Sunday, 11 July 2010

Quid agis, hodie?

I left my house for the first time this week this morning, my mood having reached rock bottom in the course of the week (and having zero money), but I was glad that I did. I had the opportunity to catch up with one or two young friends whom I have missed and the day was pleasant. I even had the opportunity to peruse a ''traditional'' hymnal brought in by another friend, with a foreword by Bishop Williamson, which turned out to be not quite so traditional (the Office hymn for Christmas was a dead giveaway - it was the one composed by Urban VIII in 1629), which was fun. I must do a post about these hymns when I get the chance. Some of them were completely rewritten, others one or two words were changed around (why I don't know - since Latin is an inflected language word order doesn't matter so much as it does in English, although in hymnody and poetry I suppose word order is important in terms of emphasis...) in which case the changes are so meaningless that one wonders why they were made in the first place.

I received confirmation earlier this week from the admissions department at the University of London (I am not going to specify which college - those of you who know me personally will know) and I was offered an unconditional place. The degree (a BA in Classics) will be part-time over four years and will begin on 1st October. I am at the point now where I just wish I could get it over with - in September I shall have worked in the same shop for five years - but I suppose that each of us has a cross to carry. I just hope that the Day of Judgement isn't anytime soon (I could just about imagine hearing those glorious trumpets and thinking: ''God, I've wasted my life...'')

I do think, however, that lace cottas are a damnable heresy. They clearly undermine the doctrines of the Blessed Trinity, the Hypostatic Union, the Real Presence, overturn the Seven Sacraments and are rather extravagant and effeminate. You won't ever catch me wearing one again! I know you all think I am insane...

Do pop over and read Fr Hunwicke's latest posts (here and here) - he rightly derides the illiteracy and ignorance of most Art Historians (one of whom claimed today that the reason babies were baptised newly born in the Middle Ages was to prevent them from going to Purgatory...!)

Perhaps more Egeria tomorrow...


  1. Congratulations. Insanity is a sure sign of election.... I do hope you will eventually produce during or after your degree your own editions of some worthy classical and ecclesiastical writer, or essays on the liturgy.

  2. There is a good study of the hymn revisions by Adrian Fortsecue in his preface to A.G.McDonald's PANGE LINGUA, which is online as a PDF, well worth reading for the biting comments on hymns.Alan Robinson

  3. Francis, that would be nice but the truth is I know very little about Liturgy. What I write here consists mostly of broad strokes and I leave a lot of question marks...

    Thanks for that Alan Robinson, I shall look it up in Google when I can.

  4. Sorry, A.G.McDougall (even then I'm not sure I have it correctly). A.G. McDonald wrote the side splittingly funny England Their England.There is also Fortescue's own little book Latin Hymns with an interesting Introduction. Alan Robinson.

  5. Patricius: what about a Biographia much in the vein of that of Coleridge- Comminatory Perorations among Liturgical Moriquendi...

    McDougall's books can be had at

  6. Congratulations! I'm very pleased to hear that you'll soon be beginning your long-wished for Classics degree course. I hope from time to time you'll mention how you're getting on.

  7. I shall be fascinated to read your discursus on how a lace cotta undermines the Hypostatic Union !