19 December 2007


a new text for Christmas by Vincent Uher


Now light your lamps, ye Christians wise
and gather 'neath Christ's Star.
The Light of lights, the Prince of Peace
has come here from afar.
No warrior he, the Word made flesh,
the servant of us all,
the Child whose breathing brings us peace,
whose heartbeat saves us all.

God's mother's face reveals his light
as moon shines by the sun,
And Joseph's eyes filled full with joy
gleam bright with God's own Son.
O Christ our God, true face of God
now cradled in their arms,
O please accept what gifts we bring:
our hearts, our minds, our love.

Child Jesus, hear our fervent prayer
for peace to reign on earth,
for great and small, for rich and poor,
for each to know their worth.
Though fallen be the human race
and sin and hate abound
give peace to all for in each face
thy image still is found.

O sing, you blessed company
of faithful people. Sing
for God the Child whose very light
demands the darkness flee.
O Trinity of endless light,
with love our praise we bring
where Wisdom found a cave for house
to bring forth earth's true king.

Copyright © 2007 Vincent Uher
Suggested tune: Forest Green

15 December 2007

Extraordinary Form in Hanceville

The Rorate Mass was celebrated at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama and was broadcast on EWTN this morning in the USA. The Temple that Mother Angelica built is the perfect setting for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

13 December 2007

Holy Violence

Please do read Father Mark's meditation today, 13 December, Feast of St. Lucy, at his blog Vultus Christi. It is extraordinary.

Requiescat in pace

His Eminence Alfonso Maria Cardinal Stickler

Requiem æternam dona ei, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat ei.

Requiescat in pace.

Cathcon translation of obituary in Der Standard

Austrian Curial Cardinal Stickler has died

The eldest member of the Cardinalate was in his ninety eighth year and "passed away peacefully"

The Austrian Curia, Cardinal Alfonso Maria Stickler, the oldest member of the College of Cardinals, died in the Vatican on Wednesday evening at the age of 98, as Kathpress reports. The former prefect of the Vatican Library and Papal Archives (until 1988) came from Neunkirchen in Lower Austria, where he was born on 23 August 1910. While still young, he joined the Salesians of Don Bosco in 1937, and was ordained a priest. In September 1983 - just before the first visit to Austria by Pope John Paul II - was Stickler appointed in May 1985 to the Cardinal’s college, as Cardinal Bishop.

In 1983, Pope John Paul II appointed him as a successor to the Austrian Cardinal Antonio Samore, the "Pro-Librarian of the Holy Roman Church" and appointed him archbishop simultaneously to the Titular See of Bolsena. On 7 In July 1984, Pope John Paul II gave him responsibility also for the Vatican Secret Archives. During his tenure, Stickler tirelessly contined the the preservation and modernization of the Vatican library, which is not a repository of the world's richest collection of manuscripts (about 70,000), but also contains one million printed books, roughly 150,000 copper engravings, and a very valuable coin collection. Under the leadership of the Austrian cardinal, a great nuclear bomb proof bunker was built, in which the most important treasures of the library (including the "Codex Vaticanus) are accommodated.

The conservative traditionalist Stickler was extremely hostile to the "Popular Church Movement" in Austria. The Cardinal, who was a strong supporter of the pre-Conciliar rite of the Mass said at that time in precise words that the "rebellion" was directed against the Pope and "against the very essence of our faith." The conscience of the individual must be subordinate to the authority of the Magisterium.

"Passed away peacefully"

Cardinal Stickler passed away peacefully on Wednesday night at 19.30 pm said the Linz diocesan Bishop Ludwig Schwarz in conversation with Kathpress. Stickler knew well Schwarz from his time as Provincial of the Roman province of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The oldest Cardinal lived in his last years secluded in his apartment in the Palazzo del Sant'Uffizio.

The late Cardinal came from a large family. He was the second of twelve children. After graduation in Vienna, he entered the novitiate of the Salesians of Don Bosco, and was professed on 15 August 1928. He completed his theological studies in Benediktbeuern and taught in Turin and Rome. He was a Doctor iuris utriusque of the Lateran University

Stickler taught ecclesiastical legal history at the Canon Law Faculty of the Salesian University in Rome, was Dean of the faculty and finally Rector of the university. On 25 March 1971 (Ash Wednesday) Pope Paul VI appointed him the Prefect of the Vatican Library, which was according to Stickler himself, the most significant "change in his career path". On 8 September 1983, Stickler was appointed "Pro Librarian of the Holy Roman Church", while as well as Titular Bishop of Bolsena. Pope John Paul II personally consecrated him Bishop on the Feast of All Saints 1983. On 7 July 1984, Pope John Paul II also gave him responsibility for the Vatican Secret Archives. In the Consistory of 25 May 1985, Pope John Paul II made him Cardinal and give him as titular, the Church of San Giorgio in Velabro (the church was on the night of 27 to 28 July 1993 severely damaged in a bomb attack, believed to be the work of the Mafia). From this time, until his retirement, Stickler was Official Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church.

09 December 2007

Beautiful Saviour, Mightiest in Mercy

I wrote this hymn from a poem of mine with the tune Coelites plaudant (Rouen) which is well known in Anglican circles associated as it is with a text used at Michaelmas.

This year I have had requests to use this text during Advent (the Second or Fourth Sunday) but set to
Richard Dirksen's lovely tune Decatur Place. I am always happy to have a text of mine sung to a tune that is well-known by a congregation ... especially when that is one of the newer tunes.

There are many tunes that work successfully with this text and tend to shade its meaning in lovely if unexpected ways. I hope this text will prove useful to all who read it in their Advent journey with Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem in Judea.

The Hymn: Beautiful Saviour, Mightiest in Mercy

Beautiful Saviour, Mightiest in Mercy,
Light piercing darkness, Joy beyond all sorrow,
Wounded for healing, Dying for our saving,
.....................Victim and High Priest.

Son of the Father, Child of Mary Mother,
Just Joseph's dear boy, Cause of Great John's leaping,
Mary's Deliverer, Truest friend to Lazarus,
.....................True God, our High King.

All laud we bring now praising our Belovèd,
Christ Jesus, Saviour, Victor, and Redeemer
Judge of the Living, Judge of the departed,
.....................Come quickly, Jesus.

Words: © 2007 by Vincent Uher. All Rights Reserved.
Other Excellent Suggested tunes:
Iste Confessor
Oblation (which is Crueger's "Lobet den Herren" ),
Coelites Plaudant (Rouen)

02 December 2007

O Virgo virginum

Veni, veni, Emmanuel ~ O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

A paraphrase of the Sarum Use 8th "O Antiphon" which I wrote for public worship:

O Virgin blest, this Myst'ry rare,
Like thee, so great beyond compare —
We marvel at thy Child and thee.
Behold, God's face in infancy!

Rejoice, Rejoice! Emmanuel
Is come to thee, O Israel!

I have written a version of the 8th Antiphon ' O Virgo Virginum' that would be consistent with the common English of today:

O Virgin blest, this Myst'ry rare,
Like you is great beyond compare.
We marvel here your Child to see
and gaze upon God's infancy!

Rejoice, Rejoice! Emmanuel
has come to you, O Israel!

I also drafted another paraphrase in the liturgical English of my youth:

O Virgin blest, this Myst'ry rare
Like thee is great beyond compare.
O marv'llous is thy Child of light
whose every breath is thy delight.

Rejoice, Rejoice! Emmanuel
Is come to thee, O Israel!

© 2006 Vincent Uher