


© 2008 by Vincent William Uher III


WORDS: Vincent Wm Uher III

I'll Praise My Maker While I've Breath
[O Mensch, bewein] Strassburger Kirchenamt, 1525

88.88.88

02 December 2017

Enid Chadwick: The Season of Advent

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The illustrator and artist Enid Chadwick's name is inseparable from the Anglican Shrine at Walsingham.  The following are two pages in her Church Year series concerning Advent:






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01 December 2017

THE ADVENT PROSE

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A repost for today

Years ago a friend in the USA gave me a version of the Advent Prose in the sacred register of English (by which I mean Prayer Book English, my friends), and it has sat in a thumb drive gathering dust. My poor mind cannot recall who sent it to me but thanks to the sender nonetheless.  

Today I thought I would share it because so few hear (or see printed) the Advent Prose during Advent.  What a pity that so few of the treasures of the Church are shared with the laity in the parishes.  There are many translations of Rorate caeli of which this is one.

If I have done things properly, dear Reader, a click or double-click on each image below should give you a much enlarged version for viewing. (After viewing each image I think you will need to use a back button to get back to the blog.) Also, I have included a treat via YouTube of the Rorate caeli chanted in Latin.

God send you a blessed Advent Season!






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