Monthly Archives: April 2006

Song Setting: “Gloria Patri”

I continue my quest to memorize Latin prayers by writing catchy little tunes for them. (Well, I think they're catchy. But then, I'm memorizing these suckers, so I'm singing them a lot.)
Today, it's the original Latin version of the "Glory Be", or as all the cool kids call it, the Doxologia Minor.

("The Eentsy-Weentsy Praise Song" is probably not the translation of this that one should choose, but I feel a filk coming on that is to that effect. So you see that these catchy tunes could be a lot catchier if I were evil and stuck to tunes in the public domain.)

Also, I've again broken up the lines to reflect how I've broken them up into lines of the song. This one is probably as melismatic as I will get.

Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat
in principio,
et nunc, et semper, et in
saecula saeculorum.

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Song Setting: “Angele Dei”

My copy of the Compendium hasn't come yet, and Books & Co. still hasn't gotten any in, either. Meanwhile, all the other Catholic bloggers are enjoying it. I just have to offer it up. (You know, I notice God has been giving me lots of opportunity to offer things up lately. Perhaps He's trying to tell me something.) 🙂 

Anyway… one of the features of the Compendium is that it's got a good chunk of "common Catholic prayers" (many not so common these days) in an appendix at the back. And apparently the bishops (or at least the Pope) wish all of us faithful to memorize 'em, like we should have done back in grade school. (I sigh at all the hard work ahead of me, but secretly look forward to a little memorization. 'S fun.)

Inspired by the Cafeteria Is Closed podcast of the Latin prayers in the Compendium, I think I'm going to try setting some of them to music. (Lots easier to memorize, that way.)

Here's a starter for you. It's a setting of the original (c. 11th century) Latin version of the common "Angel of God, my guardian dear" prayer. I really like the original, which I had no idea existed. You can also sing the English version to this setting.

Angele Dei,
qui custos es mei,
me tibi commissum
pietate superna.
Hodie/Hac nocte
custodi, rege,
et guberna.

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Review: Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

If I had only known that this book came with discussion questions in the back, I could have saved myself several hours. Only Harlan Ellison’s “The Deathbird” makes good use of this feature, and it’s still twee and pretentious there. When publishers are seriously presenting book clubs with pre-made questions, it’s even worse for being seriously meant.

I bought this book on sale (fortunately) because it was recommended by several authors I respect. I am sad to say they were all on crack. This is a well-written book with a somewhat intricate plotline, but not intricate enough to repay the reader for a lame ending and several unpleasant thematic features.

1. Fear of crucifixes.

I really don’t understand this one, but it keeps showing up in modern novels. Apparently, half the world is made up of vampires now, as they are hopelessly traumatized by every Catholic holy picture they see. Comparisons to S&M and snuff films are de rigueur, which suggests some mighty strange things about what today’s writers find spiritually uplifting.

2. Nobody is ever celibate by choice. Even for five minutes.

If you’re not having sex like bunnies, you obviously were traumatized at some point. If you are unattractive and try to have sex, it will never work out. Unless and until you have sex with someone of the same gender, of course. This is magical, and makes you attractive and able to have sex like bunnies.

3. Religious vocations are a sure sign of unhappiness.

Not that this separates one from being a layperson, actually. But there is no peace to be found in a convent or a seminary. Obviously these people are just suppressing the urge to have sex with someone of the same gender, so they can become attractive providers of sex like bunnies.

4. Marriage never lasts, and neither does any other kind of love.

5. Children are always in danger, and always pawns of adults and their siblings.

6. Women are always in danger, and always pawns — unless they kill people.

7. Women are made weak by pregnancy and child care. No woman ever enjoys the process.

8. Men are made weak by women and children; they can only stay strong and unaffected by being total psychos.

To be fair, there is a certain amount of argument against these views. But the plotlines seem to insist that this is indeed what the author believes. (Nobody ever enjoyed being pregnant or having a baby, even the tiniest bit? Sheesh, don’t these people in England eat well enough, or did all the big strong agricultural women move to America?)

There were a few likable characters in the book, but the author did her best to ruin them before they fled her hands: making them act like idiots, or putting them into situations which in real life would be extremely abusive, for the sake of very implausible forms of happy endings. For their sake, I will pray that there be no sequel.

Jonathan Edwards’ God had nothing on Kate Atkinson. This is fairly typical of today’s authors.

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Afraid of a Little Fight.

I have to say, after listening to the cockpit voice recorder excerpts of Flight 93, I don’t have a great opinion of the terrorists’ willingness to fight. They’re perfectly okay with threatening the weaponless, and they’re up for pushing a woman around. But when a few people starting ramming the door with a beverage cart — a beverage cart! — they don’t wait around even to see if they can make a fight of it. They don’t try to hold out to accomplish their greater objective. No, they’re too afraid for that. Even though a cockpit is a pretty good defensive position — even though one man could hold off an army at a narrow door like that. A fair fight is no part of their plans; they plow into the ground rather than even try.

I will also note that, as I said from the very first day, it wasn’t the passengers who crashed the plane. Generally speaking, Americans don’t crash planes on purpose, because generally speaking, Americans always have hope that they can fight back and win. I’m still disturbed that so many of my compadres in sf fandom didn’t realize this basic fact, and that so many of them thought it would be a good idea to crash the plane rather than keep fighting. Or that crashing the plane would be the primary objective of passenger resistance.

That’s not who we are, folks. We are people who don’t attack planning to die. We may slot that possibility in, mark it down as an acceptable loss, but we don’t plan it that way. The passengers of Flight 93 had every intention of fighting as hard as they had to, with as much loss as might happen; but they also had every intention of landing that plane safely and walking away. Somehow.

And if the terrorists had given them half a chance, I believe they would have managed it.

The terrorists believed it, too.

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I know a good number of people who say they're Christian, but don't believe what the Bible says or what Tradition says. (They believe in reincarnation, for example.)

But the Bible and Tradition are the Word of God, and Jesus Christ is the Word of God. So if you don't believe in the Bible and Tradition, you don't believe in Jesus.

So logically, they can't possibly be Christian in any meaningful way.

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Maybe Jesus _Was_ the Emperor.

After all, he got acclaimed by the legions.

Sorta. Kinda. In an unintentional sort of way.

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Spy Wednesday

Apparently, one of the old names for Holy Wednesday is Spy Wednesday. It wasn’t dedicated to your friendly neighborhood intelligence officer, however, but to Judas’ betrayal of Christ (and becoming an ‘agent’ of the chief priests).

Maronites from Lebanon have a more positive tradition; they call it Job’s Wednesday. It’s counted as the beginning of summer, and women are not to sweep out the house that day, as that would attract ants.

Sadly, we’ve already missed the chance to celebrate Painful Friday (the Friday before Holy Week) and Lazarus Saturday.

A rather nice poem about Spy Wednesday with good illustrations (though the Judas redemption line sounds odd).


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