We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


‘There was nothing effeminate about it, as there was nothing fanatical; there was nothing extreme or foolish about it; it was a manly school, distrustful of high-wrought feelings and professions, cultivating self-command and shy of display, and setting up as its mark, in contrast to what seemed to it sentimental weakness, a reasonable and serious idea of duty. The divinity which it propounded, though it rested on learning, was rather that of strong common sense than of the schools of erudition. Its better members were highly cultivated, benevolent men, intolerant of irregularities both of doctrine and life, whose lives were governed by an unostentatious but solid and unfaltering piety, ready to burst forth on occasion into fervid devotion.’ [The Oxford Movement, ch. 1.]

The centre round which High Churchmanship revolved was a liturgy, the Prayer Book; and that perhaps in all its implications constitutes the significance of the High Church tradition for Anglicans today. The Church of England, as indeed all western Christendom, is fighting for its life; the days when Christianity enjoyed a comfortable and established place in society are gone, and the Church stands face to face with a paganism which is enslaving each country in Europe, a paganism which sometimes glories in its apostasy and is crudely barbaric, more often it masquerades as secularism, broad-mindedness, and indifference.

The inner life of the Church is built round its worship; here it truly becomes itself and finds power and strength. But the Church as it prepares to do battle with the pagan world finds that its own inner life, the life of worship, has disintegrated. Worship has become divorced from dogma; it has been individualized and has lost all contact with the ordinary life of man. It is a dead thing, a meaningless round of word and gesture.

The worship of the Church is offered in the midst of a society which has turned its back on the intellectual, the spiritual, and the supernatural, and finds its main happiness in the examination of the visible world and a ceaseless round of activity ... It is a society which sees life in terms of doing rather than being. Worship is something which it cannot understand; for worship is being rather than doing, and is concerned primarily with God.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The First Stone

...“romantic marriage” was invented by heterosexuals, and the detachment of sex from marriage and marriage from kinship was accomplished long before anyone began seriously proposing gay marriage. Gay marriage may further damage marriage; but heterosexuals damaged marriage nearly beyond recognition all on our own.

Not news. Nietzsche pointed all this out more than a century ago:

The entire West has lost those instincts out of which institutions grow, out of which the future grows: perhaps nothing goes so much against the grain of its 'modern spirit' as this. One lives for today, one lives very fast - one lives very irresponsibly: it is precisely this which one calls 'freedom'. That which makes institutions institutions is despised, hated, rejected: whenever the word 'authority' is so much as heard one believes oneself in danger of a new slavery. The décadence in the valuating instinct of our politicians, our political parties, goes so deep that they instinctively prefer that which leads to dissolution, that which hastens the end ... Witness modern marriage. It is obvious that all sense has gone out of modern marriage: which is, however, no objection to marriage but to modernity. The rationale of marriage lay in the legal sole responsibility of the man: marriage thereby had a centre of gravity, whereas now it limps with both legs. The rationale of marriage lay in its indissolubility in principle: it thereby acquired an accent which could make itself heard against the accidents of feeling, passion and the moment. It lay likewise in the responsibility of the families for the selection of mates. With the increasing indulgence of love matches one has simply eliminated the foundation of marriage, that alone which makes it an institution. One never establishes an institution on the basis of an idiosyncrasy, one does not, as aforesaid, establish marriage on the basis of 'love' - one establishes it on the basis of the sexual drive, the drive to own property (wife and child considered as property), the drive to dominate which continually organizes the smallest type of domain, the family, which needs children and heirs so as to retain, in a physiological sense as well, an achieved measure of power, influence, wealth, so as to prepare for protracted tasks, for a solidarity of instinct between the centuries. Marriage as an institution already includes in itself the affirmation of the largest, the most enduring form of organization: if society as a whole cannot stand security for itself to the most distant generations, then marriage has really no meaning. - Modern marriage has lost its meaning - consequently it is being abolished.

Further investigation required

The development of the Sunday cycle is to be traced in the Epistle and Gospel books from the seventh to the eleventh centuries, in the “Gelasian” manuscripts from the end of the seventh century, and in the varying combinations of the latter with the “Gregorian” tradition in the “Mixed” Sacramentaries after the eighth century.

This evolution began by providing undesignated masses and lections in blocks, for use at need and discretion. Thus the “Gelasian” Sacramentary, with no proper masses for any Sundays after Epiphany or Whitsunday, supplied eight after Easter, and sixteen for unspecified Sundays. In the earliest known lectionaries of the seventh century, the Gospel list [The Rheims Capitulary: Frere, op. cit., II. 2 ff.; Klauser, Das römische Capitulare Evangeliorum [Bib. 93], 13 ff.] gives ten Sundays following Epiphany – too many to be a survival from the sixth century, before Pre-Lent was instituted – obviously with the intent that the overplus should be employed where required; while the Epistle list, [The Würzburg Epistles, in Revue Bénédictine XXVII. 41–74, and D.A.L. VIII. 2285 ff.] with four lections in sequence from Rom. 12–13 after Epiphany, [These seemingly were at first for days within the Octave, as the Würzburg list gives them without title, while later lectionaries appropriate them to the Sundays: cf. Frere, op. cit., III. 29 §3.] similarly furnishes ten Sundays after Easter, with lections chosen from the Catholic Epistles, and has no Sundays at all after Whitsunday, but instead offers no less than forty-two selections of “unappropriated” Epistles arranged in regular scriptural order. [Frere, op. cit., III. 33 ff.]

When in the ninth century this ad libitum material began to be assigned to the Sundays of the year, the “Gregorian” tradition in both sacramentaries and lectionaries followed the old Roman use as found in the “Leonine,” and did not treat the Sundays in a separate section of movable feasts, but, true to its fundamental and original character as a festal cycle, interwove them as best it could with the Calendar of immovable commemorations – precisely as we still do with the feasts and Sundays from Christmas to Epiphany. The whole latter portion of the season after Whitsunday was tied to outstanding festivals, with one Sunday before and six after “The Apostles” (SS. Peter and Paul, on June 29), five after St. Lawrence (August 10), and six after St. Cyprian (September 14). Thus the variation of Sundays added because of an early Easter did not come at the end of the series, as at present, but at the beginning, between the Octave of Whitsunday and June 29, and avoided displacing the services of half the year with the same wide swings as Easter.

The archetype of the “Gelasian” books, [Eisenhofer I. 64.] on the other hand, on reaching France toward the end of the seventh century, had there undergone a rearrangement which segregated its components roughly into three sections of the Temporale or movable feasts, the Sanctorale or fixed days, and the masses for special occasions. When the Sundays after Whitsunday were added to these books, they were divorced from the Saints’ Days which had dated them, and naturally were numbered in an unbroken sequence. This “Gelasian” numbering eventually prevailed over the “Gregorian” arrangement in the “Mixed” Sacramentaries; and the whole “Gelasian” classification, adopted in the Franciscan Missal, was accepted at Rome early in the fourteenth century, and so became standard in the Missal of Pius V in 1570.

The older material was utilized for this new sequence by adding Trinity I–III before the “Ember” Sunday, Trinity IV, [The Whitsuntide Ember Days were late in acquiring a definite relation to the Church Year, having originally been celebrated the first week in June, and North Europe being very reluctant to admit them to the Octave of Whitsunday, and hence interposing the new Sundays before the “Ember” Sunday.] intercalating the autumnal “Ember” Sunday at Trinity XVIII, and interposing Trinity XX and XXI. In the Gospel list, the old Epiphany IX was used for Trinity XX; Trinity II was new; the others were appropriated from former ferial use. In the Epistles, Easter VII–IX were used for Trinity I–III, and Easter X for Trinity V; and Trinity VI–XVII and XIX–XXIV were taken from the first part of the former “unappropriated” list of Epistles – giving something approaching a system of reading in course.

Such was the evolution which produced our present order of liturgical worship through the Sundays of the year, and the assignment of those salient passages of Scripture read at the Eucharist which we now regard as basic to all other lectionaries. There is no plan of the whole; and the attribution of the liturgical lectionary to St. Jerome was a myth of the ninth century. [Frere, op. cit., III. 73 ff.] The fact is that the Celebrant, the Epistoler, and the Gospeller were three different functionaries, using three separate books: and the Sacramentary, the Epistle-Lectionary, and the Gospel-Capitulary pursued three independent and not even simultaneous lines of development. Hence apart from the great days and seasons, there is no connection between the Epistle and the Gospel, save such as might exist between any two portions of Scripture; and none between either and the Collect of the day.

  • DAL = Cabrol, F.: Dictionnaire d’archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie. Paris: Letouzey, 1903—.
  • Eisenhofer = Eisenhofer, L.: Handbuch der katholischen Liturgik. 2 vols. Freiburg: Herder, 1932–3.
  • + Frere, Studies in Early Roman Liturgy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Total Depravity: "... our free will has been injured by original sin to the point that, unless God gives us special grace, we cannot free ourselves from sin and choose to serve God in love."

Catholicism: "The accepted Catholic teaching is that, because of the fall of Adam, man cannot do anything out of supernatural love unless God gives him special grace to do so." Here et alia.

Article X: "Wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will."


Unconditional Election: "... God does not base his choice (election) of certain individuals on anything other than his own good will."

Catholicism: "What would a Catholic say about this? He certainly is free to disagree with the Calvinist interpretation, but he also is free to agree. All Thomists and even some Molinists (such as Robert Bellarmine and Francisco Suarez) taught unconditional election ... Although a Catholic may agree with unconditional election, he may not affirm "double-predestination," a doctrine Calvinists often infer from it. This teaching claims that in addition to electing some people to salvation God also sends others to damnation."

Article XVII: "Predestination to Life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour."


Limited Atonement: "... the atonement is limited, that Christ offered it for some men but not for all."

Catholicism: "A Catholic also may say that, in going to the cross, Christ intended to make salvation possible for all men, but he did not intend to make salvation actual for all men--otherwise we would have to say that Christ went to the cross intending that all men would end up in heaven. This is clearly not the case. A Catholic therefore may say that the atonement is limited in efficacy, if not in sufficiency, and that God intended it to be this way."

Article XXXI: "The Offering of Christ once made is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction, for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual."


Irresistible Grace: "... when God gives a person the grace that enables him to come to salvation, the person always responds and never rejects this grace."

Catholicism: "A Catholic can agree with the idea that enabling grace is intrinsically efficacious and, consequently, that all who receive this grace will repent and come to God."

The Articles: N/A.


Perseverance of the Saints: "if a person enters a state of grace he never will leave it but will persevere to the end of life."

Catholicism: "A Catholic must affirm that there are people who experience initial salvation and who do not go on to final salvation, but he is free to hold to a form of perseverance of the saints."

Article XVI: "After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin, and by the grace of God we may arise again, and amend our lives."


Anglicanism: Calvinist or Catholic? You decide.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Keep thinking!

... not only is there no escape from metaphysics, but there is no escape from the duty to get metaphysics right; for, human flourishing depends upon it.

This is actually heartening news for us in the orthosphere, and for traditionalists and reactionaries more generally. We have no political influence, and that can be quite discouraging. All our influence is philosophical – and, especially, metaphysical. But that’s where the greatest leverage on society is ever to be found.

All we can do right now, apparently, is to educate our own children properly, to live ourselves hale and holy personal lives, and keep writing. But those are the most important and effective things we could possibly do in any case. Since all our thought eo ipso saps the present established cult of Moloch, the main thing is to keep thinking.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


A reconstruction but, nonetheless, I experience a strong affinity for the ison (or, drone note).

Thoughts Out of Season

In continuing to study the various lectionaries, the truly anarchic situation of earlier eras has become plain. The Lenten season shows the greatest overlap but even there it is clear that different people have introduced different readings for Feria V. Indeed, it is in the ferial readings that Sarum reveals the work of many hands.

Liturgical revision has not, in the recent past, been organic, in almost any sense of the word. It is apparent that in the earliest practice the Gospel sequences and the Epistle sequences were mainly of significance as sequences: thus, there was no need for them to be coordinate, nor was it a big deal if the sequences shifted over days. Mostly the same track was covered and that is what mattered.

Cardinal Tomasi did excellent work but he did not feel the need to be bound by what came before. The reform of Trent, although less radical than V2, was, nonetheless, a reform. It is, once again, obvious that in, say, the Advent season, there is a conscious attempt to adjust Epistle and Gospel and we also begin to see the shifting of Ferial readings and antiphons to Sundays (e.g., Rorate caeli, etc.). Most lay folk make it to church on Sunday, if that. So those readings and chants had better hit home. And our primary focus ought to be the anni circuli of the Temporale.

Of course, there are other central days that may or may not occur on Sunday. Except for the devout, this means these lections will be heard only every seven years or so. But, yet one more time, what has happened to, say, The Octave Day of Christmas, and the Circumcision of Our Lord, being New Year's Day?

Rome has turned this into Mary, the Holy Mother of God; 815 into The Holy Name. Let's start with the collects:

Rome: O God, who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary bestowed on the human race the grace of eternal salvation, grant, we pray, that we may experience the intercession of her, through whom we were found worthy to receive the author of life, our lord Jesus Christ, your son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the holy spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

815: Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting.

I'll leave off Rome only to note that 815's version is pretty weak tea.

Now this is one of the days that the RCL has decided that the lections will remain constant across the three-year cycle. So they must be important, right?

Numbers 6: 22-27 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:“‘“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’ “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

Psalm 8 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! ...

Galatians 4: 4-7 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

Luke 2: 15-21 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

While the traditional antiphons mention 'naming', their main focus is light, revelation, seeing, as a clear foretaste to the Epiphany (Theophany). And while there is little denying the need for some didactic function in the readings, there also needs to be a strong sense of the marvellous and the miraculous and the mystery of the workings of God. On this criterion, the pericopes above miss more often than they hit. (To my mind, they are a bit too prosaic, a bit too affirming. After all, we surely wouldn't want the Word of God to startle or upset us, now would we?)

Can revision proceed without the simple imposition of merely individual tastes? If we start with the traditional Gospel, then we may refer to other sources, of which there are many. I found this list of lections approved by some dioceses in the Scottish Church (which can be put to use if we cleave to lectio continua in the Daily Office). So, the following is not merely the work of a single hand. Tell me that it is manifestly inferior to the two aforementioned efforts.


INTROIT: Puer natus est nobis.

(Isaiah 9. 6) For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor -- (Psalm 98. 1). O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things. V.: Glory be to the Father . . . For unto us a child is born . . .

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, who madest thy blessed Son to be circumcised, and obedient to the law for man; Grant us the true circumcision of the Spirit; that, our hearts, and all our members, being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, we may in all things obey thy blessed will; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Prophecy. Genesis xvii. 1-7.

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

GRADUAL: Viderunt omnes.

(Psalm 98. 4, 5, 3) All the ends of the world have seen the salvation of our God. Show yourselves joyful unto the LORD, all ye lands V.: The LORD declared his salvation; his righteousness hath he openly showed in the sight of the heathen.

The Epistle. Galatians iii. 23-29.
Priusquam venerit fides.

But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

ALLELUIA: A Domino factum est.*

Alleluia, alleluia. (Psalm 118. 23, 27) V.: This is the LORD’S doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. God is the LORD, who hath showed us light. Alleluia.

The Gospel. Luke ii. 21-32.

And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.


The one salient change (noted by the *), besides the slight truncation of length to accommodate an additional lection, is as follows: the traditional alleluia is Dies sanctificatus: Alleluia, alleluia. V.: The hallowed day hath shined upon us. Come, ye nations, and adore the Lord, for to-day a great light hath descended on the earth. Alleluia. While there is nothing objectionable in that, it can be better aligned with the partial source in order to impress a purely scriptural character (as probably required for Anglicans, despite its majestic antiquity).

In the RCL, Genesis xvii is read only once a year on Friday, of Ordinary Time, in Week 12. Not very important, it seems.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Story of the Three Bears

Pictures stolen from here (which now has been added to the Blogroll).

Too little.

Too much.

Just rite.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Before and after

Gaze is centered and proceeds upwards along the vertical axis (1958).

Gaze is diffuse and meanders along the horizontal axis (today).

St. Francis de Sales, Lake Geneva, WI

The Omen

In order to rescue Christianity from superstitious irrelevance, many church leaders sought to distinguish the kernel of Christianity (the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man) from the shell of Christianity (miracle stories that came from another cultural vantage point). One could still maintain the moral center of Christianity while disregarding the events that required suspension of disbelief.

As this adaptation spread, belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus was reinterpreted and given a solely spiritual meaning (he is alive in the hearts of good people). Miracle stories such as Jesus’ feeding the 5,000 were given a moral twist (the true miracle is that suddenly everyone shared). The Virgin Birth was rejected altogether ...

Over time, the effort to save the kernel of Christianity and leave aside its shell had the opposite effect. The distinctiveness of Christian teaching disappeared, and the shell of church rituals was all that remained. This is why, even today in some denominations, bishops and pastors and parishioners openly reject the core tenets of the faith but continue to attend worship and go through certain rites. The denominations that followed this course have since entered a sharp and steady decline.

No thanks.

Res sacramenti

A Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas:

Grant me, I beseech Thee, that I may not only receive the Sacrament [non solum suscipere sacramentum] of the Body and Blood of the Lord, but also the reality and power of the Sacrament [sed etiam rem et virtutem sacramenti]. O most kind God, grant that I may receive [sic suscipere] the Body of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, and so received that I may be worthy to be incorporated into His mystical body, and numbered among His members [mystico merear incorporari, et inter eius membra connumerari]. O most loving Father, grant me Thy beloved Son, which I now receive under the veil of a sacrament [quem nunc velatum in via suscipere propono], that I may one day behold Him face to face in glory, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever. Amen.


Anglican "patrimony" -- what is it? One writer has claimed:

The answer lies instead in the origins of Anglicanism at the beginning of modernity. Modernity came into being by means of a re-appropriation of the theology of St. Augustine. Modernity resulted from a recoiling inward of the rational soul from sacramental and natural hierarchies toward Christ, whom Augustine considered the Teacher at the apex of every single human mind. In their debate on free will, Martin Luther seemed to convict Desiderius Erasmus on precisely this point of the inward experience of Christ, of the inward assurance of one’s election by Christ. In an analogous way, René Descartes largely abandoned Scholasticism in order to ground reality in an inward, subjective certitude of the existence of the self and the self’s Creator. Thus ... modern subjectivity is essentially Augustinian in that it assumes unmediated access to God.

Is Augustine sporting a cuttlefish on his head
only in order to contrast with all the Pope-hats?

Certainly an intriguing idea, for which I would have much sympathy. But to make this case, much much more would need to be said.

Needless to say, there is quite a bit of over-interpretation in this article, as well, stemming no doubt from the author's status as a convert, viz.

The vernacular liturgy, filled with didactic elements and conducted in plain view of the congregation with plain ceremonial, encouraged the laity to seek inside themselves, as St. Augustine taught, for Christ’s confirmation of the claims made upon their rational souls by the teaching Church. The clergy were now ordained not for sanctification and sacrifice as their essential functions, but to open the Word of God to their people, to feed them in the green pastures of Scripture, and to lead them forth beside the comforting waters of what in Anglicanism are known as the two dominical sacraments (baptism and the eucharist).

Not for sanctification? Perhaps, not only ... but you get the picture: tarred with one brush.

However, the following does seem, to me at least, to be incontrovertible:

At any rate, by the early eighteenth century, Anglicanism was already becoming self-reflective. This is seen in the commentary tradition on the Book of Common Prayer ... This tradition presented the Prayer Book as a comprehensive liturgy for every day and week, for each season of the church year, and for the great personal and communal moments of life. The commentators demonstrated how the Prayer Book deliberately integrates the clergy and laity into a daily round of liturgical edification, penitence, and praise. They also showed how the eucharistic lectionary, designed to teach the great moments of the faith, was complemented by the lectio continua of the Daily Offices ... The Prayer Book’s integration of the clergy and the laity in one common liturgy; its union of edification, penitence, and praise; and its employment of both a doctrinal lectionary and a continuous lectionary are at the heart of the Anglican patrimony. They are of its essence.

But, this is not how many others see it: We did not wish to bring with us Anglican liturgical traditions. Most of us said the Divine Office and used the Roman Missal. Odd. What does that bring? Coals to Newcastle?

'Common' as in 'communal' -- not as in 'ordinary', 'prosaic', or 'pedestrian'.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Signum Magnum

Walker Percy:

This is the age of theory and consumption, yet not everyone is satisfied by theorizing and consuming.

The common mark of the theorist and the consumer is that neither knows who he is or what he wants outside of theorizing and consuming.

This is so because the theorist is not encompassed by his theory. One’s self is always a leftover from one’s theory.

For even if one becomes passionately convinced of Freudian theory or Marxist theory at three o’clock of a Wednesday afternoon, what does one do with oneself at four o’clock?

The consumer, who thought he knew what he wanted—the consumption of the goods and services of scientific theory—is not in fact satisfied, even when the services offered are such techniques as “personal growth,” “emotional maturity,” “consciousness-raising,” and suchlike.

The face of the denizen of the present age who has come to the end of theory and consumption and “personal growth” is the face of sadness and anxiety.

Such a denizen can become so frustrated, bored, and enraged that he resorts to violence, violence upon himself (drugs, suicide) or upon others (murder, war).

Or, such a denizen may discover that he is open to a search for signs, some sign other than theorizing or consumption.

Monday, April 6, 2015


In this case, of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills.




The 1959 "updating" is interesting for several reasons (although I wish there were more and better pictures): (1) it is a fairly unobjectionable modernizing (except for the carpeting) that left intact a raised altar, set towards the east and with altar rails and sedilia (although someone has ripped out the pulpit); (2) it is yet another reminder of just how strong the impulses of the reforming moment were, even before V2; and (3) it is noteworthy that, at that time, no one felt a need (yet) to remove all statuary, imagery, and side altars. But by 2012 (or sometime before then), the process of radical elimination and of homey banalisation was complete.

Over-familiarity = de-sacralization.