Archive for the 'Church Calendar' Category

Feast of the Annunciation, 2021

March 25, 2021

With the Annunciation this year in such close proximity to Holy Week, let’s hear a beautiful pre-Reformation poem on the Seven Last Words of Christ, which begins “Mary, full of virtue, pity and grace…”. The full text can be read here. This musical setting is by Robert Fayrfax, an astonishingly great composer whose 500th anniversary we are marking this year; the score can be read here. The ensemble in this video is the Tallis Scholars.

A happy and blessed feast to all!

Feast of All Souls, 2020

November 3, 2020

Feast of the Ascension, 2020

May 21, 2020

Jesus led his followers into the vicinity of Bethany, we are told. “Lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from then, and was carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:50-51.) Jesus departs in the act of blessing. He goes while blessing, and he remains in that gesture of blessing. His hands remain stretched out over this world. The blessing hands of Christ are like a roof that protects us. But at the same time, they are a gesture of opening up, tearing the world open so that heaven may enter in, may become “present” within it.

The gesture of hands outstretched in blessing expresses Jesus’ continuing relationship to his disciples, to the world. In departing, he comes to us, in order to raise us up above ourselves and to open up the world to God. That is why the disciples could return home from Bethany rejoicing. In faith we know that Jesus holds his hands stretched out in blessing over us. That is the lasting motive of Christian joy.

— Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth.

Today into the heavens has ascended
Jesus Christ, the King of Glory, Alleluia!
He sits at the Father’s right hand,
and rules heaven and earth, Alleluia!
Now have been fulfilled all of
Father David’s songs,
Now God is with God, Alleluia!
He sits upon the royal throne of God,
in this his greatest triumph, Alleluia!
Let us bless the Lord:
Let the Holy Trinity be praised,
let us give thanks to the Lord,
Alleluia! Amen.

Music by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford.

Easter Sunday, 2020

April 12, 2020

I got me flowers to straw thy way;
I got me boughs off many a tree:
But thou wast up by break of day,
And brought’st thy sweets along with thee.

The Sunne arising in the East,
Though he give light, & th’ East perfume;
If they should offer to contest
With thy arising, they presume.

Can there be any day but this,
Though many sunnes to shine endeavour?
We count three hundred, but we misse:
There is but one, and that one ever.

– George Herbert (1633)

Happy Easter!

Tenebrae III

April 10, 2020

Jerusalem surge

Tenebrae II

April 9, 2020

Omnes amici mei

Tenebrae I

April 8, 2020

Tristis est anima mea

Feast of the Annunciation, 2020

March 25, 2020

Felix Thomas

January 28, 2020

A very happy Feast of the Angelic Doctor to all!

Felix Thomas, Doctor Ecclesiæ,
lumen mundi, splendor Italiæ,
candens virgo flore munditiæ,
bina gaudet corona gloriæ.

Blessed Thomas, Doctor of the Church,
light of the World, splendour of Italy,
a virgin shining in the flower of his purity,
rejoices in his twofold crown of glory.

Christmas Day, 2019

December 25, 2019

nativity-our-lord

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s breast,
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But here the world’s desire.)

The Christ-child stood at Mary’s knee,
His hair was like a crown.
And all the flowers looked up at him,
And all the stars looked down.

— G.K. Chesterton —