Sunday, 2 September 2012

Two anniversaries...

10 years ago I awoke earlier than was my wont at the time (and is still; like Tolkien, I am not a ''morning person''), and ran downstairs into the living room. My parents were seated together, my mother at the telephone table, my father in his armchair, both with grave faces. I stopped, and my father gave me the news that my grandfather had died of the cancer in his stomach, at ten minutes past five of the clock that morning. He was three weeks shy of his 78th birthday.

It is also the 39th anniversary of J.R.R Tolkien's death. I cannot really add to anything I said last year, or the year before, but of your charity I would ask you to pray for my family, and for Tolkien and his family. No long quotes or insights or anything this year; I am rather preoccupied with my own thoughts. The 75th anniversary of The Hobbit is coming up soon, so it seems fitting to start reading.

In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek succour, but of Thee, O Lord, who for our sins art justly displeased? Yet, O Lord God most holy, O Lord most mighty, O holy and most merciful Saviour, deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death!

I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, from henceforth blessed are the dead which die in the Lord; even so saith the Spirit; for they rest from their labours.


  1. Prayers offered for your intentions.

  2. Patricius:

    I read your blog because I partially share your liturgical opinions but specially because of your style of writing, your English which I judge admirable.

    Or at least it is the kind of admiration that a spanish-speaker as I am can perceive in a short text. I do not know any other blogger who writes so well as you do.

    Please, could you explain to me why in the Oratio Dominica the relative pronoun "which" is used to refer to God the Father instead of "who".


  3. Sergio,

    Thank you for your comment, so full of courtesy. I'm sure there are plenty of 'blogs out there of a literary quality far greater than this small endeavour, but I cannot presently think of any Roman Catholic ones.

    Regarding the Lord's Prayer, the text in the sidebar, to which I guess you refer in your question, is that found in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. ''Which'' was commonly used in the Middle Ages even into the 18th and 19th centuries to refer to persons. The text of the Pater Noster was changed with the revision of the Book of Common Prayer in 1928, and it was since adopted by the Roman Catholic church in vernacular devotions and liturgy. I marvel that ICEL didn't do anything about the strange hieratic medley that this new text is. To me it makes virtually no sense to say ''Our Father who art in Heaven,'' why not just drop the whole thing instead? Of course Traddies, and pretty much everyone who recites the Lord's Prayer in English, will continue to parrot the nonsense like so many idiots. I'm the fanatic, remember!

    It's so often the case in Roman Catholic (and Anglican, and even some Orthodox) circles that Tradition is presented to us marred by some innovation. Nothing is pure.

    No doubt what I have just said will inspire a lot of sniggering, ''he's a Jansenist!'' and all that, but the line between Tradition and legitimate development, pruning, etc has clearly been crossed so many, many times in the West, to the detriment of anything measurable and worthwhile in the Tradition of the Church. Remember the conversation of Legolas and Gimli as they left Lothlórien, about memory; or what Galadriel herself said about Springtime in the Golden Wood, never to be seen again.